When you’re young, that’s when you first learn important medical phrases like, “You’re ok, you just got the wind knocked out of ya.” I remember the first time I heard that. I had a bike with a green banana seat that burnt your skin if it sat in the sun too long, and I tried to shove as many plastic tassel thingies in the handle bars as possible so that they would flap in the breeze the faster I went. Made me feel like I was going faster than I actually was. I distinctly remember hitting a jump with the bike purposely so that I could be airborne, but when I tried to stick the landing, the handle bars went sideways and hit me square in the stomach. That prompted an unfortunate chain of events…where I flew over the front of the bike, catapulted through the air and bounced flat on my back like I had just been thrown from an angry horse. The wreck started in the gravel driveway, but at least I landed in the grass. I was gasping for breath when I heard one of my siblings say before they walked away unconcerned, “You’re fine, you just got the wind knocked out of ya.” I remember thinking, will the wind come back? The wind sounds important, is this a bad thing? Did I pop a lung? Of course back then you didn’t go to your parents for any injuries, mainly because it was your fault you were in the situation you were in anyways. Then you’d be in trouble AND have an injury, so it just wasn’t worth it. That put breathing in perspective real fast…suddenly it wasn’t as necessary anymore. Actually you learn all kinds of lessons riding a bike, like make sure your shoes are tied so your foot doesn’t get pulled super tight while being sucked into the spokes. Remember sticking a playing card in the spokes so that it would make a cool noise? Well, we thought it was cool anyways. Also, pay attention to the chain before you get on, because when that gets off track it’s the equivalent of having your transmission drop out of your car while you’re careening down the road. We also learned that when the bike was going so fast that it was impossible to keep your feet on the pedals, you have to figure out the art of lifting your feet off and then waiting to re-start the rapid pedal process by slamming your feet back down on the pedals when you think they’ve calmed down from hyper speed to a more manageable rapid rotation. These are all good life lessons we learned on the fly growing up. Did you ever get into “some scrapes” growing up, and did you tell your parents or keep it quiet?
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