Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Why I'm scared to get back on my bike.

Today I'm going to step away from writing and books and talk about Mountain Biking. If you remember from my New Years Resolution post one of my resolutions was to push aside my fears and get back on my bike. I started mountain biking several years ago. My boyfriend is obsessed and it was great to be able to do something that we both enjoyed. As a mountain biker I was well aware that you don't always stay on your bike. Even the best mountain biker can hit an unexpected rut in the trail or a rock and go flying over the handle bars. However, two summers ago I took a pretty hard fall. I didn't break anything, though as I laid on the ground, beneath my bike, legs tangled in the frame, dirt in my mouth, I thought I did.

I was on the trail with my best friend. My boyfriend and hers had gone on ahead of us and since it was her first time I was taking it slow. I came to a part of the trail that was down hill and as I felt the wind whipping my hair behind me I wanted to just go for it. I pedaled like mad then let the hill guide me down. As I came to the end of the hill my tire hit a patch of sand. I over compensated for the dip my bike took and the next thing I knew I was falling. I smacked the ground so hard I had the wind knocked out of me. My bike landed on top of me and my legs went right through the opening in the frame and I could not get them out. If you've ever been mountain biking on a trail you know that you do not want to be lying in the middle of the trail. Bikers fly down these trails at unbelievable speeds and you do not want them to run you over if they can't stop.

Luckily my friend caught up to me and was able to get me untangled from the bike and off the trail. What's even worse about being on a trail- You can't just stop. You are in the middle of the woods and the only way out is finishing or finding a bail out that can be just as long as the trail itself. When the shaking calmed and I was finally able to catch my breath we got back on our bikes. What other choice did we have? We caught up with our boyfriends who of course told me that it was just a fall and that I was fine. Would it kill them to give a little sympathy? It wasn't until a few days later when the bruises began to appear that they realized how bad of a fall I took. My chest was bruised, my entire thigh, my elbow, and my leg. I also had cuts on my elbow that weren't noticeable on the trail because a layer of dirt covered them.
A picture of the bruise on my upper thigh.

This spring I want to get back on my bike. I loved the trails and being in nature and feeling the satisfaction and pride that came with making it to the end. I'm just terrified of falling again. I can still feel the pain shooting through my chest and arm as I hit the ground. I've come to the conclusion I can't live my life in fear. If I did I never would have wrote a book. I never would have kept writing books and chasing a dream, that while at times seems unattainable, but that I know one day I can and will achieve. So I am getting my riding gear ready and in the spring I plan on looking my fear in the face. It's one step at a time and getting over my fear of my bike is the first step towards vanquishing my other fears.

 If I didn't bike I never would have stood here.

What are you scared of?


  1. 0_0 WOW. I was wincing just reading the description of what happened - and then those BRUISES. No wonder it's a fear. I'm so proud of you for facing it.

  2. Thank you. Hopefully there will be no more bruises like that one :)

  3. Holy crap! It totally felt like I was reading one of your WIP. I got chills reading about the accident. Perhaps future WIP inspiration?

    Good for you for facing your fears. Problem with me is that I usually don't have fears even when I SHOULD. There's very little I wouldn't try once. HOWEVER, if I had an accident like yours I'm pretty sure it'd be tough to jump back on.

    Good for you!

  4. Kelley: That's an idea. Hmm.. Gears are spinning now.

    I used to be fearless, like you I would try anything once. Then I had my first panic attack at 18 and it all changed. I miss the fearlessness though, but it's hard to get back to that mindset. Hopefully one day :)

  5. OH my goodness! I don't think I will ever go mountain biking. That takes muscle, which I am lacking in - and while the story of your fall freaks me out, I was more afraid when you talked about the other bikes coming down. YIKES! I don't know if I could do it. I will hike, but not bike.

    Aside from being afraid of spiders, I am afraid of "ocean creatures!" Sharks, particularly. However, I've always wanted to go snorkeling but... it I'm scared! One day I'm going to suck it up and do it anyway, cause I know it will be worth it!

  6. Leigh C: I hate spiders! Hate them with a passion.

    Snorkeling is so much fun! You should definitely give it a shot. I thought it would be terrifying but it wasn't at all. It was amazing. Go for it!

  7. Ouch. That would hurt. I think I'd be more freaked out by the other bikes flying by.

    We live in a pretty flat area, so we don't get to experience REAL mountain biking, or even hill biking. :) Good to see you're back at it again.