Walk It Off

I went for a bike ride earlier this summer.

I generally speak to every person I pass on the trail.  Smile, nod.

But there isn’t a lot of time to “engage” with one another as we roll, run, or  lope past one another .

On this ride it was a gorgeous day.  No humidity.  Sunny.  Breezy.  And not an over abundance of people out.   Perfect.  At one point I saw ahead two gentlemen approaching me.  They were  walking, but rolling their road bikes along side of them.  I was looking at the tires to see if they were flat.  I don’t think I’ve ever been resting or working on my bike along a trail without rolling by bikers yell out “are you okay”.    So I try to keep a thoughtful eye out on walking bikers or people stopped along the trail.   As I was focused on their tires I had but the briefest  glance at their faces as I passed and said “hello”.

They both responded.   I went on about fifty feet before I realized what I had just seen.   The men, in their seventies, were walking side by side and both spoke.  But something was not right.

It took me that long to realize one of them had blood all over his face.

I turned my bike around to go back and see if they were okay.

I pulled up along side of them them and asked if they were okay.  I didn’t have any tissues or wetnaps to offer him.  The one with blood on his face said he was okay.  He hit some sand or rocks on that “last dip back there” and hit the rocks.   With his face.   “The rocks” being huge stone piled along the side of the banks in some of the areas.

I asked if they needed a phone and he said no, he has a phone.  He said he just needed to “walk it off”.  They thanked me for coming back to make sure he was okay.

I am pretty sure he is not going to be able to “walk off” what appears to be some broken bones in his face.  But they thanked me and sent me along.  His friend was with him and he was moving okay.

They both smiled at me and assured me he was okay.

I am pretty sure I want to be in my seventies riding my bike and have the ability to walk it off if I hit the pavement.  With my face.

I do worry that we are losing that “walk it off” mentality and ability.

33 thoughts on “Walk It Off

  1. You are a kind soul for being aware enough to not only ask if they were OK but to look back and check, again. Good on you! One of the simple joys of being outdoors, enjoying nature, is the fleeting interaction amongst complete strangers. A little smile, a quick hello are dense with meaning and profound. If I may offer a different take on these two gentlemen, for I am uniquely qualified to put myself in his shoes – seeing that I have wrapped my face around some rocks a time or two. First – Make sure the bike is OK. Second – Walk it off and share a laugh with your mate who was fortunate enough to be riding with you. Lastly – Fabricate a tale that will make your wife overlook any scrapes and scratches. 😉


  2. Colleen, I could not agree more, we are indeed losing the ability to “walk it off,” heck not only have we lost the ability, so many have even lost the desire to walk it off. But not me, I am going to walk it off to the best of my ability. Great POST, thanks for sharing — Bill


  3. I’m a bit like that like myself .. if I fall or trip … and people want to help – I want to walk it off and accept it in my own time. Happen to me last time in Berlin .. tripped as I came up from the riverwalk – and even cars stopped to see how I was doing – 3 cars on the busy road, amazing and then there was a couple of pedestrians that came to my help too.
    I think that the most important thing is that we feel there is support – there is somebody that really cares about us .. like you did here – and with that in his back pocket he could go on.
    He could walk it off in his own tempo. Because somebody wanted to help .. a helping hand was there and that is what is important.


    • I like how you say that Viveka. Putting that support in his back pocket helped him go on. And somebody “wanting to help” was help in it’s self. I think you are right.

      So you were okay when you fell???


      • I can’t remember if I hurt myself or not … I think a toe, but nothing serious – I was so shocked of that cars stopped and came to help.
        I stood still and feel a couple of winters ago because it was so icy, some thing a couple of young people wanted to help me up, but I wanted to make it up on my own, at that time my shoulder got a beating – had pain of over a year (nothing damage – just inside tendons), but at the time it happen the most important thing was that somebody wanted to give me help … and that was the help. That somebody shows that they care.


  4. So good of you to turn around and make sure he was okay. I have tendency to “walk it off” and not ask for help if I need it. Thankfully, there are usually kind people like yourself who will offer the help so that I don’t have to ask. 🙂


    • Ah….so many of us who won’t “ask” for what we need. 🙂 I hope I wasn’t the only one who asked him. I mean, he was BLOODY! Though admittedly, it took me a minute to realize what it was I had seen.


  5. First, I hope that gent gets an MRI within a couple of days to look for bleeders on his brain (precursor to stroke and an emergency craniotomy). Secondly, your last sentence is what I have been thinking about a lot recently – after Old Man Jack’s passing… Their generation made it through life without penicillin (WWII) so indeed they are a hearty breed. Natural selection, perhaps. And think of those young boys who had gotten gut-shot on those stinkin’ islands or legs/arms shot off. They made it with minimal medical care – and even under unsanitary conditions by today’s standards.

    I believe we have lost that “walk it off” mentality and ability…and seek law suits to compensate.


  6. Having recently hit the pavement with my face, I’m feeling great sympathy! With all the swelling and blood I was sure I’d broken something in my face, but I don’t think so…so perhaps he is will be as fortunate! What a good attitude, though. I’m sure you’ll be biking long for decades more! 🙂


  7. My kids are constantly getting hurt….my husband is always saying “walk it off” while I am busy scooping them up and hugging them simultaneously. When my kids hit 70 they will be walking it off and hugging everyone they see when they get hurt!


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