One thing I was most happy doing in my childhood was riding my bike. When I was 8 years old my parents let me ride my bike just about everywhere in our neighborhood. I mostly went across 7th Avenue to a dirt lot across from a red Catholic Church… which could of been dangerous in itself. I spent hours riding my bike in these makeshift dirt hills that rolled through an open desert lot. I would go over the small jumps and occasionally jump some larger ones. One day, the big jump got the best of me.
I rode my bike like any other day, and as I was cruising through the dusty mounds I saw the biggest jump over a steep ditch. I was by myself and thought, “I could jump that.” Feeling brave with courage, I backed up on the trail to get enough momentum to clear the abyss. My heart was already racing sitting on my bike, and it felt like I could feel adrenaline pouring like sweat from my body. I stood on my bike pedals, leaned closer into the handle bars and started to push down violently towards the ground. I approached the jump and soon lifted off the ground. It felt like slow motion as I glided through the air and in my mind I was thinking, “I’m going to clear this.” I maintained control over my bike and as I approached the end of the jump my front tire cleared the ditch but my rear tire got caught slightly in a root sticking out of the ditch. It was enough to catch my tire.
All the momentum of my bike stopped, but my body didn’t. I continued flying and flipping forward. I felt my rib cage get crushed by the handle bars and soon I could feel the rocks digging into my face and knee caps. I created a nice dust plume, and laid in my miserable pain. All at once the cloud of desert settled, I could feel breath filling my lungs again and the warm blood streaming down my legs.
I jumped back on my bike and limpingly rode it back to the 6th drive house. I walked into the house, and went straight to my bedroom where I fell asleep. I woke up to sore knees, ribs, and bruised face. I went to the restroom to clean off some of the blood and dirt. I dusted my hair and I felt this overwhelmingly euphoric sensation of pain but contentment. I had tried something that caused me so much pain, but despite all the hurt it gave me a great deal of satisfaction and accomplishment knowing I gave it a shot. And the next time, I knew I would make the jump.