I remember when I was young and took that massive spectacular tumble off my bike at the bottom of our neighbourhood hill. I scrapped up both knees, banged my head, and started shaking, wanting to vomit, just thinking about having to ride that evil bike back home, up that huge, horrible hill that now seemed fifteen times bigger than it ever was.
By the grace of good neighbours, I got home and my mother ran a hot bath where I soaked my knees and my wounded confidence. Eyes stinging, boo-boos throbbing, I wondered why on earth anyone wanted to ride a bike in the first place. Especially around hills.
It was hard to walk around with those big old scabs on my knees and I was convinced that everyone was staring at me, laughing that I obviously didn't know how to use my brakes well enough. I was ashamed of my big ugly sores and tried to cover them up with a million Band-Aids, which of course, only made it worse.
"What on earth happened to you?"
After a couple of days, I sat in yet another of the endless hot baths I was addicted to and ripped those plastic things off and had a really good look at all the dirt still stuck in my wounds. I picked around with my fingernail, digging out what was left of the hill's gravel that I had been walking around with. Of course, digging and probing only made my knees bled again and when the scabs dried, they were deeply cracked and more painful then when I had originally fallen down.
It was hard to leave those scabs alone, you know. I'd subconsciously pick at them while at school, accidentally hit one with the edge of a table, or scratch them like mad as they started shrinking and pinching my skin. It was almost a twisted game to see just how much of that scab I could rip off without making myself bleed again. Sometimes, I did great, most times, I just made them worse.
Somehow, after several weeks, and in spite of my own self-torture, the scabs fell off on their own, leaving there, on both knees, a pretty pink puckered spot, a smudged speck, to remind me that one mustn't brake too hard on hills. In spite of all the blood, all the gravel, all the pain, and all my picking, the scabs were finally gone. I had healed.
I don't know if it was days or weeks later but somehow, someday, I headed out on my bike and went down that hill. This time, I didn't brake hard when I saw the bottom of the hill come racing towards me. Sure, I was screaming bloody murder as I somehow rolled around that corner but you should have heard me laughing as I stayed on that bike and peddled my pink knees as fast as I could up the other side.
Lesson learned with no visible scars to prove it. There are a lot of things in life that are just like riding a bike.