The other day, on a bike ride, I came face to face with my vulnerability. I'm not the most active guy in the world, but I go to the gym every so often and can hold my own on an elliptical. So on this ride, we're chugging along, cars whizzing past and I'm doing alright. Then we get to the top of this decent sized hill and start heading down.
In my youth, I would ride around a lot. I would take jumps, could even do some tricks and was pretty fearless. In all honesty, I would ride down steeper hills than this with my hands behind my head. Now, as I travel down this, ok, it's not really steep that much at all, hill, my heart is pounding. I see a patch of rocks come up ahead and kinda freak out. I imagine hitting them, spinning out of control and breaking both legs, bed-bound forever. I imagine my brakes not working and slamming into a car, breaking my hands, my dreams of hand-modeling gone forever. Every horrible thing you can imagine goes through my mind.
It's amazing how none of this came to me as a kid. I wouldn't think twice about doing something incredibly stupid, and now look at me. I'm my father yelling at me to slow down. I'm the old man screaming "get off my lawn!". I'm the soccer mom "tsk, tsk"-ing me. How did I get to this place?
And thinking about it more, as a social worker, how will I handle risk with my clients? Will I be able to stand by while my clients take risks that would be unacceptable to me? Will *my* scaredycattedness kick in and make me want to save them, or will I be able to step back and let people be who they are? I guess only time will tell.