I've discovered recently that I have a knack for gross hyperbolation with the smallest, most trivial things. But I've known that for a while. What I'm coming to accept about myself is that I also tend to downplay important things that most people exaggerate.
Yesterday I crashed in my bike. And it hurt. I didn't simply fall over and scrape my knee, brush off the dust on the smoothly paved magical surface I was riding on. I didn't float like a cloud back to my apartment, waving like the beauty queens in all of those pointless parades I will soon be barraged with. No, I didn't spring back off the ground filled with new energy and a revitalized hope in my own strength.
No. I flew off my bike. I didn't just tip over gracefully. A stupid pedestrian cut into my way and I was thrust violently off of Stella, off the paved trail, into the gravel-filled, barbed-wire fenced side. One side of me was scraped up by the gravel, the other cut up by the barbs. I had to scramble out of the fence, facing upsidedown on an incline. I had to wash the dirt and gravel out of my cut and scraped, not scratched, knee. I wasn't offered any help. I didn't see the point in calling anyone either. Honestly, I just didn't want to bleed in anyone's car.
So I biked about six miles, uphill (yes I'm serious), to my bishop's house where his saint of a wife cleaned me out. I had never understood how alcohol could burn. Not really. But it really does. It was only then that I realized that maybe I was worse off than I thought, discovering new cuts each time I found a puncture in my tightly woven lycra and spandex shorts.
It was confirmed late last night that I lie to myself about things all the time. I faced myself in the mirror, toothbrush in hand, trying to gently, but firmly, clean out the remaining dirt in my knee. Maybe humor wasn't going to work for me this time, as it usually does.
See the thing is that I had told people about my crash and I suppose it was my own fault that I got responses that were "Wow I'm glad you're fine, but that's a really great story!" Not the words I want to hear when I'm trying to find any position that is comfortable, wondering how I'm going to sleep at all that night. It is in those moments that I realize that I need to communicate just a bit better.
But maybe I'm just an optimist. After all, as I was flying through the air the only thought that went through my head was Oh I'm crashing. I guess this makes me a real road biker. I'm official now. And it was only after that I thought Oh a barbed wire fence. That's going to hurt.
So now I sit musing on my bed, trying to give a fair representation of what happened while simultaneously wondering if my knee is ever going to stop pussing and hoping that I don't feel like I was a boxer's punching bag tomorrow. But then I'm instantly grateful for my body and it's natural ability to self-heal. And that I was blessed with an indomitable spirit.
Things always turn out. And they can always be so much worse. So all in all, I'd scratch this one up to a win. There I go again with my optimistic downplaying...