My dad has been a very good sport about being picked on repeatedly for this blog. He has a true talent for getting hurt on our outdoors outings, and while some of those injuries have been fairly dangerous, most of them have been more comical than serious.
Part of what makes his mishaps funny, at least after we realize we’re not going to have to call for an air ambulance, is his toughness. He’s had some injuries that would incapacitate a normal human, but I think my dad is Superman. He had a horse fall on him on a camping trip, and not just any horse. This one was one of the pack horses, and it was loaded with half the gear we had for a week-long camping trip. That was on the way in. He got up, dusted himself off, and shouted a few hundred cuss words. But then he picked up the lead rope and hiked the rest of the way to camp. We stayed at camp all week, and when we got back to town, he got an X-ray that showed he had broken four of the strongest ribs in his body.
Like I said, the guy’s made of tougher stuff than most people.
But now I suppose it’s time for me to take over. I don’t know if I can be as tough as Dad has been, but I’ll try. I’ve been taking my own kids on hunting and fishing trips for a while now, and I’ve already begun my training by snagging myself with flies in the back of my neck on backcasts, cutting my fingers while showing the boys how to sharpen their knives, and nailing myself with the hatchet during a demonstration of the safe way to cut kindling.
Through all of that, I’ve done my best to be as tough as my dad was when he hurt himself, but I’m nowhere near as stoic. I admit, when I hatcheted myself, I might have cried a little bit. Maybe it just takes practice. But that’s the good news – with genetics like mine, I’m sure there will be plenty of opportunities to get better at it.