At our house Maybellene frequently sighs. And, as a joke, both Kennett and I will follow suite by each taking an excessively deep breath. If you pause during any given moment to breath intentionally it may refocus you, calm you, or even cause you to yawn.
That is not the sensation I am about to describe. I just got home and I am find myself taking several deep breathes. Expanding my rib cage feels like I’m collecting all the tension in my body, particularly from my back, and exhaling it out. My body tingles and I feel like I’m wearing a weighted vest, one where I need to use extra effort to get the final bit of air into my lungs before slowly expiring.
Just a bit of an upset. 363 days since I was hit and I was out riding today. About to head up the steep section of Old Stage and coast my bike back into North Boulder and onto its hook in the garage. The firefighter’s F150 truck (the same one that had passed me with emergency lights on just a few minutes prior) was in the road. A guy had been hit on his bike. A hit and run. I spoke to a man who’d come upon the scene and was helping control traffic. Said he knew a car must have been involved because of the “chrome on the ground”. I didn’t see it. I saw the ambulance. I knew if I looked there was a bike wheel in the right hand corner of my view. But I just unclipped from my TT bike behind another truck. I thought to myself I’ll just wait for them to put him in the ambulance and for the cars to dissipate. Then I’ll navigate home. So I stood over my top tube. I pondered other options. I decided not to call Kennett. I decided I could ride home the way I came via Lefthand Canyon and US36. Nope, I didn’t care to be on US36 with cars whizzing by me. I knew I’d be slow-pedaling at best and I was getting tired. I imagined the day when it had been me lifted into the ambulance. I mourned in honor of my past self. I continued thinking through options to get home. I didn’t feel like being the tough guy for today. I shed a few tears, but collected myself with a few deep breathes. I decided to phone Kennett after all.
I don’t mourn everyday and certainly not as often as last winter. However, this weekend is mine. I can choose to take emotions as they come and I don’t feel that I owe the world to be strong through any of it. That being said, I think I’d rather celebrate not mourn over this weekend and I wish I didn’t have to witness yet another crash.