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Thread: Fragility awareness.

  1. #1
    Senior Member Tinybear's Avatar
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    Fragility awareness.

    In light of the "would you ride this way" post. I was wondering if and or when you discovered your own fragility. Most at a young age feel invincible. Indestructible. But at some point for most this changes. Is it a age or event. What was it for you.

    Myself. I held on to that feeling until 29. Prior to that despite some pretty significant incidents (including being run over at the chest by a international 4300 truck) I had always managed to walk away relatively ok and despite some nasty injuries (possibly cracked ribs many cuts, some nasty road rash/burns and a few broken toes) I never failed to show up to work the next day. In fact I went from the age of 5 all the way to 28 without ever going to a hospital. I was strong and nothing could stop me. In youth I was always cycling, playing foot ball and later even fighting, yet even with the many hits to the head never did I waver get faint or get knocked out. Further more I nearly never got sick and when I did it was over and done with quickly.

    Then shortly after my 29 B-day I got hit while riding my motorcycle to grab lunch (was at work). It destroyed my left leg and gashed my right down to bone. Dislocated left shoulder, knocked me out with a bad concussion and road rash on my back and general bruising from head to toe (was not atgatt after all I was indestructible). But despite this I still was cocky and figured I'd be back at it within a month or two despite the many docs informing me of the severity of some of my injuries and the very real chance that they may not be able to save my left leg. But to me I was invincible they didn't know what I was capable of lol.

    Well when a year later I was still in and out of those hospitals fighting to keep my leg and fighting infections that was destroying my legs flesh. Fighting to keep going despite what seemed an endless tunnel of PAIN and bordum. I realized WOW i guess I ain't so tuff after all. For me It was a HUGE eye opener and rly had a some what dramatic effect on me. In some ways for the Better and in others not so good.

    These days I find I'm much tamer and my temperament is far less abrasive. I take far fewer risks and usually edge toward the safe side of things. I don't take much too seriously anymore and joke about near anything. My temper now seams to have a 1000mile fuse and generally don't react in anger to fustrarions. But on the flip side I find riding I'm far less adventurous and am always conscious of well if this goes wrong it could HURT A LOT. And this in turn stops me from attempting things I once would have not hesitated at.


    All in all I mostly feel I just got an accelerated maturing jolt. But noNe the less I was curious how all you discovered your fragility or if you have?

    Lol though it could just all be in my head. I mean maybe I am indestructible lol after all I still got two mostly working legs and I can still pull of working most days now witch is more than can be said for the car that hit me lol.
    Last edited by Tinybear; 12-18-2015 at 10:21 PM.
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    Senior Member Dryden-Tdub's Avatar
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    Very honest self assessment and I believe this should make for a great thread! I will need to sleep on it but when I figure my own instance out I will post it here.




    Tom
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    Senior Member phelonius's Avatar
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    i learned when the deer killed me in 2009.
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    Senior Member Peterb's Avatar
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    Tinybear (we swapped TW for DR) I have had a couple bad accidents that have changed my life also. Both accidents were in my VW sandrail. First one I was racing a 3 wheeler on a pipeline and hit a ditch across the road. My girlfriend got a badly broken arm and ribs ... I suffered a broken forehead nose jaw and cheekbone (open face helmet and no harness). That day I saw my whole life and all the struggles I faced growing up. I accepted death that day and the hardest part was that I would never have kids. (I met the cop that helped stitch me up 25 years later and he told me he still remembers writing "dead by morning" in his notes). At that accident I prayed for another chance. I rebuilt the buggy and had another accident where I broke my humerus and dislocated my shoulder. ( slow learner) I eventually met my wife and had two daughters. I cried the day(s) my daughters were born because it brought me back to the day I almost died and accepted I would never have kids. I'm 55 and only started ridiing 5 years ago. I still love speed and have done a lot of stupid things since I started riding but seem to be settling down and the TW is the perfect bike for that. Take care and ride safe.

  6. #5
    Senior Member admiral's Avatar
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    On Christmas Day 1996 my first wife told me she didn't love me anymore. It was worse than getting kicked in the nuts! I believe this is when I became aware of my fragility though I didn't exactly know it at the time. I hope I'm a better person now.
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  7. #6
    Senior Member Borneo's Avatar
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    I'm not fragile, even at 55. But that is through work and constant effort. I can and do take as many risks today as I did as a younger man. (In fact, I take more. I do not believe I would have had the courage to climb a mountain that kills a full 1/4 of those who attempt it when I was in my 20's. I would have seen it as a needless risk. By my mid 40's I saw it as a necessary risk.) But I admit that keeping that mindset requires constant vigilance and mental training.

    I am in fact contemplating climbing another really big mountain right now at 55 1/2, in fact, I am shedding the pounds necessary as a preparation. I've located the weight sled, greased the climbing machine, tracked down the weight vest...in other words, started to do the things that are required for the year long training necessary (for me, some people just stay in rock hard 8,000 meter shape, but I never do) to move safely on big hills.

    That being said, I know exactly what everyone is talking about. No revelation from any of my big accidents really caused it, a pickup truck tailgate did. It was the simplest thing in the world. I was about 47, back a year from K2 and I was in the bed of my lifted truck doing something. When it came time to get out I sat on my butt and slid off onto my feet. And then I just stood there...wondering what the heck I'd just done and why. I'd always just jumped off before. I recognized that moment for what it was, the very tiny glimmering of the beginning of the end. So, I climbed back in that truck and jumped off. Then I went out in the shop and built myself some varying height plywood boxes and used them for practice in jumping off things...increasing the height rather than let age decrease it for me. Fighting back if you will. Both physically and mentally.

    I've still got some things I want to do on this mortal coil. Some altruistic, some selfish. In terms of personal and selfish goals, I have, for a very long time wanted to row across the Atlantic. It seems the antithesis of my walk across the Sahara. I love the ocean, I like the idea of crossing under my own power, at my own pace, experiencing the seemingly endless majesty of the ocean. I can't do that if I allow exaggerated age acceptance and mental fear to encroach. I can't do that if I don't have the physical capacity for endless days of rowing.

    I don't care how old you are, go jump off a tailgate.
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    Senior Member dabsdog's Avatar
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    I've always been cautiously reckless.
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  9. #8
    Senior Member Borneo's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by admiral View Post
    On Christmas Day 1996 my first wife told me she didn't love me anymore. It was worse than getting kicked in the nuts! I believe this is when I became aware of my fragility though I didn't exactly know it at the time. I hope I'm a better person now.
    Christmas Day? I hope she's a better person now.
    Last edited by Borneo; 12-19-2015 at 06:45 AM.
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    Senior Member Dryden-Tdub's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borneo View Post
    Christmas Day? I hope she's a better person now.
    Yup. I was going to post the same thing but I kept reading and of course you nailed it first.



    Tom
    Borneo, admiral, TWilight and 2 others like this.
    It won't be greed which destroys America. It will be envy.

    Man who runs in front of motorcycle gets tired. Man who runs behind motorcycle gets exhausted.

  11. #10
    Senior Member Hoot Gibson's Avatar
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    Last March in Moab, when I laid down the damn TW on the Fred, Borneo, and Hoot, ride up Kane Creek Canyon....and that scrawny Borneo, did the majority of lifting{maybe all of of} of my bike from that jagged overhang...for someone who had lifted heavy weights and bulked up for a couple of decades, I realized that turning 66 the week before was just part of the long process of a downhill slide. Now mind you nearing 67 I still tell myself I am in one Hell of a lot better shape than people a lot younger than me, but even with limited workouts{and finally back lifting weights, albeit not a heavy as past years} and still officiating 200 sporting events per year, I am not what I once was, and will never be.

    Having posted this I will still say I was in much better shape in my 35-55 age years than I was when I was in my teens and 20s{way to much late nights and party life back then}
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