Tuesday, February 25, 2014

fear of monsters

so, fear.
we're not supposed to let it bother us, control our lives, impact our decisions, be louder than other voices in our heads.
on the other hand, we are supposed to respect its messages, attend to it, use it to keep us safe.
we're supposed to live fearlessly, go big or go home, be all that we can be . . .
french author and nobel prize winner andre gide said, in an attempt to be helpful,  there are very few monsters that warrant the fear we have of them.

every time I ride my bike I feel fear.
fear of splatting myself on the road again, breaking bones, wounding muscles and ligaments and joints, having bone fragments slice into a delicate, life-sustaining lung.

I'm afraid of
dips and gutters
sand and cinders and salt
uneven pavement
right hand turns
left hand turns

I try to live fearlessly, to have trust and faith and acknowledge my strength, my ability to handle what's thrown my way.  but not right now, not on the bike.

as I am confronted with descents, uneven pavement, sand and gravel and icy patches, I feel fear.  I feel it well up, I know it's there, I ask it to go away, and it remains.  it rests inside me and tells me I don't want to crash again.  it won't let me go any faster;  it squeezes my brakes, gently but firmly.
I've ridden hundreds of miles since my crash, up and down canyons, and the fear remains.

some monsters are worth fearing.  
aeschylus said, there are times when fear is good. it must keep its watchful place at the heart's controls.  my heart wants me to soar and swoop and ride with abandon.  it wants me to slice through corners, leaning, feeling the curve in every cell of my body.  but aeschylus was correct.  I need a little fear right now, on my bike, to keep me safe.  to keep my heart from being carried away.  to help my body again learn to trust itself, to trust the bike.

there may be very few, but some monsters, sometimes, are absolutely worth fearing.

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