In high school I was a swimmer. Now, let’s use that term loosely because I was less of a swimmer and more of a water polo player. Water polo – for me – was life-changing. It was my adventure catalyst.
Water polo taught me that I can accomplish anything.
Mind over matter.
Anyway, the pool deck was my haven. It was my haven from the realities of high school. And anyone who ever went to or is currently attending high school knows exactly what I mean.
It was my haven until one lovely day when my haven was shaken by an allergic reaction.
High school boys are rowdy – plain and simple. And one day, they were throwing anything and everything at each other.
Meanwhile, I was off talking to a friend before practice started with my back turned to the boys. And right as I turned around to walk to the bathroom to change… like a missile… in came the strike.
Of a cashew. Directly to my left cheek.
My face instantly blew up like a red balloon ready to pop.
And just like that, off to the ER with an allergic reaction I went.
Sometimes things are out of your control. Had I known they were chucking nuts at each other, I would’ve told them to stop. They knew about my allergy, sure, but maybe they had forgotten in that moment of fun, or didn’t fully grasp the severity of it.
Regardless, mistakes happen and the best thing you can do is learn from them.
That was the day I learned to be very keenly aware of my surroundings at all times. In other words, keep my head on a swivel. This has served me exceptionally well over the years – especially while traveling (especially as a woman). And to always make sure that I have at least one person around me willing to advocate for me in case I miss something or am unable to.
P.s. this is my best friend’s favorite story to tell. Because not only was she there, but she believes that it reveals the severity of my allergy to others more clearly than the word severely does. So whenever we meet someone new, this is without fail the first story out of her mouth.