He sat for hours observing the blue jay, relaxing in the breeze and taking in the sun learning all he could from the bird before deciding that he needed to get back on the saddle and pedal out of town. He took a look at his map, after putting away his pad and pencil and began to map out his route and destination. It was becoming fun to him, calculating the time and distance he would be traveling even though he had no obligation to either. The weather was nice and the sky was beautiful although in the distance he could vaguely see what looked like storm clouds but he couldn't be for sure. I guess it really didn't matter either way so he jumped on his bike and began to ride on.
After a few hours of riding he exits the city limits and edges further out in the suburbs which looked more rural than anything. The sky is much darker now, storm clouds for sure he says to himself. But he doesn't care, he's ridden through rain before, as a matter of fact his exodus started out in the rain so it wasn't anything new. Minutes later he noticed how the wind began to pick up, so he hunkers down on his bike and leans forward a little further, trying to make himself more aerodynamic and leaving less surface area for the wind to grab ahold of and push him around or slow him down while on the ride. He begins to take it as a challege and as annoying as it is, he smiles a little bit and says out loud, "I'm stronger than you are, you can't beat me you know?"
Ha, he should have known that you can't challenge mother nature with such arrogance, for she's been around since the beginning of time with the power to both create and destroy. But his cockiness, his competitive attitude wouldn't allow him to know any better. Just like that, minutes later rain drops began to fall, slowly at first, then in thick sheets. Lightening parted the skies like no other and he could feel the boom from the thunder radiate through his chest. Yeah, now he was getting a tad worried, thinking maybe he should stop. But that competitive nature again, it crept up inside him, wouldn't let him stop so he pushed on, exerting himself more and more as he wanted to prove to himself that he could handle this, no problem. He should have known that this may not have been a good idea since you could hear the emergency weather sirens blaring from the suburb that he was just passing through and the fact that he could barely see ten feet in front of him because of the rain while the wind was blowing everything from limbs to trash across the road.
But he pushed on, or atleast he tried. His arrogance wouldn't let him stop, but mother nature had other plans that she was attempting to lay before him. In a split second he was knocked off his bike, a stick or limb had blown past and hit him in the head. He crashes to the ground at full force. His eyes remained closed for a while, partially out of pain and partially because he simply can't see because of so much rain coming down. So much rain pelted his face that he felt as if he was drowning and couldn't breathe. He caught a glimpse of his bike but couldn't tell if it was damaged or not. He attempted to get up and go grab it but his shoulder ached, he felt as if he had just finished playing a football game. Even his backpack felt like it weighed one thousand pounds. He tried to get up one more time, but the pain, along with the rain and wind just seemed to beat him down. It was clear that the blow to the head and the fall had taken alot out of him and dealing with such extreme elements wasn't making it easy.
So he just lay there, lay there and took the beating from the wind and the rain. He lay there and let the pain absorb him. He didn't worry about his bike or getting up. He wasn't giving up, but he decided to no longer fight the situation any longer either. And in those few minutes that's when another epiphany came to him, that's when another lesson seemed to creep up in his mind. He began to no longer feel the pain and in a sense became one with the elements and the very road that he was lying on. He wasn't scared, nor did he really feel tired. It was at that moment that he learned that tougher people are tougher than tough times. And sometimes surviving tough times means that survival and being tough isn't always about pushing through the storm (much like difficult times in life). Sometimes all that's needed is to stand or sit in the storm. The strength and patience to stand in the storm is sometimes more of a testament than using strength to try and push through it.