I have lots of hobbies. I may not be very good at them all, but I enjoy them and honing my skills in those areas makes my days better. One of my favorite activities is riding my bike. Rain or shine, I ride for exercise, pleasure or procrastination.
This past April, as the weather started warming up, my itch to get out on the bike paths grew stronger with each passing day. Spring is my favorite season for biking because the weather is perfect: the air is warm but the wind still has a bit of post-winter chill.
One particular day at the end of this past April was significantly warmer than it had been earlier in the week and I decided to take the opportunity to ride my bike to a coffee shop downtown. I threw all my books into a bag, grabbed my helmet, started my music and hopped onto my bike. Off I went, pedaling to the rhythm of my tunes.
When I go biking, I love speed. There's just something about the wind whipping through my hair and the adrenaline pumping through my body that excites me. I’ll even choose detours so that I have to take the hill, so it was no surprise that I turned off Sheridan to take one of the few hills on my route.
As I clicked the gears higher, pedaled harder and picked up speed, I felt like I was flying. It was at this moment that the euphoric combination of the beautiful day and me flying on my bike led me to make a stupid decision: I pulled out my phone to document the perfect day.
I remember recording the day’s beauty. I also remember sliding my phone back into my bag. But as I was re-adjusting my bag on my shoulder, one hand on the handlebar, I looked down to see two potholes right in front of me. I had zero time to react and milliseconds later I was flung over the handlebars and landed on my head.
Had I had both hands on the handlebars and been looking at the road ahead, I would’ve had time to avoid the potholes.
Instead, I was laying in the middle of the road, unconscious. I remember waking up to a blurred world, still semi-conscious, in the arms of a total stranger, with little recognition of my surroundings and little understanding of how I got there.
As I regained consciousness, the ambulance arrived. My head ached but my body was high on adrenaline so I felt no other pain. However, because I had been unconscious for 3 minutes, the paramedics strongly advised me to go to the hospital and get a CT scan. I finally began to remember what had happened and instead of accepting transport, I had a friend drive me to the hospital.
An hour later, I walked out of the hospital unharmed except for a couple of facial abrasions, scratched up arms and a pretty major headache.
After the incident, I thought to myself, What if I hadn't been wearing a helmet? Where would I be without that crucial protection?
Sometimes, we are like me on my bike. Life’s going great. We’re cruising along and feel comfortable enough to take a hand off the handlebars, with seemingly nothing in the near future to change our course. Then, suddenly, we’re thrown from our secure vehicle onto the ground.
In Proverbs 14:16, Solomon warns us that while "the wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with reckless confidence."
God is like my helmet. He’s going to do everything He can to protect us from major injury, but He leaves it up to us to have the choice to ride with or without Him. Though there may be days we’re thrown over the handlebars, His protection allows us to conquer each day with security in His plan for us.
Kasondra Reel is a senior studying nursing.