Sunday, April 15, 2018

Stop and Smell the Cherry Blossoms

It was a sunny, 70-degree day. The cherry blossoms had peaked. But I was hard at work, unpaid: worked up two contracts, took a call about equipment needed by a nonprofit, rushed to a meeting. By bike.

If you ride bikes often enough, you're bound to have accidents. Ironically, none of my smash-ups occurred during my daily commute to the Department of Energy and later the National Science Foundation.

And only one involved a motor vehicle. The others were...clumsiness.

Three accidents occurred during long-distance rides as a young adult. I rode in a lot of fundraising "marathons" and toured Michigan, Ontario, South Carolina, Georgia, and Virginia by bike. I was in my prime. I healed quickly.
My touring bike, however, was old and frail. It snapped in half during the third incident. Boo hoo. I loved that orange bike.
Three years ago, I was run over by a Spanish-speaking macho man in a sports car with darkened windows. This was at the corner of NE Bayshore and 79th, Miami, in the middle of our sail to the Bahamas. The body healed. The bike survived, and I was riding it again this weekend.
I was six blocks from home, rushing from one volunteer responsibility to another. Too fast. Too many responsibilities. I went down.
The bike is intact. But times have changed. Body changed. Diagnosis: "Bruises and contusions." Lots of blood. Smashed knee, still blown up like a balloon. Shock, which led to a fainting spell.
I must be getting old and frail, despite the vitamins, bike, and gym workouts. Is that my thin, wrinkly skin?
Time to slow down, before I snap in half. Take some leisure breaks. Smell the cherry blossoms.

Time to retire.