"What happened?" I asked.
"I was running across a 2-lane bridge and an RV that didn't have enough room to get over side-swiped me," he said casually. I didn't even know what side-swiped meant, but I figured it wasn't anything good based on the blood that kept coming and coming.
"I was going to keep running, but I knew your mom would be upset if I didn't come straight home to get this cleaned up," he said, as he casually headed into the house.
When I was in the seventh grade, my dad was running a marathon and, in third place 18 miles into the race, he was hit by an old lady driving a car who hadn't seen him because the sun was shining in her eyes. Her car hit him from behind, and he flew up over her windshield and landed in the road. She was screaming so much that he, while lying in the street with his bone sticking through the skin of his leg, had to try to calm her down until the police got there a few minutes later.
He was taken by ambulance to the hospital, where we met him after the police found us on the course, waiting at the 20-mile mark, where Dad had told us to wait to cheer for him. When we got to the hospital, he wasn't at all focused on the pain from the two compound fractures in his leg but instead was concerned because the force of being hit by the car had knocked off one of his running shoes, which he wanted back, and because he wouldn't be able to finish the race.
At some point on the ride, a guy driving a pick-up truck wasn't paying attention and didn't see Dad on his bike in the road in front of him. The driver hit Dad from behind, and, again, Dad flew over the top of the vehicle and landed in the road, this time with his feet still clipped into the pedals of the bike. He landed very hard on his back and immediately found that he couldn't move his arms or legs at all. The driver had stopped but hadn't gotten out of the truck yet; Dad told us later that all he could do was lie in the road and yell for the guy to call 9-1-1.
Here's the really crazy part of the story: apparently, when Dad was thrown to the ground by the impact, his cell phone got bumped and the redial button was hit. Mom thought it was odd when she saw on her phone's Caller I.D. that Dad was calling back so soon after he'd started his bike ride, and when she answered, all she could hear was Dad screaming for someone to call 9-1-1 and saying that he couldn't move his arms or legs. She kept him on the line and then used another phone to call 9-1-1. She made it to the scene of the accident just as Dad was being loaded into the ambulance, and, by the time they made it to the hospital, Dad was moving his extremities again, although he had a major case of Road Rash and was understandably sore. He didn't even spend the night in the hospital that night, and - predictably - he was back on the bike within a couple of weeks. Time and time again, he toughed it out, picking himself up and heading right back out on the road.