April 23, 2013 started out as a lovely day in Sunny South Florida. We were moving out of a beautiful beach condo to an apartment just steps away from my office. We had loaded our cars the night before with small items that we could begin to move on our own, my Jeep contained our entire closet’s worth of clothes, knickknacks and even my bowling ball.
I really enjoyed my Jeep. It was a black 2011 Wrangler, with a lift kit, 35 inch tires, and I even installed a snorkel all by myself. Even though I left a dab of super glue running down near the snorkel from an “oops” moment, I didn’t care, it added character to its physique. The day I drove it off the lot I learned a quick lesson: other Jeep owners who felt the same way about their Jeeps and built it up would wave hello or would even let you merge into their Lane (an uncommon gesture here in South Florida). I loved driving around with the top down in the Florida sun. I was never really a car guy, but I became a Jeep guy!!
Where I was moving from, there was a mandatory valet service at our beach condo, so as the valet was handing over the keys he commented on how much he liked the Jeep. We stayed for a few minutes talking and laughing about it. I really, really liked my Jeep. Little did I know it would only be mine for less than an hour more.
My wife and I went in our separate cars, taking as much as we could stuff to our new apartment. She really wanted to get a head start on the move, and was trying to make this one go smoother and more organized compared to other moves, if that is even possible for a move. Sure enough, the moment we roll out of the driveway she realizes that she forgot the paperwork we needed to bring to get our keys to the new apartment. No big deal, “I’ll meet you there,” I said and went on ahead.
The new apartment was only about 25 minutes away from the beach condo. It was Saturday morning so traffic was light. For those of you who are blessed with not having experienced South Florida traffic, it’s a nightmare. I’ve talked with people from L.A. who have actually complained about the traffic down here. It’s terrible! So, any day with light traffic is an awesome day!! About 20 minutes in to my drive to the new place, I’m just down the road from my new apartment, or about 2 miles. The only thing that was stopping me to get to my destination were the endless traffic lights. However, what did end up stopping me was the car that plowed into me after completely missing the red stop sign.
I was heading north, and I saw from the corner of my eye a car coming east down the street. It didn’t even dawn on me that the guy wouldn’t see the stop sign – I had the right of way, and I just kept going. It’d be crazy for anyone to plow through that sign at 40mph, who would do that? Unfortunately, the person in the car was a 90+ year old retiree that he slammed right into the rear left end of my beautiful black jeep. I spun to the side, and rolled until a tree stopped me from going in to the side of a house just yards away. I have never been in a dryer, but I could imagine that it felt the same because as I was rolling around I saw and felt all my cloths and shoes rolling around in the Jeep until it finally rested on the left side. Thank God I was wearing my seatbelt. It was the only thing holding me to my chair. The officer said it saved my life. I can’t imagine going through that at higher speeds and rolling around more times than I did.
I was concussed and shaken up real good, but thank God I walked out of the hospital just hours later on my own two feet. Thankfully, my wife wasn’t in the car, too. She was able to gather the rest of the cloths, except my bowling ball…somehow it went missing and completely missed hitting me!! Never ended up finding it, which was weird and random! The next day, when my wife and I had to go to the collision yard, as my Jeep was a total loss, and the attendant asked about the driver – me. When she said I was okay, he told her that it was not often he’d heard of such a good ending after seeing a car looking as bad as mine.
I did have a concussion and a real nasty whiplash. It took a long while for my neck not to hurt, it has never been the same since and takes constant care to keep it feeling well but I can’t complain. One of the few benefits (if you can call it that) from being in such a situation is that I went to several therapies of deep tissue massages! They were so helpful and felt great. The masseuse was a fearsome lady whose elbow knocked every knot I had into submission. She was great.
When the sessions ended, I would ask my wife at home to use her pointy elbows on me, too! Though I didn’t go to get a professional massage, I knew my wife could help. Her elbows are strong, and did I mention pointy? The only thing is, she’d run out of steam. So, there had to be a better way for me to get the massage I needed at home/by myself. That’s when I came up with the UBALL. It was great, I could just guide the weight of my barbell and receive that constant pressure for a deep tissue massage whenever I wanted. Or, I could put the UBALL on the ground and use my body weight.
I don’t recommend getting into an accident to come up with an invention, but it’s like the saying goes: When life gives you lemons, make lemonade. And, that’s what I did. I do miss my Jeep. It was a lot of fun for the short time we had him (and yes, it was a him!). Though he went down, he protected me to the end. I got a different car after the accident, but hopefully one day I will return to a Jeep J