Dare-Devil Rider

You know with all this talk about extreme this and extreme that you would think that ‘extreme’ would be extremely overused. And I, for one, am tired of all these young whippersnappers thinking they’re so cool; just because they can ride bicycles, or skateboards or skis or climb up rock walls or whatever in strange ways that make them:……A: Look cool or more often….. B: Get extremely hurtI was doing all that kind of stuff, what almost 40 years ago. Back then we didn’t wear snazzy multi-colored uniforms with knee pads and helmets, call it ‘extreme’ and have a television crew devoted to our exploits, but maybe we should have. I could have made a lot of money endorsing a soft drink, like maybe, Dr. Pepper.You see from the earliest I can remember we used to do stunts and dares and other stupid things. Mostly because we didn’t have 50 television channels to watch, or computer games to play and we didn’t want to be bored. So we would invent ways to torture our bodies.Our heroes were the likes of Tarzan, The 3 Stooges, those guys that parachuted out of airplanes, various pilots and space explorers, and mountain men. Or in other words, extremists.It was so much fun to see Tarzan swing from tree to tree so we thought we should do that too. But first we had to climb up a tree and tie a rope onto a higher branch so that we could swing to another tree, because for some reason there were no hanging vines where we lived. I’m not sure why, but Tarzan always had really handy vines hanging all around to grab.Anyway, if we managed to climb high enough in the tree without falling or dropping the rope we would tie it to a sturdy looking limb with our favorite knot. You know that square one? And we were set.Except that the next tree didn’t have a rope since we only had one rope. So we’d just swing out to the tree, hoping to grab on, then climb down and climb back up the first tree and repeat. That was fun until I managed to break off the small branch that was holding me and I fell flat on my chest. After I got to breathing again we went on to something else.Another favorite sport of ours was tumbling into tumble weeds. See we had this big ditch that would fill up with tumble weeds. We would try to jump across but if we didn’t make it we’d fall harmlessly into the soft tumbleweeds stacked below. At least that was our theory. I don’t remember getting hurt, but I do remember the time my foot caught on the downed fence just before my planned leap. I ended up doing a midair somersault and landing in the ditch, looking up at the sky, a seemingly normal position to find myself in. But this time I didn’t get the wind knocked out of me. And everybody else (i.e. my brothers and sister) thought I looked really cool flipping through the air.

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