So I have a story for you all. It is about a life changing, traumatic event that shaped who I am today and how I live my life.
Exactly three years ago, I began training for a 206 mile bike ride from Seattle, WA to Portland, OR. The big event was only two months away, and I decided to go on a long bike ride on the morning of Memorial Day before going to a friend’s house later that evening. I was changing lanes from the bike lane, to the car lane next to me, to a turn bay next to that, but as my bike crossed the first faded white line, something unexpected happened.
All I remember was hearing the sudden screeching of tires and a terrifyingly loud honk; the next two minutes became a huge blur. When I recovered from the shock, I found myself underneath a car, screaming and crying. My clothes were tattered, my helmet was terribly chafed, and there was a stream of blood coming from…somewhere. After some residents of a nearby apartment found me and dragged me out, I was carried over to the grass and they told me what happened. It turns out, my bike got pulled underneath the car, and I with it. I was then dragged 15-20 feet before finally coming to a halt.
Soon, I was rushed to the ER where my mom and dad were waiting worriedly. The doctor took some x-rays, took off the top layers of clothing to get a good look at my wounds, and left the room to analyze the results. When he returned, he told me something shocking: I had no broken bones, no sprains, just a few cuts and scrapes. Then they brought in my bike. I saw its wounds and realized my bike had essentially sacrificed itself for me – its tires were bent, the brake cords were broken, the frame was full of scrapes and peeled paint, and the chain got tangled in the gears. One could honestly hardly tell it was a bike at all.
A realization hit me then and today, three years later, it hits me again: I got so lucky that day. Some small change in timing, decision making, or attention, and my life could be a lot different today; I might not be here at all.
For the longest time, I was reduced by fear and trauma. I was scared of loud noises, car crash stories and videos made me cry, and I didn’t dare cross the street if there wasn’t a crosswalk. But months later, after the initial trauma went away, I finally got back on the road. I slowly but surely made up lost time and rebuilt my strength. I worked my way from three miles, to fifteen miles, to fifty miles, to a hundred. It was a battle, but a year and two months after that accident, I managed to pull off that 2 day, 206 mile ride in just one day.
I want to take this time, on this important day, to remind everyone that we will stumble and fall, but what matters is that we regain our footing. Only then can we do the great things we wish to achieve in life.
Oh and do wear your helmets please. It really saves lives.
– Ro ♥