#4: afraid to feel anything

I just crashed my bike.

On my days off I cycle to the shop across town, grab my food shopping for the next few days and cycle back. Yeah, it’s not the closest shop, but I like the ride.

On the way back, two full shopping bags, one on each side of the handle bars and a backpack full of drinks, I go past another shop. As I leave this shops car park, they have those trolley stops. I come around the corner and as soon as I get into the trolley stop, one of my shopping bags decides to wrap itself around on the the bars and in turn my bike gives up on moving and I slide head first down the pavement.

No less than four people walk past me before someone stops to ask if I need any help. The man helps me get my now scattered cinnamon buns to the side of the path and I assure him my girlfriend is only around the corner and she can help me get home.

When I was a kid I remember being covered in cuts and grazes. Constantly out playing with my brother, who can climb this tree faster, who can go faster on their bike, never giving a fuck if we got hurt. If anything, that was the fun part. Offering mum and dad, bumps, bruises and cuts to tend to as we just laughed because fuck it, at least we had fun, right?

But as I’ve grown older, suddenly I don’t remember the last time I had a graze, I don’t remember the last time I cut myself on brambles, I don’t remember the last time I climbed a tree. I don’t remember the last time I did something because it sounded fun, even though I might hurt myself.

I’m sitting writing this with a bump on my head and a graze on my knee and I feel fine. If anything now I have a good story to tell to people when they ask me how my day was.

But I was always so afraid of falling or hurting myself, even a tiny bit, I stopped having real, proper, fun.

So today, I challenge you to do something just because it seems fun. Climb a tree, go a little faster on your bike, sit on a skateboard and power down a hill. I don’t give a fuck what it is, just do it. And if you’re lucky, you can come join me in the grazed knee club.