Safety Clinic May 2011

Safety Clinic May 2011Hollister Hills SVRA Everyone was there (pretty much)

I took Friday off so I could enjoy the sunshine and dirt of Hollister before the clinic. I rolled down to Hollister by around 11am. Darell, Robert, Ashley, Brian, and I went out to finish marking the trails in the early afternoon. I jumped in and out of Brian's jeep all day long with out a glitch. Half way through marking, Brian and I switched. He was kind enough to let me drive his jeep and he jumped in and out hammering the markers into the ground.

Friday afternoon, Myself, Gary, Greg, and Brian went the old O course to play around. I needed to see how my new axles, brakes, and suspension was working to make sure no lines were stretched and that everything would checkout for trail leading on Saturday. We had some fun playing around. We got air under all four tires of Brian's jeep. We got Gary hung up on some logs for a good 20min. And I got to stretch my new axles out and make sure 4 wheel drive worked.

Friday night rolled around and I found myself going to Grillin' & Chillin' with Tom, Andy, and Ellen. We had a great dinner. My sober mind realizes I owe them each 2+ dollars for the balance of my bill. (Sorry, by Friday night my math skills weren't working too well).

Saturday clinic started early. Everyone jumped into action and the well oiled machine was moving full steam ahead by 7:30am. I spent the morning doing Safety Inspections and parked my jeep at the front of the Yellow line.

After the students had been shuttled off to the classroom I decided to prep my jeep for the day. As I aired down my driverside front tire I noticed some bolts seemed like they were backed out of my hub. Well, sure enough the entire hub was loose. Upon some disassembly, it was clear that every single bolt in the hub had sheered in half, nothing was holding the hub on. Thankfully, I had a drill and bits, Tom had easy outs, and we got 4 of the 5 broken bolts out of the hub. I even had some WARN hub studs thanks to Jay from a few months earlier. Tom and I swapped in those studs, bolted the hub back together and I was good to go for trail lead all before the students even came back. Little did I know that fixing my jeep might not be such a good idea.

We had a nice lunch and then headed out to the O Course. I was trail lead for the yellow group, a group that besides myself and mid-gunner was completely comprised of Toyotas. I demoed the Frame Twister to the students and then proceeded to park my jeep. Upon parking my jeep I jumped down to jog back to the Obstacle and watch/ take pictures of the students running through it. Well... I didn't make it. As soon as I jumped out of my jeep I landed on the ridge of one of those dried ruts and my ankle rolled over and make a nice 'pop' Needless to say, I crumpled. First aid was not far away, Michael (one of the students) grabbed ice, and I told him where my first aid kit was with my ace bandage. (Good teaching moment as to why we pack first aid kits). I sat for about 20min icing my ankle then decided the show must go on. I tightened my boot tight and led the group over to the stair step.

I led my yellow group for about 2-3 more hours until we came down to Area 5. At that point, my ankle was throbbing and Robert and Ashley had kindly volunteered to bail me out and take over as trail lead.

A huge thank you to Mike Sickles for the Advil (I owe you a new bottle), Darell for the beer, and Jim for the shot of Jameson. The club really came to my aid and even helped me load up my jeep and truck.

I had a great dinner and chatted with folks a bit more. It then became clear to me (finally) that I wasn't going to be jeeping Sunday now that I hurt my ankle. The Advil and alcohol was wearing off and it occurred to me that sleeping in my bed at home was going to be much better then waking up with a stiff ankle at Hollister the next morning. I quickly gathered my things, and left around 8pm.

Sunday at 11am I got an x-ray and the saw the doc. Nothing appears to be broken. She said it looks like I tore a tendon, but probably no surgery. As of today I am slightly walking on it. It is still hugely swollen, nice black, blue, red, purple, green, blue colors. But I should be fine.

"almost" Lastly, I want to say I am very blessed (lucky) to be part of a such an amazing club, with amazing people. Sitting back and watching clinic "happen" is a sight to see. Everybody gives so much, and everything is down with such care and passion. Despite all of the work going on, people were still willing to help me out when needed. My friend Jarrett who came down for the day to be my co-pilot was blown away by effort, organization, and execution of the clinic. He works with a lot of volunteer organizations and was very impressed by the scope of our clinic.

My apologies for hurting myself and not being able to be a better part of the after clinic ED4 hospitality. I would have loved to talk to more of the students and been a part of their checkout process and personally welcomed them to join our club. That said, I know everyone else in the club was able to do that.

I am very lucky to be president of such a great club, you all make it easy.

Thank you, CJ Arnesen