Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sensory Stimuated Memory

Have you guys ever had an experience, where you are doing something totally unrelated, and a smell, a sound, or a feeling revives a memory that you had forgotten?  As the memory comes flooding back, you are able to look at it with a sense of detachment.  You glean new facts and make exciting observations that went un-noticed.

On my way into work yesterday, I drove past a guy riding his bike in the rain.  When I left the house at 8 AM, it was raining pretty hard, and the sun was no where to be seen.  I admired this guys fortitude, almost as much as I admired my own admonishment to not be so stupid (HTFU).

Later that day, I'm sitting at my desk thinking about the last time I rode my bike in the rain.  The memory of this training ride surreptitiously rose to the top.  I crashed all by my lonesome on the Silver Comet Trail at mile 37.  I knew I had gotten scummed up pretty bad, just not how bad.  I rode out to the 50 mile marker, turned around, and rode back in the pouring rain.

I looked like the Wreck of the Hesperus when I pulled back into the trail head.  I can still see the wide eyes, almost look of fear, on the face of the young lady as I weaved my way down the final 25 yards of trail to the car.  I honestly think she was afraid I was going to run her over.  I didn't realize it at the time, but I had a piece of my helmet sticking out the top, and I had rode with it that way for hours.

As I was putting my bike on the back of the SUV, the guy with the expensive car caught my attention.  I must have been quite a site for him too.  I was soaked to the skin, with a huge bleeding road rash down my right arm.  Part of my helmet was sticking up in the air.  I was soaked to the skin.  He seemed fairly impressed.  I was nonchallantly (word?) unaware, neither bragging nor whining.  It was just something I had to get done, and I enjoyed doing it, road rash not withstanding.

I enjoy these kinds of memories.  These are the experiences to be cherished.  I just hope I never smell or taste something nasty that brings back a crap memory ;-)

Wes

16 comments:

Kim said...

i often get those moments too wes - it can be anything - driving fast a familiar spot, or smelling a familiar scent - and you can recall the briefest of flashbacks. it's amazing. great little post wes! glad you survived your crash :)

Lisa Slow-n-Steady said...

Tends to happen to me most often with smells. Not sure why that is. Maybe it was the smell of the rain for you? :-)

J~Mom said...

Most definitely! I am really aware of it when the seasons change. Something about the way the light shifts will trigger a memory.

teacherwoman said...

Sounds like a great memory! Our sense of smell is our greatest memory triggerer.

Michelle said...

Wow Wes you are hardcore biker dude!!

Be careful though, I want to be your friend for a little longer K?

Annette said...

Ahhh memories. . . you never know when they may hit.

I know I've arrived home after a run only to be shocked by what I see in the mirror. Then I understand the looks I was getting earlier. ;) Sounds like you were lookin' scary!

Shannon said...

I can totally relate. I get floods of memories when I hear songs. I don't like riding in the rain (sucks), but I love running in the rain on a hot summer day.

Michelle said...

I have those moments, too, especially when I hear certain songs that remind me of particular races. It's very cool when it happens : )

Missy said...

You know, I bitched a lot about training, BUT that's where all the memories are, some solo, some with others. I love em all, even a cracked helmet. I DO miss it...

Carolina John said...

i had the same thing happen to me yesterday. i did that long bike ride in the rain yesterday. the course was beautiful, and i rode past tons of cattle farms. the smell was overwhelming -- disgusting. but you don't get to smell that from the car, and it was all part of the experience that was "that ride".

Sarah said...

I remember hearing about that ride! Isn't it crazy, how randomly those memories come back?

Jess said...

Smell is supposedly our snese most strongly tied to memory, but I know what you mean when you spot something that strikes a memory. It's pretty cool.

Gotta Run said...

Another reason why the training for events are almost richer than the events themself.

Thanks for sharing Wes!!

triguyjt said...

since the hearing is nearly all shot...haha... i need the sense of smell more..which , i guess can be a bad thing!!!

Lily on the Road said...

I remember you writing about that last year!!

Run for Chocolate said...

I love when stuff like that happens, especially memories of cool boo boos!