Thursday, May 13, 2010

Curb Appeal

I have been known to spend chunks of my time watching HGTV programs. (much more useful than Real Housewives, which I may have watched a time or two, but you have no proof!). Many of the programs on home and garden TV refer to curb appeal. I have always thought this was an oxymoron. I mean, what is appealing about a curb? Curbs are mean and dangerous entities. NOTHING appealing about them. Curbs and I have a long and mostly unpleasant history.

Our first unpleasant encounter was when I was in first grade. I was skipping along a curb and fell off, onto a broken soda bottle (that's right younguns, they used to make pop in glass bottles). This incident resulted in a trip to the emergency room and a several stitches in my right palm. I also had a nicked tendon. It might have been better if it was a clean cut through the tendon, that would have eliminated the use of my middle finger, which has been known to get me into sticky situations. I was once stranded on the side of a road because a curb decided to jump out and hit the tires on the right side of my car, causing not one but two flats. So far, curb two, me none. The worst meeting between me and a curb occured about three years ago. I had decided it was time for me to stop dismounting my mountain bike at every sidewalk and curb and riding up them. I went out and was diligently practicing this skill. I had even managed to get up and over several times. This consisted of me riding up to a curb and just running into it and letting the shocks take me up and over. Not exactly mastering the skill, and not pretty. Me Hearty (okay, I like his pirate name way too much) decided I should learn to pop a wheelie up a curb. I was learning how to lift the front wheel prior to hitting the curb. That went well for about two times and then, not so well. Disaster struck. I popped up the wheel and it came smack down at the curb and I took a hard hit. That curb beat me up, head to toe. I was black, blue, green and yellow up on both hips (don't know how that happened) and once again the curb got the better of the palms of my hands. Now, maybe dear readers you can understand why for me there is no such thing as curb appeal. Until today.

Today, I was determined to meet my fear of the curb face on. I went out for a ride and warmed up. The first curb I came to I went for it. I looked at it dead center and said, I'm not taking your crap no more. (really, I held my breath and muttered 'please be nice to me'). I made it up the curb, but I was still terrified and decided that holding my breath on every curb was going to be ludicrous. I decided to ride up and down it until I was loose and relaxed. That took ten times. I still wasn't experiencing curb enthusiasm, but I was moving away from dread.  I then continued on my ride and I am proud to announce that I did not dismount one time today for a curb! Now I am not saying that the next time I head out I will not hold my breath up and over the first curb, I have years of terror to erase, but progress is being made. Maybe I will get to the point where curbs are appealing.

The practice curb, I graduated to the big white squared off ones by the end

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