Once upon a time, 18 years ago, my mom recieved her very first mountain bike. It was a rainbow Specialized “Rock Hopper” and we thought it very cool. She was itching to try out this mountain biking craze, seeing that her father had been at it for a while without her, and we made plans to ride the “Old Iron Creek Road” as the maiden voyage on “fat tires.” Back then, we knew little about things like “single tracking” or how the length of a bike could impact your ride. Details, details. So, being none the wiser, my folks took my mom’s ten speed road bike, outfitted it with mountain bike tires, and told me to ride. I was just a scrawny 11 year old (emphasis on the scrawny) who had little experience on a big bike. It might have been my first long ride on a woman’s (as opposed to child) bike. Anyway, I strapped on my helmet and followed the pack.
I was in over my head within a dozen yards. The trail peetered out to nothing and big, loosed rocks took over. While my family (aunts, uncles, papa and assorted friends) whooped and hollered and enjoyed themselves, I sweated and panicked and soon was at the end of the line. In a particularly nasty spot, I went right over the handle bars, scraping the plastice away from the foam on my helmet and embedding my sunglasses into my cheek. Then I lost it and refused to go any farther while my family yucked it up and tried to tease me into better spirits.
So, when Mama Syd suggested that we take the kids down the same trail, did I refuse? Did I call upon my memories and sound judgement and take them on a walk? Or did I enthusiastically agree to the adventure and pray for a good outcome?
If you chose the option that included prayer, you’re right. And you know what? It worked.
We didn’t travel far, but everyone was safe and the boys felt like big stuff having conquered something so hard.
To celebrate, they climbed up on boulders and then proved their rock hopper status by leaping rock to rock. They were, after all, super tough.
Tougher than me, anyway.