Mr. Shife's March Madness - Day 22

Every now and then you get a reminder from the universe that you are not as cool as you think you are. I have had several proverbial kicks to the groin in my lifetime to let me know that my shit does indeed stink. One memorable incident occurred on Mother’s Day about 10 years ago when Mrs. Shife and I were out riding bikes on a nice, sunny afternoon. Going for a bike ride definitely does not fall into one of my favorite activities especially on the weekend but Mrs. Shife persuaded me - and by persuaded I think she threatened me with no cuddle time if you know what I mean and if any of our relatives are reading this I really, - wink, wink - really, really mean cuddle time since we were not married yet.

The bike ride is going along fine as we were heading down to the Greenbelt - which is a bike/running/walking path that runs along the Boise River and is a cool place - and by the time we are almost there I am starting to get a little confident on my bike. I am doing tricks, jumps, knitting baby blankets and other things because I am a cool dude who probably could have been a world-class bicyclist is what am I thinking because I have just pedaled my way into fantasy land.

I am no longer confident, I am arrogant and ignorant. I hear a voice inside my head that sounded a lot like my mother’s reminding me that maybe I should take it down a notch because I will probably do something stupid and get hurt. The warning was promptly ignored.

I was preparing myself to ride down a steep embankment to get on the Greenbelt and as I gazed down the dirt path I noticed in the distance a group of young ladies decked out in bikinis working on their tan. In my head I was like “Hello ladies and prepare to feast your eyes on this amazing specimen who is going to cruise down this hill like an extremely handsome super suave stud. What’s that? Oh know I am sorry I can’t let you rub suntan lotion all over me and feed me grapes as I am with my lady friend and that would not be cool. But go ahead and drink me in. I will wait a moment. Done. Good. You have a super day, ladies.”

Mrs. Shife asks me if I think it is good idea to go down the path, and I assure her that this is nothing because I have tackled much dangerous trails in my lifetime. However, I am starting to question my decision-making abilities on this one and that voice in my head is starting to make a lot sense right now but I am past the point of no return. I start to descend as there are bikini-clad ladies to impress and of course I have to show off my athletic prowess to Mrs. Shife.

Down I go and it is a disaster from the get go. I am going too fast. I hit the brakes too hard. I am wondering why I must continue my quest to be a moron. Also thinking it would have been a good idea to wear a helmet. I am head over heels not in love with life right now. I am also inventing new cuss words as I begin to flip over my bike and roll down the hill. Fortunately my momentum was stopped by a sprinkler head. Unfortunately the sprinkler head needed to dig into my hip to achieve that feat. Immediately I am in an incredible amount of pain as I am sitting halfway down the path. This is no bueno. Mrs. Shife comes down the hill to see if I am OK and I tell her I am fine but then I realize that the bikini-clad ladies saw the whole thing and start to head my way because they just witnessed a stupid human trick. I can hear them asking me if I am OK and I scurry back up the hill like a frightened puppy. The girls ask Mrs. Shife if they can help out. Did I just type girls? Oh that’s right from a distance the group of “ladies” looked like they were adult women but it turns out they were 13-year-olds in town for a soccer tournament.

Well isn't that special. Besides being a horrible bike rider, I am also a pervert too. This is turning out to be a fabulous day.

I am sitting at the top of the hill with my hand on my hip pretending that I am fine while Mrs. Shife and the girls look up at me knowing that I am not OK because they can see a trail of blood leading back up the hill. I also notice the blood and then look down at my hip, remove my hand and blood starts squirting out of a giant hole in my flesh. The sprinkler head went Freddy Krueger on me. I think the horror on my face at what I just saw signaled to Mrs. Shife and the girls that I needed some help. Some of the girl’s parents have now showed up so I am just absolutely living the American dream as I am writhing in pain and bleeding out while giving complete strangers a great story that will probably begin with “Remember that idiot riding the bike in Boise?”

After several minutes of free, unprofessional medical advice from our new friends, Mrs. Shife and I decide we should probably get me to the emergency room so her sister picked us up and then we had to drive to the hospital.

I have ripped open my armpit, broke my shoulder, fractured my foot, had a scrotal hematoma, been hit with a softball moving at the speed of sound in my thigh, dealt with plantar fasciitis, cut my nipple with a razor but this was by far the most painful injury in my life.

By the time we got to the emergency room I was begging the hospital staff to give me something for the pain. Eventually they did and I felt wonderful. The doctor fixed me up and sent me on my way, and I have a permanent dimple on my left hip to remind me of my stupidity. I have not gone on too many bike rides since that day, and the moral of my little story is that sometimes you need to check yourself before you wreck yourself.

Thanks for stopping by. Talk to you tomorrow.

I will persevere. I will keep moving forward. I will be the stream.


  1. Man. The dumb shitake we pull in our youth. I remember one awesome bike crash: I was in grade school and was at the top of our street with my bff Jeff. We both start down the street building momentum and all of a sudden my bike forgets how to remain upright. I skid down the road on my side, trapped by the bike with the handle bar pounding me in the head repeatedly. The only cool thing about that crash was my Dad let me cuss when he was cleaning my bleeding knee.

  2. Matt, I'm sorry for your (past) pain but the telling of this tale wins prizes in my book. I only had one major fall off a bike and that was when I decided to race downhill and ended up in a heap at the bottom.

    Talking of books.... how's yours going?

  3. This is a perfect example of the effect of testosterone on young men. Evolution designed this so that young men would go out and hunt the giant wooly mammoth. There are no more giant wooly mammoths and so young men must do other things which are just as foolish.
    And dangerous.
    I'm glad you lived to tell the tale.

  4. The things some people will go through to get pain medication!

    I'm glad you recovered alright.

    It does seem, sometimes that the universe will try to get your attention, subtlety at first and if that doesn't work, look out!

    Have a nice weekend Mr. Shife.

  5. Got to agree with Ms. Moon, blame it on the testosterone; you guys can't help it. But you sure make a good story out of it.


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