Captain Fall Damage: Origins
By: Humble Misty | : 710 : 2
Through Captain Fall Damage’s (Foghladha) adventures in his life, he has learned his limits, except in game, where it hurts a little less. My first experience in World vs. World with Fog confirmed it. He said, "Just follow me, Ma.” Yeah, that really worked. Fog and his followers rescued and revived me numerous times. As the terrain became more familiar, I learned to look before I leaped. I loved following Fog and enjoyed his strategy and antics. This actually brings back many memories of when he was young.
Where did “Captain Fall Damage” come from? What caused him to leap from great heights and send his followers to their deaths? In game, this is so fun, but for his parents, in real life, it was a trial. Despite that, it was entertaining to see him grow into a great person.
I’ll reveal, chronologically, what I remember of Fog’s childhood antics and where he developed his desire for thrills. Admittedly, when looking through my childhood pictures, there were a few of me on top of ladders holding my cat, Tommy. More pictures revealed Ma Fog on hoods of cars, in trees, on top of rocks, mountains and anywhere else high that I could reach. Do you think this type of stuff is genetic? I’m sure it is…. These are stories I still remember and, hopefully, I remember them correctly.
It started early for Fog. The little guy never crawled. He went from rolling to pulling himself up, then walking and finally climbing onto things. The first incident I still recollect was when Fog was about six or seven months old. As a busy mom of two children under two years old, there were times that I would leave them alone for just a few minutes. You know, to get something I forgot in the other room. This one time, just leaving to retrieve something, little Fog was sitting on the floor playing drums with the pots, pans, and wooden spoons. Fog’s big sister decided to be helpful and pushed a chair over next to the counter. When I came back into the room, Fog was standing on the counter playing with the glasses on the shelf. At that moment, I knew raising him was going to be a challenge. He smiled and jumped into my arms. He definitely thought it was fun! Fog loved to climb and got his thrills at a very young age by being as high up as possible.
From that time until he began walking, I found him pulling himself up on coffee tables or sofas and climbing out of his crib. I would hear many “thuds” in the middle of the night as he came crawling to our room. He always had this cute, devious smile. It was as if he was saying, “Are you ready for this? Watch out, here I come!” or, “You won’t see this coming, Ma!” He became very proficient at running. Fog was fearless as a child. Ladders, slides, car hoods, trees had no boundaries. It was a 24/7 job keeping him reined in.
Bane of Babysitters
One of the funniest memories I was told by family entailed a sleepover with extended family for Fog and his sister. I think he was about four years old. One weekend, his Dad and I had a conference to attend. His aunt and uncle took Fog and his sister to the park. Low and behold - Fog went missing! I did leave instructions: “If you lose sight of him, look up!” His aunt did just that, and there the little stinker was, watching some mean-looking adults playing basketball from the backstop. I’m sure the players wanted their basket back and were quite upset at this little boy. Yup - he had climbed up the poles and was standing at the top of the backstop. His aunt, not wanting to claim she was the one taking care of him, yelled, “ Little boy, you better get down from there!” We laugh about it now, but I’m sure it was very scary for her then.
Fog’s fearlessness was very frustrating and funny at the same time. Grandpa “Gpa” Fog and I decided to take an annual winter vacation with the kids. Fog was about five when Gpa started the tradition. Every winter, we would take the kids out of school and go skiing at Lake Tahoe. We put Fog and his sister in a class since Gpa Fog and I were also taking a class. We were going to learn this skiing thing together. As I got older, I developed a fear of speed and heights, so I stayed on the bunny slopes. Fog, on the other hand, was doing so well that the instructor bumped him up to the higher level class. The teacher took him up the bigger slope and told his students to zig and zag down the slope to stay in control. Fog asked, “Why?” He bent his knees, squatted, and went flying down the hill. As he passed us, we yelled at him to slow down. He did a fast stop and started skiing backwards slowly and again asked, “Why do I have to go slow? I know how to stop.” This went on for years, and as I was still skiing the bunny slopes, Fog would go up and down the hill and pass me six times before I reached the bottom.
By the age of six years, Fog tried the impossible and made it possible. He and his sister scared the babysitter to death. We got a call from her saying, “I can’t find them anywhere!” Being a young teen, the sitter was in tears and figured we would never hire her again. By this time, I asked my usual question, “Did you look up?” Yup there the two kids were: they shimmied up the hallway walls and were up on the ceiling, giggling away. Now I had two daredevils in the family.Thanks, Fog. I still don’t know how they figured these ideas out, but the two of them learned quickly how to scare the spit out of the sitters.
On a Crash Course
Through the next two years, everything seemed exciting with this adventurer of mine. I remember a little overpass walkway to the park. It was by our house, and Fog would ride his big-wheel down the ramp and fly off the end, usually running into the sand at the pile. I think he did the same with our wagon and his old Schwinn bicycle, too. At this time in Fog’s life, he went down an excessive number of slides, ramps, and anything else that would launch him into the air. I patched him up with an abundance of Band-Aids and gauze. Fog’s Dad and I made jokes about wanting to buy stock in the first aid companies to get rich quick. These daring feats of craziness became more and more advanced as he grew.
Another time, I went to visit someone and left Fog and his sister at home. I get a call from my daughter, who cried, “Mom, he’s gonna jump! He’s really going to jump!!!” Yup, Fog had found the roof of the house. He figured out how to climb up there and then would jump and roll off onto the concrete. I do think his mastery of this was a result of his Aikido training a few years earlier. His teacher showed the class how to jump and roll--on a padded mat, of course. Fog figured it could also work off the mat and tested it from our rooftop. Around this time, the name “Captain Fall Damage” was coined. Fog didn’t defy gravity, he simply ignored it. The funny thing is, in fourth grade, Fog won an award for being the “Most likely to fall out of his chair.” Our neighborhood was full of characters who would cheer Fog on and give him bigger and even more insane ideas. A few of the fellows living in our neighborhood were Tony Hawk and the Bones Brigade living in our neighborhood. He gave Captain Fall Damage ideas on how to skateboard. There were many times I ended up picking gravel out of his face, arms and knees when he tried to become another “Tony Hawk”.
Trying the “Right” Way
Around this same time, Fog became a Boy Scout. It was a “High Adventure Troop,” with climbs to The Pinnacles and hikes each month. One thing that was relayed to both Gpa Fog and I was his first experience with rappelling. The troop went to the Pinnacles National Park to learn this skill. It was Captain Fall Damage’s turn to rappe, and the Scoutmaster kept yelling, “Lean back, lean back!” He leaned back all right - until the point he smacked his head on a rock and had to sit out. I think this was the first time Captain Fall Damage got a fear of very, very high heights.
Finding the “Right” Way
It wasn't until Christian camp where he actually learned how to rappel the correct way. Fog never gave up. He always took the opportunity to try again. In fact, later down his road to adventure, Fog went to church camp at Hume Lake. This particular day, they had a climbing wall event, racing the instructor up and down the wall. Fog’s Dad was told later that Fog had just beaten the instructor on the climbing wall during a race. The instructor said that he had never seen anyone go so fast up and down a wall before. Speed was always in Fog’s favor. He was the little guy that got picked on, so running fast was imperative.
New Found Adrenaline
When Fog was in junior high, we had an exchange student from Germany who wanted to come here to play “American Football.” This junior in high school came to stay with us for a year and gave Fog the football bug. Once Fog started playing football, he loved jumping over his teammates and averting tackles. This became his adrenaline rush sport. Fog loved challenges and tried many different kinds of sports and challenging activities. Anything that included running, jumping, or being crazy, Fog did it. Besides football, I remember pulley jumps into the lake, bungee jumping, and climbing walls. And yes, rooftops were still very popular.
Fog wasn’t one to stay still, especially if we had to wait for a seat at one of our favorite restaurants, Baker’s Square. The building had rock walls. Yes, he climbed them while waiting for a seat. That never got old either. All the way through life, if there has been a way to climb, he’s done it.
As he got into high school, the craziness continued. There was always something fun to do at school, youth group, and friend parties. He kept up with football, climbing, skateboarding, rollerblading, bicycling and swimming. His antics in the pool were the funniest. One time, there was a belly flop contest from the high dive. Guess who won? Of course, it was Fog. I remember cringing just thinking about it. He came home with a red belly that day and, at first, I thought it was a sunburn. “No Ma, I won the belly flop contest,” he grinned.
The key here is if someone told Captain Fall Damage it couldn’t be done, he would try until he found a way just to prove that person wrong. This wasn’t just in sports. It was also in his job, as a dad and husband. When life was against him, he never gave up. As a child, it took encouragement, but his grandma would tell him, “Anything you put your mind to, you can do!” Little did she know how vivid his imagination was!
Now, Captain Fall Damage is our leader in many events and games. We even hold some events just to watch Fog get led off cliffs. At one point, he made a video of his jumping and dedicated it to me, Gma Fog, or Ma, as he calls me. Even through all the hard times in our family’s lives, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It is what made us all what we are today.
Published: March 29th, 2016
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