Since my theme song for the year, “Live Like You Were Dying” sports the line ”ride a bull named Fu Manchu,” of course, I had to try it. And because I am smarter than I look, I went with the mechanical kind surrounded by cushy air-filled pads and the smell of yesterday’s spilled beer to be my trial and, I’ll say it, the only kind of bull I am planning to ride.
I have a history of injuring myself. I’ve contemplated, at times, whether I even know where my limbs and extraneous body parts are at any given moment, whether I’m just haphazard, or too quick to evaluate a situation and don’t bother to assess the risks.
It is usually the latter.
It’s not that I don’t take direction or want to come out unscathed, I am just in such a rush to have the experience that I sometimes forget to appreciate the risks involved. You know, like a toddler. What I need is a grown up to finger wag at me when I go on playdates. Sadly, they are hard to find on my schedule.
But I did bring my grown-ups to ride the mechanical bull. These responsible people allowed me to have two beers before I stepped in the ring. They cheered me on from the sides and screamed, “faster!” In fact, my husband even bribed the woman running the bull to buck off our niece, and I laughed as she went flying. All good fun and no one was hurt in the process.
I should take time to watch others and evaluate if a sport or situation is going to be something that will transfer me to the hospital. But sometimes it is just looking at a landscape and tripping over my own feet that send me to the doctor. Like this week. I was eyeing the beautiful gardens when I missed a step and dislocated a finger as I used it to break my fall. If only I had had two beer and a cheer squad I would have been fine. Can I pave my way with mats?
As we age, it is kind of natural to slow down the danger sports. Isn’t that a slippery slope though (I know, a slippery slope can send me to emergency too as we found out when I tried snowboarding)? When our kids were small, I used to tell them that if they didn’t have at least one cut or bruise that was in various stages of healing, they weren’t having enough fun. I think that should be the same for grown-ups. If we aren’t in the process of healing any kind of injury (heartbreaks and depression count too), how are we to know our limits and congratulate ourselves for surviving yet another challenge? In essence, for growing up.
So, I will not stop looking at the landscape, riding that bull, or taking on a new challenge. So maybe there is a real Fu Manchu in my future, although I doubt it. But maybe. Living like I am dying is just too much fun to stop me even if I get trampled and broken I will have a smile and a story waiting after the ride in an ambulance.
My Turning 50 Like a Boss Pro Tip: Live like you were dying before it is too late.
Check out the video: Ride ’em Cowchick