Scars

29 09 2011

When I started this blog I chose the name Bacon Betty as a way to make fun of my less-than-graceful nature on my mountain bike and snowboard. It’s true that I’ve collected a lot of bacon in my pursuit of adrenaline rushes…

The same knee, taking repeated abuse.

Now that I’m a little more seasoned, I’m not coming home as bloody (bruised, yes) as I once did. What remains, though, are scars.

I LOVE SCARS.

My husband has a pretty serious one on the right side of his head. Like, 3 1/2″-long-with-a-chunk-of-skull-missing kind of serious. It came from a rock throwing battle when he was six, and he was on the losing end of a piece of cinderblock. To this day, he still can’t figure out how the other kid had such good aim from 50 yards away. He made his way home with a t-shirt pressed to his head and rang the doorbell instead of going in and dripping on the carpet. A conscientious trait that was evident in him, even as a kid.

SCARS TELL STORIES.

Like the three I have on my brow bones. All collected before I was seven years old, they each have their own Bacon Betty story. #1 came from a tumble into a cast iron pot at a farmer’s market – blood everywhere and my parents being their non-freakout selves, assured the owners that I’d be fine. #2 is courtesy of a face plant down some steel-edged stairs. When my mom sat me on her lap and asked my dad if we should go get stitches, his reply was, “Nah. She’ll probably cover it up with eyeshadow when she’s older.” #3 was the only one that actually received medical attention, and happened in it’s own comical way. Who would guess you could fall off the toilet while reaching for some paper? My only advice: Beware of ceramic t.p. holders. I took those stitches without any anesthesia, by the way.

Those, surprisingly, are the extent of my facial scars. Since then, I’ve gathered countless others over my knees, ankles and hands, thanks to mountain biking and rock climbing.

It’s pretty unladylike when you’re rocking a sundress and your knees are peppered with deep red scars from repeatedly skinning the same spots. Couple those with the chain ring marks and line of bruises I often have up my calves, and you can imagine the questions I get. The looks on my girlfriends’ faces span from pity to disgust. My guy friends simply say, “Try to stay ON the bike.”

When I’m getting dressed or shaving my legs and notice a scar is still bright and commanding attention, I remember how I came by it. Reliving for a moment that time I charged ahead, only to lose grip on a sandy spot, smack my head on the ground and bust my knee on a rock, regaining composure as the other chicks rounded the bend behind me… Flying down a fire road, chasing my husband and my foot coming unclipped, pedal eating the inside of my ankle, and cracking up at my near disaster of launching into a dry creek bed…

SCARS ARE EVERYWHERE.

(AP Photo/Chris Carlson)

They symbolize scary and sad things to most people, but to me symbolize strength and character and adventure. When I think of my eyebrow scars now, they represent the philosophy my dad instilled in me regarding injury (and a great philosophy for life in general, actually) – shake it off. If it’s not broken, it’s nothing to worry about.

Carry on having fun.

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