The day after I wrote this post, while out riding in North Carolina, I over shot a turn, ran off the road and fell off my motorcycle. Now, I didn’t crash the bike, I came to a stop across an uphill incline and couldn’t hold it up.
Rattled and frustrated, I wiggled myself out from underneath the massive machine. My fellow riders, scared out of their wits, pulled over. After they lifted up my bike and checked to see if I was okay, they stared at me. I felt I’d ruined everyone’s day.
But even with a sprained ankle and twisted knee, all I wanted to do was get back on and finish the ride. Despite a loss of confidence, I managed some of the toughest twists and turns of the Blue Ridge Mountains.
|Confession: I did cry when I called Daniel during lunch|
Over the last two weeks, in slow motion, I’ve relived every moment of my fall. I started to question my need to wrestle fear to the ground. I wondered if maybe I shouldn’t retreat to a rocking chair and take up some gentler hobbies.
For some reason, I’m wired to push the boundaries of my physical capacities. I hate to be left behind. I hate to miss out on what everyone else is doing. And I never want to come in last.
|Some of the roads we traveled|
But maybe it’s time to reevaluate some things.
So after some serious introspection, I’ve come to the following conclusions:
1. I need to better understand what I’m able to do. So maybe I ride motorcycles, but I put in more riding time before conquering roads like the Blue Ridge Parkway. And when I do attempt those roads again, I allow myself the permission to fall back from the crowd. I don’t always have to keep up.
|I made all 290 of those turns|
2. Fear is my biggest enemy. Knowing that tends to cause me to ignore fears I should pay attention to. I can allow myself to forego an adventure if I’m afraid. It’s not a testimony to a weakness if I just say, “I’m scared.” People will still like me even if I don’t go along.
3. I’m too focused on being a burden to others. I underestimate my family and friends devotion to me. Just because I stumble, or fall down, doesn’t mean I ruin everyone’s day. My loved ones adore me even when I come up short. And that’s a fact I can grow old with.