I had a class from hell this past weekend. It wasn’t them per sae – everyone rode really well. It was just the constant rain yesterday – off and on all day. I had water sloshing in my boots and wet hair. The class was delayed several times because it was raining so hard we couldn’t see – let alone ride without hydroplaning. We had taken a break and went back out and right as we’re starting another exercise one of my students crashed badly. I won’t go into the details but even I was a bit shocked over the severity of the crash. In all the years I’ve been doing this there have only been a handful of crashes that caused me to almost panic. This was one of them. I was dialing 911 as I hurried over to her. When I got to her she was crying and in a lot of pain. She had broken her shin in two places and we thought her wrist was broken, too. After the paramedics came and took her away I was left with a freaked out class. It was all I could do to keep their spirits up. We finally got to the skill evaluation and it started to pour again and we had to take another break. Once we got out there to run the test one of my riders had an anxiety attack and I had to take him off the motorcycle and talk with him.
“G, you can do this. Just take a deep breath. You’ve been doing fine all day.”
We finally got through it and as I dragged myself into my truck and turned up the heat (I’d been wet and shivering all day and couldn’t wait to get in a hot shower) my phone rang. It was Bird. We had talked about getting together for a beer later that day but I wanted to bag it. I picked up and said, “Hey, what’s up?”
“Janice (the good doctor) has been diagnosed with breast cancer. I just need someone to talk to can you meet out for a beer or a few beers.”
My stomach dropped. “I’m so sorry, Bird. Sure I’m on the way home now and I’ll hop in the shower and meet you at the pub on the corner in an hour.”
Sadie met me at the door as I walked in. I had been trying to train her to be out of her kennel during the day. I looked around and she had torn up an entire Beer Connoisseur magazine and ate the corners of my end table. There were magazine shreds and wood shavings everywhere. I groaned.
“This day is a nightmare.” And as I swept up and vacuumed I said to Sadie, “This is not what I had in mind to do when I got home, Sadie.
After cleaning up and letting her run around the back yard for a bit I got into the shower and turned it up as hot as I could stand it. My shoulder was hurting from picking up bikes and there was numbness in my arm. I let the water hit it for a good 10 minutes. I got out and felt better. I pulled on jeans and a long sleeve T from a store in Tybee. It made me smile thinking about that place. I needed to smile and I needed my strong game face to cheer Bird up and calm her down. Rarely is that girl shaken. She’s been through so much.
Two pitchers later she said, “You know – I don’t know why we ever broke up.”
“You always say that when we’re drinking together. It’s like suddenly you’re my grandmother with dementia saying, ‘You got some woman living with you, honey?”
That got a necessary laugh out of her.
“But really, why did we?”
“Well, Bird – if you must know it was because of those little flowered soaps you had in the bathroom of that apartment you had by the Kroger.” (I make up a different story every time and she plays along.)
“Yes! They freaked my sh*t out – and, that Winnie the Pooh shower curtain.”
“I thought you liked that.”
“No, I was running like Forest Gump after seeing that.”
We both cracked up after that. It was so nice to finally laugh.