I believe in caution

Steven - Rexburg, Idaho
Entered on April 8, 2008
Age Group: 18 - 30

It all started on a care free summer day while riding my bike. Eighth grade has ended three weeks ago and the prospect of two more months of summer freedom seems great. The sun feels warm, the wind whips through my hair as the sweet smell of freshly cut grass reaches my nose, and light clouds bring occasional shade from the bright day. My heart beats quickly as I gasp for air, having just climbed and conquered another hill. I hear the hum grow louder as I crest the hill and anticipate the downward decent. I speed past a car, which is probably going the speed limit; perhaps a little faster. Cruising quickly down hills like this one on days like today puts me on top of my world.

The wind in my hair feels much too nice to wear a helmet. The road flashing by creates too much excitement to even think about slowing down. A car pulls out of a driveway in front of me; apparently it hasn’t noticed me because I have to swerve away from it. “Yehaw” is the phrase I think to myself, I love the feeling I get after a near miss. Almost getting hurt has happened so many times that I don’t actually consider it as a possibility anymore.

My eyes focus on the upcoming intersection. I can’t see around the corner but I memory tells me this intersection rarely has traffic. My body is poised, I have decided to risk cutting the corner knowing I won’t have to slow down if I make a wider turn. There probably aren’t any cars around this blind curve, although the familiar feelings of nervous anxiety are pulsing through me. I love these feelings.

Like an Indi Car Racer I know how my equipment will respond, and push it to the limit. I execute my maneuver at the right moment swerving from one side of the road towards the pointed edge of the corner, to maximize speed. As I draw nearer the building on the corner my view starts widening. Like the sun coming over the horizon I begin to see an unforeseen obstacle. I realize it is much too late to slow down or turn. Reality catches up with me real quick as I crash into a car then fly through the air. The realization hits me; I’m not superman after all. I hit the ground hard, just as hard is the fact that I didn’t get lucky this time. It hurts!

Kryptonite wasn’t my demise, my own stupidity and foolishness became my down fall. My broken leg really slowed me down. The rest of the summer was spent reading books and watching movies. Instead of feeling adrenalin and staying healthy I spent it wishing I could walk.

I am more cautious now but I still feel adrenalin every time I ride, helmets are beautiful things.