Monday, March 13, 2006

Fear of Falling

Last summer Toby took the brush hog (for those of you who do not know farm equipment, a brush hog is about a six-foot lawnmower on the back of the tractor) and cut a trail that runs around our property. It makes a nice little hike for us – about one mile. Sometimes he rides his bike on it, but I am doing good to walk and stay upright much less ride a bike on this trail. Yesterday, Toby rode the trail and then did some work on his bike. Then he told me how he thought that riding that nature trail at Lake Murray would be a blast. I had to break it to him gently – there is no way in Hades he is going to get me to ride my bike on a narrow little trail. I explained to him that I get sort of claustrophobic riding my bike in narrow, rutted places. I much prefer smooth pavement for my riding. I told him that I had a real fear or panic that I could not explain. He said, "You mean the fear of hitting the ground with something besides your feet?" Yes, that explains it very well. The truth is that I have fallen quite a few times on our little trail usually tripping over small tree stumps or roots or my own feet. The thought of falling off my bicycle at a high rate of speed…well, I would just as soon not. I am a fairly brave person – game for most anything. Being fairly athletic, I like most sports and am fairly good at sports. But you gotta draw the line somewhere, and I draw it at trail-riding bikes (and that includes riding motorcycles with a bunch of crazy Okies – refer to last blog).

Speaking of our walking trail. Yesterday, Jesse was out on the trail when I heard her scream (one of those screams that makes a mother stop and look for her child)Toby and I just happened to be outside. He did not hear her (he would not hear a cricket sitting on his shoulder in a dark car, but that is another story). I immediately hollered her name. She yelled back. She was okay, and I could see her across the field. It turns out that our herd of dogs rousted out an armadillo. The dillo ran straight at Jesse and hit her leg causing her to scream. She felt rather silly for screaming, but I think it was a surprise to have an armadillo hit you. After all, this is a girl who has caught a mouse in her gloved hand and fed it to her chickens – but that is another story too.

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