I went dirt bike riding for the first time yesterday. Riding a dirt bike is nothing like riding a street bike. There is more reaction to the terrain. There is a real sense of making it up as you go along. It’s like a day of unadulterated controlled chaos. And even though a fall won’t necessarily kill you, at times it can be more heart pounding than riding my crotch rocket on the highway. I have to say it was a very enjoyable experience. But the day did have its moments.
It started with my first real wipe out. The problem was not that I wiped out, or that when I did I hit a small tree, or that when I hit that small tree I snapped it in half. The real problem arose when I realized that in snapping that hollowed tree stump, I had ripped open a very active, and apparently very upset, hive of bees.
I don’t know exactly what type of bees they were, but I am calling them the ‘speed of light, attack with a vengeance, little f*cker’ bees. Upon hitting the ground I was immediately stung. At first I thought it was an ant bite. That is until I heard the buzzing in my ear – literally – and I felt those little &%*#&$’s sting me in my head, then my arms, then my legs, and so on, and so on…..
I just about ripped off all my clothes and ran like hell away from my bike. After freaking out and letting the pain of all the stings settle down, I realized that I still had to get my bike which was lying right next to the swarming, little <expletive>’s. I tried to get the bike once and was immediately stung. “Ffffffffffffffffffffff!!!!!!!!!!” But I HAD to get my bike. So I resolved myself to run in there, grab it, and just move it away from the danger zone.
Long story short, I got the bike and was able to salvage the rest of the day. But the experience got me thinking about what I had to go through to get my bike. I had to mentally resolve myself to accept the pain of the stings. I had to get myself ready to ignore the bees and just do it. It was not easy, and it was extremely painful, but I did it.
I sit here a day removed from the episode and still feel the burning sensation of those stings. Yet, it gets better and better with each passing minute. And although it was painful, it was also temporary, and I was able to do some more riding that day. We all have challenges in our lives for which we need to be mentally ready before we can undertake them. I have a new appreciation for those moments and the strength that is required to overcome them. It’s never easy, but it is doable, and with time the stings hurt less and less.
Find the strength and resolve you seek, because I know you, too, will survive the stings.