Friday, October 9, 2009

A Lesson in Humility

I remember in high school, my good friend V got into a minor car accident and our Latin teacher described it as a "lesson in humility." At the time, I didn't really understand what that meant. Since then, I've taken a few classes on the subject.

I've never thought of myself as an extremist. I tend to err on the side of caution. Blood makes me queasy. I don't like dirt... or bruises or scrapes or anything that burns, stings or itches. I like to think of my skin as a blank canvas... and I like to keep it that way.

Perhaps one could suggest that living on a sailboat is a bit extreme. (Well, for those of us on a mooring field anyway. There's nothing extreme about living in a slip with electricity and a wooden walkway leading from your boat to land.) Sailboat living seems free and easy, but there is a lot of hard work involved. My blank canvas is usually tinted with shades of brown and blue or purple, and sometimes red.

Sometimes we do something stupid and we just wish we could take it back... rewind ten minutes or twenty minutes or an hour. I felt that way earlier today when I got angry at the noisy fender on my 1970's Columbia 3-speed and decided to kick it with my flip-flopped foot while pedaling down the embarcadero. Problem is, I never was good at kicking because I always kick with my toes instead of the side of my foot. In this instance, my toes missed the fender and slipped neatly between the spokes of my bicycle tire. If you've never tried this yourself, you might be surprised at the fantastic stopping power of a foot wedged between the spokes of a wheel. For the first time in my life, I succeeded at doing a stoppie! I landed with such grace - the only parts of my canvas that were painted were the bottom of my foot and a tiny spot on my elbow (plus a little three dimensional sculpture in the form of swelling). It doesn't hurt the foot as much as the ego, but it doesn't tickle either. (The tickling comes later when your boyfriend is trying to disinfect the cut on the bottom of your foot). Luckily, the pain in the ego fades a little quicker than the physical pain. Just the same, I wouldn't recommend trying this extreme sport at home, kiddos. I only wish I had a video to share with you all.


  1. I cringed with you got to the part about the toes in the spokes. I picture things as I read/hear them (both a blessing & a curse LOL!) & that just "looked" like it hurt!

  2. maybe i should have worded that differently. luckily my toes went right out the other side of the wheel... so the ball of my foot got the brunt of it. which is probably very lucky. (but hurts just the same). at least i still have my toes! :)