Wipe Out

Depending on your circumstances, dreaded chores like washing dishes or doing laundry are someone else’s someday vision.

I took a pretty hard spill on my bike. I was coming down a hill at night and my headlight went out. A dark spot, a speed bump, and a narrow strip of road intersected; I hit my brakes too hard and went crashing into the side of the road. The right side of my body was scraped, burned, cut, and bruised. I avoided my reflection because it looked worse than it felt. I was suddenly reminded of those simple things I take for granted. Lying on my back or reaching something off the top shelf became difficult. My first trip to the market or taking a shower without wincing in pain became a luxury. Mundane tasks became milestones.

Sometimes I have this attitude that I should do something perfectly or not at all. If it’s a nice day, I’m going to the prettiest damn park in the city or I’ll stay in and watch Netflix. We were on our way to a party when the accident happened and I decided to go anyway since it was just around the corner. My boyfriend ran to the drugstore and bought wipes and bandages and cleaned me up outside the club. I was still in shock, but managed to drink a few glasses of water and bop my head dizzily to the music. If it had been any other day, I probably wouldn’t have gone.

Over the past weeks I’ve realized that nothing is guaranteed in this life. Depending on your circumstances, dreaded chores like washing dishes or doing laundry are someone else’s someday vision. Months from now I’ll forget this and curse the wifi for not working or kick the door that won’t open. I’ll opt out of nights on the town and spontaneous excursions. I’ll lose sight of the gifts I have – my health, my dexterous fingers and spry limbs. I’ll forget just how delicate and resilient this body is; how my skin was broken and healed itself again, shiny and new. I’ll struggle to remember this: that I am here to fall down, get hurt, and get back up for another ride.

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16 comments

    1. Exactly, John. Sometimes I can be such a talking head I forget about the rest of my body and how it allows me to do so many things. I’m definitely going to take better care from now on!

  1. ‘Sometimes I have this attitude that I should do something perfectly or not at all.’

    I am like this too. When I feel even a little bit tired and I have a date with friends, I will cancel it just because I’m not at my best that day.

    And I agree, we often forget about the joys in life. The other day we had a family party and we sat down with our cousins and reconnected again. All the troubles I had at work and things I had been stressing about became just trivial matters. Sometimes we need only look at the bigger picture and realise that as long as we are healthy and alive, there is really no point or need to get upset over little things.

    Good to hear that you’re okay and I hope you recover soon!

    1. So true. I once read that looking back on our lives is like staring out at the Grand Canyon. The events are really just specks here and there, but it’s the whole composition that takes our breath away.

      P.S. The stroopwafels you sent are definitely helping with my recovery, thank you!

  2. Hi Maryn, this post was a great motivator to go out and do active things with “the gifts I have.” Wishing you a speedy recovery.

    1. Thanks Maria! Definitely made me realize how I take those little things for granted. Just ordered a replacement for my riding glasses that shattered in the accident, so I’ll have to get back out there sometime soon 🙂

  3. “Months from now I’ll forget this and curse the wifi for not working or kick the door that won’t open.” Why do we have such short-term memories?? Haha…I guess that’s the beauty of blogging about it, to capture this moment in time and stumble upon it someday in the future when everything is well again. And not take it for granted.

    Hope you’re recovering smoothly! 🙂

    1. Hi Lia – You’re right. I think that’s why I write it down, to help me remember things. When I’m having a bad day, I like to read an entry from a year ago or 3 years ago and it makes me grateful again. I’m almost back to myself, thanks!

    1. Thanks Brad! It’s been awhile…I think the last time I crashed like that was when I was 10 years old. It was humbling, but I’m going to try again once I’m all better 🙂

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