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Learning the Lessons of Life... The Hard Way

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My gray cap, marked with a thick, black “M”, fit snugly around my head, though it was slightly on the loose side. The beauty of nature surrounded me. The green grasses, towering trees, the occasional tulips, and the small rabbits and squirrels were certainly something to admire as I pedaled my bike down the trail. The fresh, morning breeze woke me up like a cup of coffee, provoking me to pedal faster and faster. Nonetheless, I barely managed to stifle yet another yawn. Although, this bicycle ride was certainly invigorating, I had nothing to look forward afterward, except the enclosure and walls of my own house. Never did I expect my summer vacation to be so boring. Each second, each inch, and each rotation of the wheel further stimulated my desire for adventure. The energy in my body was steadily accumulating. If I wasn’t given an opportunity to release the stored energy, I was simply going to explode. I didn’t care what, when, or how, I just wanted desperately for something exciting to occur. As I pedaled further, the ground sloped downward, causing me to accelerate.

Suddenly, my cap flew off, abruptly halting my ostensibly incessant train of thoughts. I slammed on the brakes to retrieve it, not realizing the significant blunder. My bike flipped over, and everything became slow-motion. My front wheel stopped instantly, but the rest of my bike didn’t follow suit. Rather, my back wheel, along with the rest of the bike, swung around the front wheel, carrying me with it! I was about to slam onto the ground, headfirst! Fear, excitement, and adrenaline all rushed through my body, along with the thought that I wasn’t wearing my helmet. Instinctively, I jumped off, or at least, attempted to. Instead, I leaned to my left, taking my bike with it. I fell on my left leg instead.
I immediately snapped out of slow motion and into reality. One minute, I had been speeding through, fully in control of my situation, the next, I was on the ground flat, my bike resting on top of me, seemingly unaware of the drastic change in events. As the shock settled, it paved way to the agony, the fire in my thigh. I gently touched it, activating another quota of searing pain. My thigh was swollen. Badly. Slowly, I managed (god knows how) to get back onto my feet. I could barely limp, but temporarily, I satisfied myself with the thought that I hadn’t received a concussion or a fatal head blow. At the moment, all I desired was to go back home, the very prison I was content on escaping just minutes ago. I struggled to pedal back, though I eventually managed to do so. Thankfully, it seemed as if I didn’t break or fracture my leg, but all the same, my sense of adventure was thoroughly exhausted, not at all how I had wanted or how I anticipated.

My thigh healed in a few weeks, but left permanent lessons engraved within me: First of all, apply the brakes gradually when travelling downhill, not suddenly. More importantly, however, you must always be aware and alert. Maybe, just maybe, had I paid more attention to my actions and surroundings rather than wallowing about my ennui, I could’ve avoided such an occurrence in the first place. Because of my ignorance, I was coerced to learn the lessons of life the hard way: through pain.





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