It Takes Courage to Call It a Day

Runaway to Sister’s City: New York City, NY, USA
June 17, 2011
It’s Time to Spill the Bucket
June 21, 2011

It Takes Courage to Call It a Day

 

courage

 

At this very moment, I have three huge first aid-up wounds around my shoulder and leg, and one purple coloured thumb. It looked almost I’ve half eaten by a bear. I am supposed to be at Cheongpyeong with a bunch of bikers, drinking beer but I’m sitting at a cafe, writing this.

What happened was, I went to a bike trip with a bunch of bikers this weekend. Our plan was bike up to the upstream Han river and meet up at Cheongpyeong, Gyeonggi province. The whole ride is 80km. I’ve never done that long bike ride before, but I wanted to challenge it. Nice early summer weather, along the beautiful river and a group of fun people, what’s not to like, right? So I hopped on a bike at 8am, this Saturday. It’s been quite a while since I was on a bike. It took some time to get used to it but after all, “just like a ride a bike” is all true.

 

I was extremely nervous before I started this expedition. I thought about, why.

I was nervous, why? Because I haven’t done something like this before. Okay, that’s understandable. And nervous because I would be suck at it. But, I’ve never done this before, that means I’m going to be suck and that’s okay. But I will be embarrassed, and why is that? Because I may look like an idiot.

Along the whole process of thinking, I thought, we cannot be good at everything. That’s not a human. We cannot be the best at everything we do. But the nervous feeling and embarrassment stop us to actually do something. Because we do not want to be mediocre, seriously. As became a grown up, we have this traumatized part of the brain says ‘You have to be the best’. That’s a part of a general education of this world. We have to be good at, no, be the best. If not? We stop trying, because we don’t want to feel and to be seen that we suck. And we stop trying because we don’t want to be a quitter. That is really a negative word to use for person.

However, who cares? Even if I’m going to be suck at biking, who would judge me and says, “Hey, you really are suck at it.” And so what? if somebody says that. The important thing is what You think about yourself. Do you really think that you suck? Do you really think that you should stop trying because you are not going to be the best anyways? Do I should’ve declined the offer because I was nervous, and miss out everything?

 

Wounded soldier!

Wounded Juno! Being brave.

 

After about 10-something K after, I fell, massively. I landed on the ground with my left palm, right shoulder and right elbow. I was rolling and felt that my shoulder and elbow were peeling off by the ground. Did it hurt? Of course. At that moment, my body hurt for sure, but I felt a serious embarrassment. I couldn’t believe I fell that badly. As I was falling down, I leaned on Katie and she fell too. I felt so bad. My ego hurts more than burns on my skin. I hurt myself and I made my friend fell.

I have pretty positive attitude about pretty much everything. I always am confident about everything I do. But I thought while I was lying on the ground, maybe that’s because I do what I’m good at. To be honest I don’t do well with embarrassment. I don’t know what’s that about, but that is truth about me.

 

At that moment, I had two choices. A) Bike back to where I started and just call it a day, or B) give myself another chance on the bike. I didn’t want to push me too hard but I was already there, so I’ve decided to give it another try. On a bike and for the first time, I realized that breeze could actually physically hurt me.

For a while later, we stopped for a toilet / water break.  From that spot, six more kilometers, than I got to see the top of Han River. However, I decided to call it a day. I was mentally tired, rather than physically.

You know what? I’ve realized that it takes courage to call it a day. It is important to know that where your limit is. We always want to be the strong one. It takes a lot of courage to admit that we need some help. As a traveler, I consider myself as a super independent, brave and tough human being. So that makes harder for me to admit that I need some comfort in my life. Part of my brain says ‘What are you doing? You are an independent person. You don’t need help! You ain’t no softy!’ But actually I am. Just I was too coward to admit it.

 

That moment, I swallow my pride and admitted that my wounds were too painful to ride all the way. I admitted that I was mentally tired. I felt sorry for my ride buddy Katie, but I saw my limit there.

 

It takes courage to admit that you are done for the day.

 

But it’s okay. It doesn’t mean that you are a quitter. You are just being true to yourself and seizing the moment. We set the boundary, not anybody else. You don’t have to proof to the entire world that you are the best. It is your world. Set your boundary that you can be happy in it. That is a brave thing to do.

 

That is a lesson for the day, with massive wounds. Even though I have huge bandages all over my body, I am happy that I took that chance today. It was really nice day to out there, and the upstream Han river was beautiful. We had so much fun during all that time, and we met some nice people on the way too. Experience, that counts.

 

Clean up wounds.

Clean up nicely, with millions of bandages

 

 

*Special thanks to Katie Tibbetts, who let me run with her the most awesome bike in the world and ride along on my side.

 

*Photo credit: Lsea584 on Flickr.

 

Juno Kim
Juno Kim
Juno Kim, a happiness-seeking storyteller. Photographer, writer, and trained mechanical engineer. Life-long nerd. I left the cubic farm to follow my true love: the world. A firm believer of serendipity, astronomy enthusiaster, and living by passion and love in life. Currently, on a quest to discover stories and find the place where I can call 'home'. Follow my journey through @RunawayJuno and Google+ .

14 Comments

  1. Angie Orth says:

    I feel your pain! Same thing happened to me in Bali. I have no business being on a bike – I’m just not good at it! After I fell spectacularly and smashed my new Canon G12 to bits, I called it a day, too. I hope you feel better soon – I still have a bruise from my fall & that was back in march!

    • Juno says:

      ouch… your camera? that hurts!
      Hope I didn’t bring anything with me. Just smashed my body, and that’s all. 🙂 Thanks! Hope it gets better soon. It’s really uncomfortable more than anything.

  2. Aww… you’re still smiling even though you’re all bandaged up.

    This reminds me of when Ayngelina turned back halfway through hiking Colca Canyon.

    I like to do many things that I am not the best at nor ever will be the best at. There is no shame in doing as much as you want or going as far as you want and being satisfied with that. We cannot all be the best. But we can all have fun.

    • Juno says:

      Even though I have millions of bandages on my body, it was a great day! Beautiful day to be outside. 🙂
      I’d love to try new things as well. But I think it took some time to realize that it’s okay to be suck at something. No reason to be embarrassed!

    • @The Travel Chica – I was thinking the same thing it reminded me Ayngelina’s trip in Peru.

      Hope you start feeling better!

  3. Lol, I love how happy you look all bandaged up. Way to go to keep up with the positive attitude.

  4. Andrea says:

    Aww – hope you heal quickly! Great lesson here from a brave experience. I’m not a cyclist either and wouldn’t have even gone to begin with. Good for you for going even though you were nervous =)

  5. I can’t even ride a bike! I admire your courage, dear. Courage is such a strong word, but you really need to have that.

  6. Sebastian says:

    That sounds painful!

    You are so right. It takes a lot of courage to call it a day… I normally never have the courage. I just stick to it even if it hurts or I know that it is not good. And that has to do with the education!

    I once had a similar experience. I made an internship at a hotel in Italy. Part of that internship was a mountain bike tour. The last time I was on a bike was nearly 10 years before and I stopped driving because of an accident. Of course I crashed again on that tour but I didn’t had the courage to call it a day… I was embarrassed and wanted to show that I can do it…

    I hope your wounds heal fast!

  7. Bryony says:

    I loved this post. Speaks true to me.

  8. You’re really brave for taking on that bike challenge, giving it your best shot even though cycling’s not really your thing, getting back on the back after your fall, and knowing win it was time to quit! Great post and I hope you heal quickly!

  9. Tash says:

    Such a brave and honest post!
    That bandaged arm and shoulder looks ouchie to me! You are brave for pushing on as long as you did – and for calling it quits.

  10. Denise says:

    Love this, and I can completely relate. I’m a very poor bike rider myself which Im often self conscious about.

    And as it happens, skiing is also on my list of things I’m not so graceful at. I faced the same decision on a mountain, but, unlike you chose not to call it a day. Year later I’m still dealing with the injury from that decision! Feel better soon!

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