Tuesday, July 3, 2018

BMX Story Time

I have some really great memories of the past. Have you guys ever had an old event or a specific time spring to mind, and with it an old friend? You then decide to try to look up said friend on the internet to see what they've been up to lately. The other day I was thinking about the time period when I started riding BMX. There were a couple other girls in the area who were racing, and we were all close to the same age. I had met them one Summer at the local bike shop, and I would go on long park trail rides with their team once in a while on Saturday mornings. We didn't have a ton in common besides riding bikes, but it was enough for us to hang out at their houses and the tracks, until they quit riding and we all lost touch. 

I was friends with one of the girls on Facebook for many years, until her account got hacked too many times and would send me emails asking for money. I'll call her Lucy. After I couldn't reach her via the messenger I unfriended the account in the mid 2000's, which had by that time been rarely used. 

I never saw or heard from one of the girls, though. Let's call her Sarah. She was nice and sort of a wild card personality wise. I remember one time during a park trail run, one of the guys we were with was teasing her by grabbing her handle bars and trying to turn her off the trail, so she grabbed on to his and refused to let go and they both ran into a tree. She just laughed it off. The guy never messed with her on a bike again. Another time she told me she had to jump a fence to get away from some drug dealer. She was 15. After I began hearing this stuff I stopped hanging out with her altogether. We all make mistakes in our lives, but there is a big thing to be said for personal accountability and I didn't want to be around anyone choosing to be involved with drugs, even though I liked her personally.

Away from the track her mom was always gone. Every time we went to Sarah's apartment her mom was always out. She was a single parent, and they lived in an apartment complex a few streets down from Lucy, which was a few miles away from where I lived. Sarah's mom and Lucy's dad were dating, at least seriously enough to involve both girls in family outings and to take us all to the track, even though it didn't work out in the end. Both parents were pretty screwed up, to put it bluntly. When Lucy's dad would take us to Inner City BMX, a now defunct track off Little York in Houston, he would always stand on the track's infields while Lucy rode, following her and yelling "pedal" and "push it", etc.. As thankful as I was to be at that track, I still thought it was beyond nuts. Who wants to be chased around and yelled at by their dad in the infield?

Yesterday as I googled her name I found her. Really I found her mugshot, and a news article about her. She had a very long arrest record for drugs and drug dealing, and it turned out she had smashed her car into another car with three moms (and bffs) in it while she was high on meth, not too far from where I work. They had been going to pick up their kids when her car hit them. According to the article, the wreck caused one of them to have nerve damage and the other to lose both legs. My heart goes out to those women, and how they have to suffer for the rest of their lives because of what she did. Last year Sarah was sentenced to 25 years in prison. 

I don't feel sorry for Sarah , but I do wonder how someone could go from spending their days racing their bike in the park to a life of crime. I'm more shocked and disappointed. I do feel sorry for her young child and every other life she affected by choosing to do drugs and get behind the wheel of a car. I almost wish I hadn't looked her up, because I can't stop thinking about her as a kid and how changed her and her victim's lives have become. 

Have you ever looked up an old friend and found something you didn't want to? 

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