Hello, hello, hello. Today, while I was out riding my bike — changing myself “one pedal at a time,” haha — I was thinking about how I used to ride a bike as a kid.
Today, I was riding my bike, thinking about how nice the breeze felt, how fast I was going, how it was nice exercise — and “DON’T CRASH, DON’T CRASH, DON’T DIE.” And that last part made me think of how carefree it was to ride a bike as a kid. The only time I thought about crashing was when I was about to. Otherwise, I was just thinking about the next “daring” thing I could do.
And that was childhood for me — knowing I could get hurt but not getting obsessed about it. Not letting the thoughts interfere with the fun. I need to find a nice, central ground now, where I’m not terrified of crashing at every moment and where I’m not so cavalier that I get hit by a car. I’ll get there, I hope.
The worst bike wreck I had as a kid involved the neighbor kid. She was younger than me and really liked me for some reason. She would want to play with me, and of course, being a kid, I didn’t want to play with “that little kid.” It felt like babysitting. Anyway, when I would go out to ride my bike, she would inevitably get hers out to ride too. Well, this led to her riding her bike straight at me. I had to swerve, and I crashed into a power box. The bike hit, and I lurched forward, the handlebars jabbing me in the chest, then the bar hitting me between the legs, then I fell to my left, and I landed on my hand. It all happened in slow motion. I ended up with a broken wrist.
What was interesting — maybe not the right word — about that was that just a few months before, I was over at the same kid’s house — I was there after her mom pretty much guilted me into playing with her kid. The girl and I were playing on her swingset that also hand monkey bars. And I decided to show off on the monkey bars, and I fell off and landed on my right wrist, HARD. I screamed bloody murder — probably scaring the little girl half to death — and her mother came running outside.
Now, her mom was a nurse. And she had me bend my wrist, which I could do, albeit with a ton of pain. “Oh, that’s not broken.” Then, I was in such shock and pain, it didn’t occur to me to go home right away. So, I sat on a swing, holding my arm. Finally, I went home. Guess what? It was broken! Gee golly. Funny thing is, when I crashed my bike, she also came running over to see if was OK. I mean, at least she did that. But this time, she just took me straight to my mom. No diagnosis in the yard this time.
The bike break wasn’t as bad as the monkey bars break (both were greenstick fractures). I had a splint for six weeks, and it was at the end of third grade. Let me tell you how much I milked that at school: A LOT. “Oh, my arm is broken, I can’t write, oh poor me, I can’t do homework.” Hahahaha, oh man. Sorry, everyone who had to deal with me when I broke my arm — or really at any time when I was a kid. I was a brat for sure. I’ll have to talk about how much of one in another post.
Side note: If at any point, you were thinking “Where were Sandy’s parents?” Well, this was 30 years ago — holy crap, IT WAS 30 YEARS AGO — when parents could let their kids play outside without supervision. My dad was probably at work, and my mom was probably inside getting some housework done without having any kids underfoot. That’s just the way it was. I just felt like I needed to point that out.
Until next time!