How To Get Run Over By A Truck by Katie C. MckennaHow To Get Run Over By A Truck by Katie C. Mckenna

How To Get Run Over By A Truck

byKatie C. Mckenna

Paperback | October 4, 2016

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about

People often say, "I feel like I've been run over by a truck." Katie actually was.

On a sunny morning bike ride in Brooklyn, twenty-four-year-old Katie McKenna was forever changed when she was run over by an eighteen-wheeler. Being crushed under a massive semi wasn't something Katie should have survived. After ten hours of emergency surgery, she woke to find herself in a body and a life that would never be the same.

In this brutally honest and surprisingly funny memoir, Katie recalls the pivotal event and the long, confusing road to recovery that followed. Between the unprepared nudity in front of her parents post-surgery, hospital happy hours, and the persistent fear that she would never walk again, Katie details the struggles she's faced navigating her new reality. This inspiring memoir follows Katie's remarkable journey to let go of her old life and fall in love with her new one.
Katie McKenna is a professional fund-raiser and stand-up comedian living in Brooklyn. She runs a blog calledSmall Bites and Little Victoriesand is an expert on the best date spots in New York City.How to Get Run Over by a Truckis her first book.
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Title:How To Get Run Over By A TruckFormat:PaperbackDimensions:294 pages, 8.25 × 5.5 × 0.68 inPublished:October 4, 2016Publisher:InksharesLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1941758983

ISBN - 13:9781941758984

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Reviews

Read from the Book

Chapter OneHow did you survive this?My first recommendation is to ride a bicycle. This is specifically for their fool factor - every time I saw someone riding a bicycle it seemed so innocuous. It was low-impact exercise that was good for you. Lance Armstrong rode a bicycle and he beat like one million kinds of cancer. Does that not promote the idea of health and well-being in regards to the bicycle?I live in Brooklyn and all of the hipsters ride bicycles: they have messenger bags and wear vintage glasses and they make riding over the Williamsburg Bridge look cool and sweat free. I thought that if those pasty skinned music lovers could handle riding their bikes in Brooklyn so could I. I mean hello! I was an All County Track Champion in high school, I am completely jacked and awesome. I knew I could own that bicycle. I'm not just talking about owning it in the actual "I purchased it kind of way"--I mean own it in the frat boy way, e.g., "we totally owned that keg last night." That was the way I was going to own that bicycle.I actually did, for almost a year. I rode my bike for errands, I rode my bike to work, I rode my bike to my friends' apartments in the neighborhood, locking it to stop signs and feeling eco-conscious and thoughtful. In the summer I even took myself on romantic bike rides-and let me tell you that bicycle had moves. Stopping in McCarren Park at twilight made me feel like I was in a foreign film sitting on a park bench drinking wine in a black beret and a scarf, when I was in fact sitting on patchy brown grass, wearing sports shorts and running sneakers and drinking a Bud Light Tall Boy in a brown paper bag.When I woke up early on October 2nd, the day that I got run over by a truck, I won't tell you that I had a premonition, or that there was a hand on my shoulder that told me to not go out that day - because that would be untrue. But I did get the feeling that someone was trying to tell me something I obviously had no interest in hearing. These were my signs from God: 1. My bike tires were flat; 2. I almost fell down the stairs trying to get my bike out of the apartment; and - most important - 3. I did not wear any underwear.Most lazy twenty-four-year-old people when faced with the fact that the tires on their bike are flat would say, "Fuck it, I'm not going to bother." Nope not me, not Katie can-do, I was like, "I'll fill up my tires and get in a workout - this is going to be the best morning ever!"Then my bike tried to attack me as I took it down the stairs. We got out of the door just fine, but as we went down the stairs the bike started to bend and fold as if it was trying to fight me to get back into the apartment. I should have seen it as a cry for help. Bob the Bike knew more than I did - he didn't want to die either. He was trying to stop me, but I wasn't listening. I wanted to be thin, to get that endorphin rush, and on top of that I wanted to see the sunrise - I wanted it all.As a child I was told to always wear clean underwear, the reasoning being, "What if you get into an accident." This didn't make sense to me because I had always assumed that if I got into an accident I would wind up peeing my pants. But because I was a good girl I wore clean underwear none the less. I had made a conscious choice to not wear underwear that day and by doing that I now believe I locked in my fate; my accident was bound to happen.Before I continue, I need to make one point about this whole underwear thing - I had just gotten up, underwear free, and the idea of putting on a beautifully pristine pair of undies just to get them dirty made no sense to me. I had thought that on this point God and I were on the same page.I was mistaken.I went outside and it was an unbelievably beautiful day - there was the smell of fall in the air, the sky was a deep blue - and there was no one on the streets. The morning felt like keeping a secret; it was dark, quiet and gave me shivers. The leaves on the few trees that had survived the urban sprawl on my block were starting to turn a golden yellow. Fall has always been my favorite season, a time of new beginnings, a new year of school, a new fall jacket-a chance to start over again. It made me hopeful. I walked my bike up one block and over another to the Hess station on the corner of Metropolitan and Humbolt. I had a quarter tucked into my sock to pay for the air I was going to pump into Bob the Bike's tires. I have always felt satisfied when I fixed a problem - no matter how small. That morning I looked at my fully pumped tire and felt unnecessarily proud of myself. I was ready.It was 6:15 by now, and I was riding down Metropolitan without much of a plan, I just knew I wanted to ride for forty-five minutes, and to discover the neighborhood. My roommates and I had just moved into a new apartment in Williamsburg. In the most classic of New York real estate scams, our Mafia-esque landlords (I am talking gold chains nestled in a tuft of chest hair and Fila velour track suits) had told us that our old building was being sold, and that we had to move out in a month. In actuality the building was not being sold, they were just bringing in people who would pay more rent. We moved about ten blocks away, further from the sweet Italian neighborhood that we had been living in and closer to the industrial part of Williamsburg.I actually liked that we lived closer to where the factories were. I thought that it was cool to be able to live in a place that was a little less gentrified, a little grittier. I loved being able to see dirty New York, the New York that had frightened me as a little kid. When I was a small girl I was so afraid of the big bad dirty city that when my mom and I came in from Long Island to see Peter Pan on Broadway, I made her leave during intermission. Now that I was a big girl, I was proud and happy to not be that scared anymore.This morning I rode past the furniture outlets and the mattress factories, past the abandoned brick buildings with the painted names of the past tenants chipping off their brick façades. I wanted to take it all in, I was feeling good. I was forgetting about the fight that I had with my boyfriend the night before, I was sweating off my nerves about work, the world felt big, and I felt small and that was a very good thing.The sun was starting to rise over the low buildings on Vandervoort Avenue as I was about half an hour deep into my workout, and I thought that watching the sunrise as I rode out the last fifteen minutes would be perfect. I wanted to take this morning and make it mine. I wanted to see something beautiful and then be able to keep it in my pocket all day. It was my secret to keep.I stopped at the red light on the corner of Maspeth and Vandervoort. I looked back at the car behind me, a black Mazda sedan, and I waved at the driver and pointed to the right, letting them know which way I was turning. The truck that was next to me didn't have its indicator on, so I assumed the driver was going straight. Just in case he wasn't, I waved in his side mirror anyway. I pointed to myself and then I pointed to the right. I always communicated with truck drivers via their side view mirrors. I spent a lot of time behind trucks on interstate 80 on my trips from college in Ohio back to my home in New York. Every one of their signs specifically said "IF YOU CAN'T SEE MY MIRRORS, I CAN'T SEE YOU." My assumption was that the opposite was also true - If you can see my mirrors, than I can see you. Another complete misconception.When the light turned green, I pushed my feet off of the asphalt and put them on my pedals. I took my right turn wide and easy, without a thought about the sixteen-wheel vehicle on my left - because it wasn't turning, and for that matter the Mazda wasn't either-I thought I had tons of room.I didn't.The truck hadn't seen my very clear indication that I was going to turn right. He hadn't seen me at all. He didn't see my metallic blue bicycle, with the red writing on it. He didn't see the long sleeve t-shirt that I was wearing - the one that I got from running a 5K for a fallen Army Ranger. He also didn't see the Pi Phi t-shirt I had on under that one, the one that we got made for our spring formal. He didn't see any part of me. All he saw was a green light, and he turned.The last thing I remember before being actually run over was the hollow sound of my fist banging on the side of the truck, and then I felt as though I was tumbling. I don't know where my bike went, I knew I was on the road, and there was this moment when I thought - "Am I in an action movie? This is the kind of shit that happens in action movies. What would Bruce Willis do? What can I do to I stop this?!?"The answer was nothing. There was nothing that I could do.Before I even really realized what was happening, I felt this pressure and I heard cracking. The realization that the cracking was my bones shocked me. I felt the first four wheels of the truck run over my body. I didn't have the time to process the pain, all that I could think was, "Sweet Jesus, please let this man stop before the second set of wheels comes for me.""No, no, no, please God no" - was what I remember shrieking before the second set came for my already crushed middle.This time as the wheels came I kept my eyes open. I watched as these giant wheels ran over my body. I heard more cracking and I felt the grooves in the tires. I heard the mud flaps thwack over me. I felt gravel in my back. I felt like a sparrow who had lingered too long in the road. I was suddenly every slow bird, every irresponsible squirrel, every wayward dog that the driver didn't see, who just wasn't fast enough.

Editorial Reviews

"McKenna brings terrific humor and soul to her story." -Newsday "One of the funniest, bravest memoirs I've ever read. I think we all wonder what would happen if we had to start over. Here is how one woman did it-rebuilding her body and life by force of will and personality. It reminded me how humor truly is an act of grace." -John Freeman, editor of Freeman's and author of How to Read a Novelist "Despite its name, [McKenna's memoir] is a laugh riot voyage through getting run over by a truck, recovering, living, loving..." -Gersh Kuntzman, New York Daily News columnist "Katie McKenna shares the story of her accident with humor, love, bravery, and strength. Your heart will explode for Katie - and for yourself." -Raydene Salinas, New York Magazine "Katie McKenna's beautiful, wrenching memoir reduced me to actual tears-and then, slowly, left me with a broad smile and a growing sense of wonder. This book starts out as the story of an accident, but it becomes a meditation on the preciousness of life, and the long road we all travel to become ourselves." -Jennifer Finney Boylan, author of She's Not There and Stuck in the Middle with You "Fascinating, inspirational, and actually quite educational about what happens after an accident. I couldn't put it down. Katie writes with such humor as well. She is a great example of strength for all of us. I would highly recommend this as a gift for someone going through a hard time." -Amy Newmark, author, editor, and publisher of Chicken Soup for the Soul "At times visceral and horrifying, at times heartbreaking and healing, and at times hilarious, McKenna's memoir is a testament to the incredible resilience of the human spirit coming up against a crushing blow." -Hilary Angus, Managing Editor of Momentum Mag "...Unflinchingly honest, at times dark, and yet surprisingly funny - a delight to read." -Michael J. O'Loughlin, author of The Tweetable Pope: A Spiritual Revolution in 140 Characters "Incredibly moving and insightful. This book should be required reading for all professionals who work in the field of medical trauma and rehabilitation." -Leo J. Shea III, Ph.D., Clinical Associate Professor Of Rehabilitation Medicine NYU-Langone Medical Center "Gripping, honest and full of humor, I couldn't put How to Get Run Over by a Truck down. At times I felt like I was listening to Katie recount her story as we shared a glass of wine, as it was incredibly personal and very real." -Sarah Lowell Harmon, LMHC, Wentworth Institute of Technology