31 August 2011

On Tenacity

Lately I’ve been asked repeatedly, “So how was your summer?” I always have to stop and think for a minute and I want to respond, “Painful.” But I don’t. I give the pedestrian and expected answer of “good” and we move on to something else.

I’ve always been a clumsy person and I think I’ve had at least one bruise on me for about two years. I’m used to bruises. I bring them upon myself so I just deal with it. Somehow every possible corner of any piece of furniture comes into contact with me. It’s not a big deal.

However, this summer has been a bit much. I’ve crashed three times on my bike. Once you’ve already heard about. The second time I hit a curb wrong and ended up with a mild concussion. I still don’t remember how I got home. The third one came a couple of weeks ago. A car cut me off when I was commuting home from work and I didn’t have time to stop before I ran full into his car and flew off my bike. I’ve gone through an embarrassing amount of band-aids this summer.

But every time I’ve determined that I will not give up. I determine that I will be smarter and more cautious. But I will not be conquered by concrete. I refuse.

With each crash, though, it’s become harder and harder to get back in the saddle (literally). I find that I am much more aware of everything around me and that makes me uptight. But I always know in the back of my mind that I’m going to be alright. I’m not going to get hit by a pedestrian or a car. I’m not going to get blown off of the road. I’m going to be fine.

I’ve been thinking recently about why I’ve had such bad luck this summer and what I should be learning from this. I come to a few conclusions:
  1. I react remarkably well when my body is traumatized. I’m so nice to everyone and so optimistic about everything. Adrenaline really is amazing. (The shock that comes after, though, not my favorite.)
  2.  Skin heals incredibly fast. Also antibiotic ointment is amazing.
  3.  Trying to shave your legs with road rash is obnoxious. Trust me.
  4.  I still love riding my bike.

This experience is so minor in comparison to the difficulties that others face, but I’ve found that there is something in doing what you love (be it a good thing) no matter what happens to deter you. 


  1. Conquered by concrete. Best thing I've read all day.

    Also, I am terrified of the idea of biking in Boston. I have friends who do it on a regular basis and are fine, but have you seen the traffic here? I would literally die.

  2. Being hit by a car (or hitting one) is not a fun experience. You have a great attitude Laura

  3. Thank you both for your lovely compliments. Allison I'm delighted you noticed my play on words.