Scratches and Crashes


April 2, 2009...

Yesterday, I crashed. On my bike.

For anybody who has ever taken a nose dive on a two-wheeler, it can hurt. In 4th grade, I took a dive so hard I chipped my front tooth, and have been the not-so-proud wearer of a crown ever since. You would think, though, at age 46 I am through with all my crashes.

But I'm not. Life just doesn't work that way.

To begin with, this was 100% my mistake. It was one of those momentary lapses in good judgment that ended up costing me. Let me give you a quick scenario:

I had some library books and a laptop computer strung over my left shoulder in a strapped carry bag. (Coincidently, the five books I was carrying were all about touring on a bicycle! That's what I get for skipping the "Safety" chapters!). At first, there were no worries riding and handling the awkward and heavy pack. No worries until I had to brake hard. 

Then...well...things didn't go so well.

My bag flew over my shoulder and smashed violently into my front wheel. I went down hard. I got up quickly to show myself just how tough I was...and more not be seen by any passerby's wondering if this was my first day riding. I was in the clear.

With bike rolling a bit rougher and me pretending my skin didn't sting, I headed back home and dug out my computer. Uh oh...a problem. My laptop evidently hadn't fared so well. The hard crash seemed to have...well...caused quite a dizzying effect for my computer's hard drive brain because it was having a very hard time remembering what to do.

I will get over my scratches...and the crash...but its memory will stick with me for awhile. My aches and pains are bound to last more than a day...and well...the laptop...that could be a more permanent issue.

But I did learn my lesson about carrying books and a computer on my back, and I'll move on quickly. Sure it stung in more ways than one for a moment, but if I allowed it to sting any longer than that...then I would be doing myself a disservice. When we let the small defeats in life...the scratches and crashes...wing us for too long, we lose our confidence in getting back on and pedaling hard in life.

So guess what I did today? I rode again. Different bike...but I am still pedaling.

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Shawn Anderson                                                 (310) 402-4826