He said, "That was amazing!" Laughter. More laughter. Big laughter. I nervously giggled as I stood and contemplated wiping the gravel off my leg. What was clinging and what was embedded?
"I totally saw that coming. I watched the whole thing! Don't you feel great?"
"I guess it doesn't hurt that bad."
"Isn't it exhilarating? Aren't you happy you can still do that?"
Blood dripped off my hands. Standing there, in my bathing suit, the pain started to emerge. At first there had been nothing. Now, though, as I stared at an open wound, not scrap, not cut, but gash, a true wound on my hand, it started to burn. It burned until it stung and then stung until it ached. I believe Shaun was now shouting, "You're a badass!" Suddenly, a mini-van is beside me. A bleeding girl in a red bikini with scraped knees stands next to a fallen bicycle and a minivan. That sentence could be used to describe everyone of my k-5th summers. There I was fifteen years later and nothing had changed. As I talked to the dad in the mini-van, I started to feel good. Don't worry about me, sir. I'm fine. Just fell off my bike. Not the first time it's happened and you know what? I hope it's not the last. Shaun's point was sinking in. I can get hurt and it can be worth it. The moments leading up to the crash were definitely worth a scraped knee. I had just floated down a river on my back for the first time ever. I had danced around on the beach. I had raced along laughing hysterically on a bike, something I haven't done in way too long and trust me, the laugh was an incredible one.
If you're pushing yourself to do things you haven't done or do something better then you've ever done it, you're going to fail. You're going to fall. Failing and falling both hurt, but they are things that happen on the way to awesomeness. So what if my pretty little knee is a little less pretty? It's a little less scared and that's worth it being a little more scarred.
Plus, I got five stitches in my hand. I've never had stitches before. I'm a badass.