I’m not sure. I’m unsure of being sure. Of this, I’m sure. Yesterday while riding my bike because it’s what I did yesterday, and the day before; I started wondering, why? Why me? Why this or why that?
I’m not pondering why the sky is blue….which everyone knows is because Santa wants it that way….and I’m not pondering why I’m here, which I’ve always assumed has something to do with college football. Rather, I’m wondering why I have so much fun in the face of so much…..crap.
Why do I set out to ride when sometimes I don’t really "feel it"? In my laziness, I’ll put off riding only to begrudgingly haul myself outside in my gear, ride away only to return a few hours later with an ear to ear grin.
Why? Why can I take something that causes occasional pain, financial hardship, injury and sometimes stress….and turn it into something beautiful? Why is it so much fun? Why? As I pedaled along asking these pointed questions of myself, a large staghorn cholla ball passed un-noticed below my front wheel only to be picked up by my rear tire and flung at incredible speed into my left calf.
I’ve been hit by cholla untold times, always stinging from the encounter. This time, it felt like a vice was clamped onto my muscle….and upon stopping, it became apparent why. Aside from many smaller points of attachment onto my skin…one barb in particular, a very mature and robust barb was not only attached to my epidermis; but had pierced deep into my muscle just below the surface. For the first time, I witnessed my skin dimpling from the force and depth of the barb now attached to me.
As I pulled and pulled, I struggled to remove this barb from my leg. Quite a bit of force was required for me to remove this attachment from my leg. After 5 minutes of struggling, I was able to twist it enough to open up a channel and remove the spine. No doubt, the twisting turned the barbs within enough to tear open a bore-shaft within my calf….the blood running freely was proof of this.
Why? Why when this happened, was I listening to Nirvana…..pedaling ever faster and faster, heart beating out of my chest? Why when this happened, did Kurt Cobain start yelling, “Won’t you believe it, just my luck”? Why did I just then notice that there were two wild horses, 100 yards from me who no doubt stood there eating shrubs while keeping an eye & ear tuned to my very vocal efforts to remove a bit of cactus from my body?