December 8, 2013: Crashing

You’re riding through the desert and on top of the world.

Everything is going perfect. You feel at one with the bike. The air is crisp and cool and you revel in the understanding that you are having an experience that very few will ever understand. You hammer away at the pedals, up and down the desert hills. Nothing can stop you as you climb up the rocks and then plummet down one rocky slide after another.

You are going so fast that you barely have time to think. But that’s ok. You can do this. You can leave everyone and everything behind in the dust. Nothing can stop you today. You are alive and don’t think twice about the dangers of the terrain.

Then you round a corner and right before your eyes is a big drop, a chasm.

It’s ok, you tell yourself. I can handle this.

You focus and try to do everything right. You bend your arms and push back on the seat. You pick out a line down the rocky trail and follow your front wheel.

You’re doing it. You are going to make it. Your heart is beating like crazy. But you believe you can do this. You muscle your handlebars in the right direction to stay upright. You almost make it down.

And then, you see the rock sticking straight up a split second before you hit it.

You feel your body go up and over the handlebars. You’re frozen, flying through the air straight at the rocks.

You hit. You feel your flesh being scraped off and bones breaking. You tumble over and over again, not even seeing where your bike went. It feels like forever, but you eventually stop moving.

You stare at the sky and feel nothing but pain, and you wonder how you could let yourself believe that you could do this.

You turn over in your little bed in your new room and see that its only one in the morning.

And you know that it will be yet one more night that you will not sleep.

And you wonder how long it will take your wounds to heal, and if you will ever want to ride again.


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