Hello to my ADHD peeps and ADHD loved ones currently living with ADHD. Today I am going to tell a story from my youth that involves a lot of bad decisions.
I am going to start this post with DO NOT DO ANYTHING I talk about in this series because they are highly stupid, ridiculous, and at times dangerous. Trust me when I say it is better to read these stories than to partake in them.
Alright let me begin by saying that a major problem people with ADHD may have is not thinking about something before doing it, and therefore making some pretty dumb decisions. Making good decisions sometimes gets blocked, when you see something that will cause an amazing thrill. Full disclaimer I was not young during this story I was in high school and I was still making these kinds of questionable decisions so learn from my mistakes. That being said I typically think something is a wonderful idea until I am looking down the side of a steep hill in a shopping cart with two friends. Most people would rethink this decision when my one friend is continuously saying, “I don’t think I want to do this I don’t think I want to do this”. But that is where I’m different this only added to the adventure of what I was about to do.
Before I get to the epic journey of breaking a shopping cart and creating one of the worst decisions in my life, I will give some backstory.
While in high school I attended a lot of youth group. During days that I was attending youth group me and my three best friends would have a 3-4 hour break from when school got out to when we needed to start the three mile walk to the church building our youth group was in. The parental approved activity for this extra time was to spend it “studying and completing homework” (I did not study or complete my homework during this time, sorry mom.) What we would do instead is go to the local Burger King and cause mayhem. You may ask, ‘Michel how could you cause mayhem at a small Burger King?’ I counter with, ‘Have you ever heard of Vault?’ Most likely you haven’t, so I will give a short history of Vault. Here are some of the slogans that Vault came up with: “Drinks like a soda, kicks like an energy drink ”, “Get it done and then some”, “Chug and Charge”, and “Get to it.” To some young and dumb high school boys these all sound like great ideas to get supercharged before youth group. So “Get to it” we did because this drink contained 30% more caffeine then a Mountain Dew, so when you and your three friends decide drinking about three medium size drinks of this before youth group is a good, idea you don’t question it. To recap we are young men with an equivalent of about six espresso shots in our system over a period of thirty minutes and we are ready to make some bad decisions. We are asked to go outside after the Burger King staff have decided that we have gotten rowdy enough and they don’t want us breaking anything in their dining room. One of the crazy things we decided to try included seeing who can stand on one of the barstool chairs, karate kid crane style, without falling the longest. In a Burger King dining room… the staff even knew us by name because on Wednesdays we always made a stop by Burger King to “Chug and Charge”. We walk outside the Burger King and almost like it was meant to be, we see a metal shopping cart parked up on a curb.
The metal shopping cart was calling our names like it was just waiting for us to mess with it. We started messing around with the shopping cart, trying to determine how fast we could get it going and seeing what happens when you run into a curb with someone in it. After many crashes during our trial-and-error experiments, we figured out the smartest way to sit in the cart was to crouch so if the cart fell over on its side you were able to jump out so the cart didn’t crush your leg or worse, your dumb head. We spent the rest of our time before youth group this day crashing this metal shopping cart into curbs and watching each other fly into bushes and anything else we could aim them at in this parking lot. Even though we were having a blast, there was only so much time before we had to start walking to youth group.
During youth group that night me and my buddies kept talking about how we could use the shopping cart for more of a thrill. We kept thinking of dumb things like having the cart pulled by a car. (We didn’t have a car so that didn’t work out for us.) We thought about pushing it down a couple of the ramps at our school but we didn’t think that would work because the security did a pretty good job preventing hooligans from doing anything. The whole night we tried to come up with the best thrill seeking activity, but no ‘perfect’ ideas arose.
One week later it struck us, there was a ridiculously steep hill at the baseball fields by the library where we would go to play video games after getting kicked out of Burger King. We went over to check it out, and looking down from the top of this hill we knew we only had one option… to go down it with a shopping cart.
Fast forward a week and the fateful day is here. I’m thinking throughout the day about what is going to happen when we go down that hill? Are we going to make it down in one piece or are we going to have a massive crash? All day I think about how cool it is to be the first person to come up with an idea that is so daring. The daydreaming ends when the final bell rings. Me and my friends meet up and we know what we have to do. We go down to the local Burger King and like men getting ready for their final duel we drink as much as we can. (Vault that is.) We don’t have to get kicked out of the local Burger King because we have a stunt to perform. We walk down the street for a couple of minutes and find our shopping cart. We push it over to the giant hill and we look down it knowing it is time.
See for a stunt of this caliber you have to test it to ensure it is safe for humans and like any good stunt enthusiast, I tested the stunt with rocks. Like a mad scientist I load five decent sized rocks into the shopping cart and push that sucker down the hill. The cart rolls down the hill for about a second and immediately flips over itself about twenty times. (Who would have guessed that?) Me being content with these results decided this was a fluke and I truly believed that having more body weight would keep the shopping cart glued securely to the ground so… Instead of weighing down the shopping cart with more rocks and running a test I decide this stunt is ready for a human trial. Who is the best test subject for a dangerous task such as this? Your boy Michel…
Without thinking of wearing a helmet or any protective equipment/padding I jump into the cart ready for my destiny. The funny thing about destiny is it is not always what you imagine it to be. Here is a recap of those long-awaited events. I am at the top of the hill and my buddies pushed me to the edge of the hill and ask, “Are you sure that you want to do this?” Like any good stuntman I reply, “What’s the worst thing that could happen.”
Instead of just let go of the cart and let physics do its thing my buddies push it with all their strength and in a matter of seconds this cartoon like crash occurs. I am in a squatting position flying down a hill at full speed. After going about six feet I realize I don’t want to be in a shopping cart going down a massive hill anymore. (Little late to back out now.) I start to feel the shopping cart’s backend lift, and I immediately throw my body backwards with the hope of preventing it from flipping over. (Spoiler, this did not work.) The wheels on the front of the cart lift up as if they were protesting against me making it out of this ride alive. While plummeting down the hill I realize that I’m going down a giant hill in a metal shopping cart like I’m testing it for safety in a worse-case scenario. The cart not surprisingly flips over, taking me with it. After somersaulting the rest of the way down this massive hill I make it to the bottom only slightly dizzy bearing a few scratches as battle scars. My friends are yelling to see if I am okay, and like any good stuntmen I get up triumphantly exclaiming, “That wasn’t so bad.” Most people would think after a stupid stunt and narrowly escaping death the shenanigans would be over, but if you believe that you haven’t learned about the power of my decision making yet.
I can’t describe the thoughts in my head at this point. I had just watched two failed trials and I’m still convinced this will work. I decide that since the back of the cart lifted up the first time we needed to put the majority of our weight back there. So I asked one of my buddies who’s two years older than me to stand at the back. He has no issue with this because he saw how “cool” the last attempt was. We decide that three people will allow enough weight, so it is “impossible” for the cart to flip. Needless to say we are not physics majors and we did not understand just how cruel gravity can be. We watched a failed rock trial and a failed human trial and we are absolutely convinced that a third trial will work just because we added weight.
There we are three soon to be men looking down the face of a hill knowing this is probably a stupid idea. I look to my one buddy behind me and he is absolutely pumped, he’s yelling, “lets go, lets go” while pumping his fists. I look forward and my other buddy is either praying or cursing us for convincing him to get into a shopping cart destined for disaster. Immediately before we wiggle the cart over the hill I think to myself how are we going to all tuck our heads into the cart if the cart starts to roll. (To late to think about that, adventure awaits.) As soon as the cart starts to descend down the hill my buddy in the front yells, “NOPE NOPE NOPE” and jumps out of the cart, this immediately causes the cart to turn sideways.
The next events all happen in slow motion in my mind. The cart turns sideways, rolls over, and BAM I get kicked in the back of the head. Before I realize what is happening, I watch my buddy screaming bloody murder while flying out of the cart. I swear he shot out of the cart like a rocket and went sliding down the hill face first until he was able to turn sideways and roll down in a more controlled manner. The cart flips again, and I immediately realize this was a really bad idea. Instead of carting down the hill like I believed was going to happen I am holding on for dear life. My heroic efforts lasted two flips. On the second flip I feel the metal shopping cart land on my hand because I was gripping onto the top side. This caused my other arm to let go and next thing I know I’m flailing down the hill like one of those giant inflatable advertising blow up dolls. At one point I regain my footing but I immediately lose it and am somersaulting down this hill faster than the cart. I make it down the hill and lucky for me the cart gets stuck three quarters of the way down so it didn’t knock me out.
So how hurt am I after this? How many bones did my friends and I break? The answer to that is nothing. A couple of scratches and many stories later we didn’t learn anything from this stunt. I’m not an old man, I’m 28 right now but if I sleep wrong, I end up walking around in the morning like someone punched me in the spinal column ten times. But back in my glory days I was able to partake in a violent shopping cart accident and was immediately able to get up and ask my buddies if they just want to roll down the hill instead because the shopping cart idea wasn’t not working. Of course, we continued messing with this hill for a while because we had time to burn before youth group.
Thank you for listening to my story and don’t worry this is not the peak of my bad decision making.