if nothing ever happens to me, then nothing will ever happen to me.
Dory from Finding Nemo – paraphrase
“she kept telling me to relax!” I say to my massage therapist recounting a massage I had at a local day spa a couple of weeks ago…while at the same time leaning into her hands, kneading my tangled shoulders.
“she doesn’t know you, does she?”
“yeah, I’m a bit nervous all the time, huh? she wasn’t used to me like you are.”
she chuckles. “what you, nervous, I had no idea!”
“uh huh. I’m still working on that. clearly.” returning my attention to the table. to the present. willing my crabby shoulders to let go. they have been cinched tight since 2006, when I could no longer ignore the fact that I needed to see a chiropractor.
relax. unravel. not feel responsible for everything.
after a few sessions, my new chiropractor picked up on my nervous energy, and graciously handed me The Secret DVD. she said, “watch this, and watch it often.”
it was back then when I started to realize that I was definitely on the wrong trajectory for happiness; my high anxiety MO was showing up in my back. it still likes to make an appearance sometimes, unfortunately. why is the eternal question! because I let it. easy answer. hard to overcome.
fast forward five years. I’m doing better. I think. this year has been a doozy for my fears and stressors. and not just with MS showing up for me. for everyone. bad things can and do happen to good people. and for no apparent reason. that is life. and it is what it is. huh.
yesterday, I ate dirt. literally.
I thought I was in control, but I wasn’t. and gravity took over. and I released myself to what is.
I fell off my bike. for the first time in 24 years. yeah, I’ll say it: I’m not much of a risk-taker. period. shocker, I know.
I have been so caught up in being in total control, that I always make sure that I won’t fall. ever. by riding slowly. and only on roads that I know. braking carefully. and at the right time.
sidebar>>I biked 32.5 miles in 2010. for MS.
now I get why my husband was so eager to get me on a mountain bike. ha! riding off-road is a different matter. completely.
I hated it when we first climbed off-road and rolled down a gentle bunny slope. there was little I could do to control what my bike did. or so it felt. I was in full-fledged terror of flying over the handle-bars. but I still got on the bike. again. and again. I knew there was a greater lesson I had to learn. so I took it easy. learning what terrain is treacherous. how my tires like to spin in the sand. how to work my gears. how to brake gently if I picked up too much speed going downhill. or jumping off when it gets too scary. how to relax my arms, and feel the trail. and mark my line ten yards ahead.
we ventured on a new trail yesterday with one of our Chicago buddies. it was beautiful! for the first time (well, maybe the third time), I felt comfortable riding into the unknown. and I just let my bike roll. but as we cornered an ancient copper pond with the track becoming increasingly narrow, it was then that I knew I was going to fall. not yet though. but the thought was already there (funny how that happens, eh?)…
I manage to jump off my bike narrowly missing a plunge in the pool of slimy goop. My husband turns around and shouts, “what, you guys followed me!?” incredulous. I opt to back up my bike and return to flat ground. phew! our other riding buddy continues forward.
once both guys have circled around, we make our way back to the wider trail only to find ourselves riding through water and a thick mud. so far so good. after a slow mud splattered quarter of a mile I hear my hub, up ahead 50 feet, say “uh oh,” as the front end of our mini-peloton tries to pedal through four inches of swollen mud. I pause as I watch my husband and our buddy in front of me veer to the right…and follow suit. but then my tires lose all traction and start to slide. I stand up on my pedals to push them harder, but it’s too late. I am going over. and over I go – right into a thick bed of mud bathed in slimy water. I land hard on my right side. with my bike on top. like a newbie, I don’t follow the rules in situations like this and hang on to my handle-bars. the guys, used to my normal squeals know this one is legitimate. they both toss their bikes aside and bound over. to find me lying in the muddy water. perfect.
“are you okay?” my husband asks after pulling my bike off me. he extends his hand to pull me out of the muck.
I laugh. I can’t help it. “yep. it’s all good. I can’t believe I just fell off my bike!” I say in awe, as I feel the water and mud seeping through my clothes. I survey the damage: gloves, sweatshirt, bike shorts, leggings…everything is covered in sloppy mud. I faintly recollect 3rd grade, when I slipped into a puddle of muddy water. and had to return to class. dripping in mud. in front of everyone. one of my fondest memories. a mild burning sensation starts to surface on my right thigh. I taste mud in my mouth. and spit a couple of times. shooing away the thought of an impending bacterial infection. I hop away feeling the pain start in my right knee, as gracefully as possible…only to hop into three inches of mud again. both feet.
nature just won. I pull up my right shorts leg, to find a bloody scrape. on the opposite knee that I scraped 24 years ago in my last bike crash. go figure.
knee and bum are still sore. but I will get back on my bike again. and with less fear than before. because I have finally fallen off my mountain bike and didn’t die. check that off my list. yeah!
my husband came home from a ride with one of his buddies this morning, “I fell in the first five minutes, but unfortunately didn’t land in a nice muddy patch like you did.”
he shows me his banged up, bloodied knee. 😦
“oh, no, are you ok??” I ask, immediately feeling quite sheepish for my amazement of surviving yesterday’s fall.
shite happens. it’s how you react to it that makes all the difference.
though, despite my hub’s worse fall, I’m still proud of my scrape and banged up knee that is slowly turning green and purple. finally I have a match for all my injection bruises. yeah! 😉
side bar>>>my iPhone also survived a plunk in the muddy water!