I sat there resting for a minute after riding for several hours through wide sandy trails, through narrow woodsy ones, and everything in between.
I was having a great time and reflecting that last year at this time, I had been put on the much bigger, heavier machine and I hit an errant tree root and almost flipped the machine back on myself because it was too big for me to handle.
This summer I got to ride this lighter red blaster and whew…did I ever feel like I was flying on those straightaways…fun!
Even the narrow, trickier trails were easier because this ATV was smaller and less machine for me to maneuver.
I thought with great fondness, I found the perfect companion for these yearly treks up North.
That was before I hit the root going uphill that made my machine go crazy, pop a wheelie up into the air and my next view was looking up at the sky with the breath knocked out of me.
And just a side note, I haven’t had the breath knocked out of me since I was about ten and I was playing football with the neighborhood boys (who were like my older brothers) and they invited kids from the bad end of the street to play with us (and then one of these roughnecks punched me in the stomach on purpose.) I don’t think I ever saw my “brothers” so ticked off that these other boys thought it okay to punch a girl.
Well, I digress…but yesterday, I had the air knocked right out of me and I opened my eyes and my first thought was, “Did I break anything?”
Second thought was, “Did I break Valerie’s machine?”
Third thought was, “That machine is not my friend!”
Still, when you’re miles from the house you have to get back on and conquer whatever fears you have…or you can’t get home.
So, just like getting back on the bike (or horse) after a fall, I dutifully brushed myself off, got my emotional bearings, and rode through more trails before heading back.
I always like to think that I’m really not over fifty because despite what my chronological age says…I feel like thirty.
Not so today. I feel like an achy, breaky, old-er woman who is reminded that there is always, always, always risk and a price to pay for whatever decisions we make.
That little fall gave me a little perspective…in a very different way, it literally and figuratively took my breath away.