Tuesday, March 20

Nightmares


Does this happen to other riders or am I the only one? I’ve had my first one of the season. I don’t recall hearing it discussed on the forums either. But it seems that my riding season begins with me having a spat of nightmares. Horrible, ghastly tales of being struck by a Mack truck that sends me soaring through the air hitting metal traffic poles as I go down at which point I land in the street where cars run over me or my motorcycle falls from the sky on top of me. Sheer panic awakens me and I’m usually sweaty, confused wondering if I’ve just witnessed my future finis. I swear I have no death wish.

I remember having a particularly gruesome mind trip last year where I saw the accident about to happen and on some subterranean level I screamed at myself to wake up and I did just before impact. It worried me for days and sent me off journaling about the messages embedded in the dream. I’m not afraid to ride and I don’t harbor fears beyond the normal. The only thing I’ve come up with is that the nightmares are my brain’s way of dealing with the real dangers out there; they are close-ups of the extreme risks I can face; and, they serve as reminders to be forever vigilant and sharp. I think it’s my unconscious dealing with the injuries and fatalities that all riders read about, talk about, and some of us feel will/will not happen to us.
I’m don’t believe in the commonly expressed adage that there are only two types of riders, those who have crashed and those who will. Frankly, I don’t know why any rider would buy into such a negative expectation for him or herself. Those who do, I believe will surely live up to it. These figments of my imagination are dramatic reality checks—extremes to be sure, but valuable admonitions nonetheless. My night visions remind me of the popular—and old—television “cop” series, Hill Street Blues, where the police chief, after relaying a list of grisly neighborhood crime stats to his officers, would warn them as my seasonal dreams tell me, “Let’s be careful out there.”

5 comments:

D. Brent Miller said...

I've never had nightmares about motorcycling. Every now and then when things get a little uncontrollable in life, I have dreams about holding onto a snake and can't let go for fear that it will bite! Haven't had this dream for a long time.

In regards to YOUR motorcycling, is that sign of Ashton on Rt. 38 in Illinois? I used to live just north of that on Daysville Rd., Oregon, Illinois! Cool.

Sojourner rides said...

d.brent miller--Yes, that pic was taken along Rt 38 (aka Roosevelt Road in Chicago). Wow! What a small small world! Definitely cool!

Crusty Says: said...

Hey Sharon...Wow, in all my years (38) of riding and racing I have never experienced nightmares. I have had dreams of riding and of places i have visited or wanted to visit on my bike, but they were all nice dreams. Stress has brought on bad dreams, but for me, the bad dreams never center around bikes. My bad dreams are of the things that bring me emotional pain and stress. I have plenty of real scars from crashing and have never re-lived my crashes in my dreams. My emotional scars have come back to haunt me in my sleep. Hope you work through what ever it is that is causing you these nightmares.

Sojourner rides said...

Crusty, you're fortunate not having nightmares. I think it stems in part from being female and always riding alone (I think?). Perhaps there is some underlying worry related to that?? I don't really know. But I deal with it by "feeling the fear and doing it anyway." I think of it as a clunk on the head to be careful and respectful about the sport--

Giest said...

I can't say I've ever had dreams or nightmares about riding. If I did, I would take them the way you do. Just a "heads up" from my subconscious reminding me to be careful out there.

Safe riding (and dreaming) ;)