Shoulda, coulda, woulda… But didn’t

By James Durand

Regret is part of life, but should it be?

We all make mistakes, we all do stupid things, and hopefully we do it differently the next time.

I look back on my life, and the list of things I should have done differently is lengthy. But I wouldn’t be who I am today without the life I’ve lived and the lessons I’ve learned, so I’m glad for the mistakes, the stupidity, and the experiences they brought with them.

If you’ve read any of my blurbs over the years, you know I’ve had far too many injuries to list. Broken bones, concussions, destroyed shoulders, all in the interest of going faster, jumping further, and becoming a better rider.

There have been moments where I was watching my friends get ready to ride while I was hobbling around on crutches with deep regret. I would chastise myself for taking too much risk, and promise to take it easy in the future.

Well, we can all guess how that went. As soon as I could get back on my bike, the passion and drive took over and I pushed as hard as ever, and eventually, as my skill grew, my risk level went up, and kablam, I would be injured again regretting taking the risk. Apparently adrenaline is higher on my priority list than self-preservation.

I like taking calculated risk. The rewards are huge and even though I smash into the ground or a tree periodically, when I look back, it’s the price you pay to push the limits, and well worth it.

Our buddy, and Swicked mechanic, had a crash last week and his knee exploded. He can barely walk, never mind ride a bike. I see the same look of regret on his face that I’ve had many times. I feel horrible for him, but in the end, he is as passionate about bikes as I am.

He can’t help himself when it comes to riding. He wants to go fast, go big, and advance constantly.

Jon is going to be hobbling around for quite some time and will miss out on some rides. Right now he is regretful and probably second-guessing his actions, but I know deep down, that as soon as he can ride again, he’ll go hard and fast just like every other ride. In 20 years, when he can predict the weather due to the aches and pains, he’ll look back on the great riding, not the downtime.

It’s what we do. Speed trumps regret.

I’m James Durand and I’m Goin’ Ridin’…


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