Friday, July 29, 2016

I'm Afraid and There's Really Nothing Wrong With That

Last week's post gave you tips on how an introvert like myself can survive an adventure vacation. It was written mid-week while I was enjoying a family holiday in Breckenridge, CO. Little did I know that just a few days after publishing, I would feel the need to update or re-title the piece to "How a Non-Adventurous Introvert Can Survive an Adventure Vacation Without Ending Up in the E.R."!

I wish I could say it was because of something fun and daring, like maybe smoking weed. (It's legal where I was, after all). But no, I'm sorry to disappoint. It was a biking accident. A bad one. I was on a biking trail. It was slightly downhill with a creek to my right. I felt I was going too fast. Fear took over. I lost my balance. I lost control. I swerved into the small ravine then into the creek. And I lived to tell the story.

We think it was probably anywhere between a 7- and 10-foot fall from the street.

The bottom of this frame is where I started to go downhill.

I tried to keep the bike upright for as long as I could until I hit those big rocks.

I ended up by that big bush in the middle of the creek.

Some of what happened continue to be a blur. I just remember feeling horribly afraid minutes before I actually fully lost control of the bike. I already knew it felt too much for me, too downhill, too fast. I am a novice after all and definitely not a risk-taker, not when it comes to sports or physical adventures at least. I can hear my husband screaming from behind me as he already knew what was about to happen. Then I just kept wobbling until in my mind, all I kept thinking was "Oh sh*t. I'm screwed." And then the moment of resignation. Strangely, I wasn't scared of dying. It's either that or I was convinced this wasn't my end yet. (To be honest I also would've preferred something more justified or dramatic, like maybe dying in deeper water or a bigger crash. Please...not a bike in a shallow creek!)

I hit the water and I remember feeling finally really scared because the current was stronger than I expected. I tried to extend my arms to try to grab on to something, anything, until I heard this unfamiliar voice saying "I got you, I got you!" He was trying to pull me up as I did my best to grab his torso. It was a random biker who witnessed my accident. This was my angel and his name is Dan. 

My husband was right there but he hurt himself too, trying to jump off of his bike as quickly as he could. He hit the gravel hard and scraped his knee really bad and was bleeding himself. 

Souvenir from the E.R.

I still can't fully bend my middle left finger. It's still swollen.

My horrible-looking right arm.

In the grand scheme of things, it's still not so bad and I have a lot to be thankful for. The X-ray images didn't reveal any broken bones although I was warned that some injuries can't be easily detected. I still have major pain on my right side, particularly my right ribs and still can't move or breathe painlessly. However, the pain is not to the point that narcotics aren't able to somehow address at this time. I just have to take it slow and remind myself to take deep breaths regardless of the discomfort just to avoid pneumonia.

So what is my take-away from all this? 

I won't tell you life is too short and that things can change in an instant. Nor would I remind you to hug your loved ones and tell them you love them before it's too late. You should already be doing that with or without accidents in mind.

What I would say to you is to respect Fear. 

Right after my accident, this is one of the things my husband said to me: "You know, to others, to 'normal' people, that creek is probably some nice scenery to look at and soothe you while you bike. But to you, it's something to fear".

He's absolutely right. I did not find it relaxing. In my mind, it was a risk to avoid, a danger along the way and it clearly defeated me. My mind betrayed me and defeated me because I didn't listen to it early enough. 

After only two minutes of riding along that trail, Fear started talking to me: This isn't safe. There's no railing and people can easily fall into that creek. This feels so narrow to me. I'm having a hard time...). I dismissed all of it. It's good to try out new experiences, yes. But you also have to be wise enough to know when to listen when your body is telling you to slow down, respect its limits, maybe even stop until you gain your comfort level back. 

Fear is there to keep you safe and alive. It isn't always bad. It isn't always simply the archnemesis of growth or evolution. And it's not always there just to tell you to quit. Sometimes it's just telling you to slow down, find your center, rest, reflect before proceeding again.

Sometimes to be so daring is the dumb thing to do, and to have fear is smart. It all depends on knowing your self and your limits. Pay attention because those voices in your head are there for a reason, and if anything, they can definitely save you a trip to the E.R. 


  1. Great story and love your honesty. It was just our family adventure that week, something happened on a daily basis.

    It's like that shirt that they sold at the White Water rafting place. It stated that it was only funny if it happened to the other guy.

    1. I agree. I hope you are okay now, Kuya James. Yours wasn't funny at all. It was scary but glad you guys are ok. Thanks so much again, and thanks for welcoming us! xoxo

    2. I agree. I hope you are okay now, Kuya James. Yours wasn't funny at all. It was scary but glad you guys are ok. Thanks so much again, and thanks for welcoming us! xoxo

  2. What a story Joy! So happy that you weren't hurt more seriously.

    1. Thanks Rena! Hope your summer has been less crazy. I can only take so much excitement. xoxo

    2. Thanks Rena! Hope your summer has been less crazy. I can only take so much excitement. xoxo


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