Fleshwound! Right on!

February 22, 2008

Well, I finally got my first wound here in Iraq. It’s an awe inspiring story that somehow involves a distinct lack of insurgency.

The gym I go to is perfectly small for me. You can’t fit but 8 people in it until it gets crowded, and there are just enough things to pull, push, climb and lift to get a good workout. I don’t need variety, I just need some dumbells and space. No mirrors for the vain, and no circulation except that which the open door and desert wind provides.  

I was doing abdominal muscles. I was alternating sets on two different inclines for sit-ups, a podium to do reverse sit-ups on, and hanging from the pull up bar to do L shape lifts, where I bring my feet up parallel to the ground. It gets tough in combat boots. 

About 15 out of 30 minutes into the workout, I grab the pull up bar with both hands close together, and turn sideways to bring my knees up into a tuck. Ususally you don’t hang straight, but lift with your arms so you clear the ground. I pull on my arms, and…

Pow! Stars and spots of quickly changing colors burst in my vision. I say something not too nice (I am a soldier, remember?), and blink a couple times. I look up and notice the middle part, where people do not expect you to be pulling up, is connected to main machine and the support bar has a corner on it, which I must have hit. Wow.

But I’m a tough guy, and finish my workout over the next 15 minutes. I go inside and back to work. I am sitting at my computer, thinking very hard on how to solve the Iraqi problem, when a coworker comes up and stares in horror. “What is that on your head!?! Why are you bleeding?!”

“What?” I get nervous. I run my fingers through my head, and find a big spot all clotted with the 3 days of hair growth I have. Wow. I hold a paper towel over it, and like most wounds on your scalp, it takes forever to stop bleeding. Now I have a bump on my head like the old Warner Bros. Cartoon characters.

My first blood loss in a war zone, and it’s accidently self inflicted. I don’t think they give medals for those.

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