How I Learned Mortality

November 2, 2010 by Rieshy

During middle school I received a speedometer as a gift for my 10 speed.  Yes, that was back when you proudly referred to your bike as, "my 10 speed," in order to differentiate yourself from the hoi polloi who were still riding around on bannana seated bikes with flags flying off the back post. 

I did what any self respecting, immortal, new owner of a speedometer would do.  I rode my bike at top speed to the top of the longest, steepest hill I knew of.  It happened to be the campus entrance to a graduate school.  The graduate school being at the bottom of the hill with the entry drive curving gently around into a parking lot.

That's when I learned that roads that gently curve at 15-20 mph actually come to a dead end when you are going + 55 mph.  To say that my life flashed before my eyes would be a lie.  The only thought in my mind after, "Wow, I just hit 50," was, "Stupid, stupid, stupid."

Thankfully my stop, which involved the destruction of some lawn, low growing bushes, and a fair amount of exposed skin was not-witnessed by any adult, and I was able to limp home.... bruised and non-lectured.

Of course I was not that quick on the uptake.  I had to test my mortality in a few more ways which included:
  • playing horse-back tag in a muddy and soggy pasture, bareback and without reigns- oh, in a pasture surrounded by an electric fence, a rather powerful electric fence as I found out.
  • running home in an electrical storm (mostly) avoiding the lightning.
  • Body surfing in the ocean during rip-tides without paying quite enough attention to the jetties.
I have to stop the list, I'm starting to have a belated panic attack and my children occasionally read my blog. 

The funny thing is that every one of these things happened when I was with the same friend.  I can't even blame her.  She was not a risk-junky.  I think all these stupid actions were my idea.

Wow, I was the friend I don't want hanging out with my children...

The advantage of all my stupid actions during middle school was that by high school I had learned a measure of caution.  I knew how much I valued the use of all my limbs. 

I'm thinking of these things because a handful of my children have still to progress through this process.  I shudder to think, I just hope they are all faster on the uptake than I was.


1 comment:

Melanie said...

Why am I not surprised to find out you were "that" friend? LOL!

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