I haven't worn this helmet since my 16th birthday. I was celebrating by going on a several-hour ride to pick up a birthday present. Instead, I was hit by a car just two blocks from Elizabethtown College. I flipped through the air, banged my head on something, and landed on my knee.
The impact stove in the back of the helmet and shattered a lot of the styrofoam. God was looking out for me that day. My head was uninjured.
Even though I was 16, it took another six months before I was willing to drive a car. Post-traumatic stress disorder is very frightening.
I continued to train and tried to race some more. Bill Laudien, out of caution, held me back a bit. I was upset then, but now I'm thankful. In time, I chose a life of study over the thrill of cycling. I didn't just give up, however. I still love to ride.
In the end, the crash was a very positive part of my life.
For years, I kept the helmet as a reminder of the shortness of life and the thin shell which keeps us going.