The Mistake

June 3, 2008
By Dylan Dutton, Kasson, MN

If I could go back in time and fix it I would not have gone riding on that fateful day. It was a joy-filled sunny day, the hunting opener, so I was really pumped up to get some hunting action in, but when I arrived home the whole mood, changed.
Unfortunately upon arriving at my country home I was informed that my grandfather had been diagnosed with lung cancer and for the third time at that! This news hit me like a freight train, for my whole life my grandpa had been the strong one. We would work all day in the fields, and when it seemed like I could drop, my grandfather just kept chuggin’ along. This couldn’t be possible, he looked fine, sticking to his normal routine day after day, I mean aren’t people with cancer suppose to be sick? I learned very quickly this was not the case.
Well, after a day or two I started to get really frustrated, so I decided to go for a bike ride to blow off some steam. Well this little bike ride turned out to be a long bike ride, a fast bike ride. I had a 21 speed Specialized Enduro, so I was capable of hitting 20 miles an hour with ease. The long gravel roads were bumpy, and some what treacherous. When I think on it now it was only a matter of time before something went wrong.
All I remember is hitting the ground hard, immensely hard! This was followed by A LOT of pain, excruciating pain! I remember lying on the pavement, hot as Hades, telling myself, out loud, how stupid I was. After catching my breath and collecting myself I realized I had a snapped wrist, a chipped elbow, and a four and a half inch gash on my left arm. Subsequent to that I started to realize I was at least 3 miles away from home, that may not sound like much, but with all the injuries I had, believe me it was a long ride, when I arrived home I took it I looked pretty bad, on a count of my parents were cringing!
Well my mom transported me to the ER, where I had to wait endless hours just to be seen, (anyone who has been in the ER knows what that’s like). One other thing that anyone who has ever been in the ER would know is the interrogation! Every nurse asks you all sorts of questions, in my case, “were you wearing a helmet?” well Ill say it, I wasn’t, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t! It took most of the night to really be “checked out.” When all the x-rays came back I broke my wrist, and fractured my elbow.
All in all this was, believe it or not, a great learning experience, but a foolish one. Hurting myself didn’t make my grandpas cancer magically disappear; it only made hospital bills magically appear! It also brought my parents a lot of worrying, and sleepless nights. Instead of riding recklessly on that beautiful day, I should of reflected on the situation, but what teenage boy is gonna’ do that; we’re all about speed and horse power.
Enjoy life, have a good time, work hard-play hard, and don’t let silly little “bumps in the road” bring you down. I learned a lot that day about seeing the good things as well as the bad, ad I learned that being a strong person is not a characteristic, but a life style, and it is ultimately portrayed by your actions.

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