November 17, 2022

Ride Like a Girl: Bumps and Bruises

Wrecks happen.

Shake it off.

Clean it up.

Slap a Band-Aid on it.

Tend to yourself.

Get back on.

That’s probably the best lesson I’ve learned. There are always bumps. There are always snags. There are bruises. There are scars. Sometimes it hurts - really bad. Sometimes when it happens it’s embarrassing, but we’ve all been there. And, sometimes you never truly get over it no matter how hard you try. That’s just what’s up.

Crying until snot bubbles come out your nose is often imperative. You can’t leave a gaping hole open without stitches. You have to put ice on that goose egg. You have to take care of it. You have to pour the alcohol that burns so bad it makes you start crying all over again - sometimes over and over until you get to the infection. And then, so it doesn’t own you, you gotta figure out how to deal with it and get back on. I won’t lie. That first ride after a hard fall feels like is the worst - at least in your head, but it gets easier every pedal after the first few.

The trail is never truly straight. And, OH MY GOSH how boring it would be if it were. The bumps and bruises help us learn. They are just part of the process.  That is life.

Riding a bike in and of itself is hard. Climbing a nasty hill brings us closer to the hardest part of being ourselves - the wanting to give up part of yourself. And sometimes, you just have to. Some days are just like that. That’s okay. BUT, you also have to come back and try again - maybe show up with a different plan - maybe just try the same thing again and again until you get it right - how about that root step on the Drive by Trucker my MTB ladies? Y’all feel me, right?

When you fall down you have to get back on. That voice that wants to be mad and give up can’t be in control - because once it is, it wants to stay in power. Even if it takes you time to heal up, mend and regroup, somewhere along the way if you don’t get back on the adventure gets lost. The further away from it you get, the harder it is to come back to.

Trust me. I’ve been there. I know. You should currently see the state of my knees and shins - on both legs. 😳

Find friends to ride with. People who ride at your level and people who ride just beyond it so there’s room to grow. Put yourself out there. It’s worth it. Find friends who call you and beg you to ride with them regularly - even though they know you can’t - at least not yet because you’re still sore or because you’ve got to take your kid to dance practice or a soccer game. Those are the most important friends to have. The ones who hold you accountable to keep pedaling - to stay on the bike.

One of my favorite poets, Khalil Gibran said, “Out of the suffering have emerged the strongest souls; the most massive characters are seared with scars.” I’m going to keep telling myself every time I look at the gross scabs on both of my knees that I too am a strong soul and that I have got this. You do too.