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Falling and getting up
I just fell on my a§§.
As some of you know, I recently went on a long-ish adventure on my Vespa scooter. Rode about 2000km into the alps and back. I had been feeling the adventure itch for a while and the stars aligned for the trip.
About 30km from home on the way back it happened. I took a leaning left turn and did not notice the new road markings that must have just been painted days ago. Within itself those markings are harmless, once it starts raining though, they become little ice-skating-rinks. Especially when freshly painted.
I was listening to some upbeat music, feeling the joy of (almost) having completed this long trip on my tiny 125cc scooter. My GPS gave the instruction “turn left in 50 meters..” I leaned in, sang along to the music on my headphones and just as I was about to accelerate out of the curve, I could feel the rear tire slip.
I still remember doing a quick scream inside my helmet and the attempt to straighten the bike, but it was no use. Both the bike and I started sliding across the wet street. For a moment everything was still.
I remember doing a quick self scan. All limbs are still there, some pain in my leg but nothing major. The bike laying on its side was a sad sight, but it seemed largely OK.
Some person saw it happen and pulled over to offer his help. I quickly reassured him that I was fine and he should drive on. So I picked up the bike, dusted myself off and rode home, still with shaky legs.
With a few days hindsight, I reflected on this story and learned a few things:
It’s not over until it’s over. I had ridden 99% of the trip and everything was still possible
Don’t celebrate too soon, stay sharp until the very end
Falling hurts, both the body and the ego
Damaging my beloved scooter stings, however it’s some scrapes on metal, it can be fixed
Sometimes unpleasant stuff happens. That’s life. Come to terms with it.
When I am down, people will show up and offer help. I’ll have the choice to accept or decline
On the day itself it's upsetting. A few days later, it’s just a funny anecdote.
My friend Micha said it so nicely “You have not been badly injured, look at it as a lesson and key event which will make the whole trip even more memorable!”
I think about it now as an exclamation mark at the end of a beautiful sentence.