THERE ARE 2 KINDS OF MEDICINE ALL CYCLISTS NEED: Modern Medicine and Shame. How many of us would still be riding without these two ingredients? While the modern part is obvious to me, is it to you? And the shaming, where would you be without it?
Would I dare get on my bike:
Knowing an infection from a scrape could kill me?
A broken bone could permanently maim me?
A deep cut could drain my blood?
What kind of rider would I be if:
Schooler hadn't yelled Hold your line dumbass!?
Jeff hadn't publicly mocked my horrible pedaling technique and plodding cadence?
Nelson hadn't told me my thumb and at least one finger better be wrapped around the bar if I wanted to stay on the ride?
Too often we take the medical profession for granted. The fact they are there as an incredible safety net gives us freedom to go out and ride our bikes. Maybe we go too fast, take too many chances, but we can do it for years... for decades... usually they can put us back together. So, thank a doctor/scientist/nurse/pharmacist/physical therapist/etc.
Too often we (me!) reacts negatively to the shaming. Could the shaming be done more lovingly? Probably. But, would it be as impactful? I dunno. Next time I get yelled at, I'll try and see it from her point of view, apologize, and do a little better.
Most of us will never meet the professionals who make a difference. I'll never meet the professors who taught my brother-in-law, Mike, medicine. I'll never meet whoever told Nelson Vails to always keep your fingers looped around the bars - which has kept me steady over plenty of unseen potholes. But, Mike and Nelson have counseled me with knowledge and shame.
Thank you to all the professionals in medicine and shaming!
(Mike... he had me at I ride bikes too... okay, you can marry my sister.)