leaving an impression.

Back in the homeschool days, mom, Janine, and I would start the morning off by going for a trek through the neighborhoods. Mom and Janine would walk/jog and I’d ride my bike. It is no secret that I have a competitive streak and I have always loved winning via speed.

Pause for a moment.

We went skiing when we were really young and both Janine and I were in ski school. They taught us the principles of controlled downhill skiing via the “Pizza” (snowplow) form. They mentioned the “French Fry” method in passing – of taking both skis straight down the hill (parallel skiing). Being the competitive one of the two of us, I challenged my sister to a race down one of the slopes. I passed her in true french fry form while she cautiously took the slope going pizza all the way. As luck would have it, I hit a bump at massive speed. I went straight up and landed on my back. Meanwhile, Janine passed me and won the unofficial race. Slow and steady. And she laughed.

Ok. Back to the original story.

So we are on a walk. Well. They’re walking. I’m riding my bike. There was a certain cul-de-sac that was a downward hill. I’d come around on the street at the top, turn my bike, and get as much speed as I felt comfortable with. As I’d reach the bottom, I’d go to the right around the the circle at the bottom of the cul de sac, make the full circle, then head back up to the top, where I’d meet Janine and mom as they reached the top. Then I’d do it all again.
Then there was that day. I did what I normally do. I started down the hill. I pushed speed a little more than normal. I came to the bottom of the street and began my turn around the cul-de-sac. Then I realized. This wasn’t good. I was going too fast. I couldn’t stop. This. Was. It. I finally had gone too fast. Luckily for me, at the 10 o’clock position of the cul de sac (with the entrance at 6) was the neighborhood pool, which was landscaped nicely with shrubberies. That was it. The shrubberies. My salvation. I pointed myself in the direction of the shrubberies as fast as I could. I hit the curb, flipped over the handlebars, and flew into the arms of my shrub savior. I don’t remember if I had gotten out of the shrub or not by the time Janine and mom came down…but I was definitely in shock. It took me a few weeks to regain my confidence on that hill. But fear not, I conquered it many times after that. And the shrubbery? It had a large bald spot from where I landed for many many years afterwards. We joked about setting up a plaque to commemorate that saving shrubbery, though we never did.

Thanks for saving me, shrubbery. Glad I could leave an impression.

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