I was with another warrior that day, my neighbor's fierce, wild golden retriever, who I had taken under my care during the winter of that year. He was a beautiful beast, but too much for me. I thought I could tame him, and I might have, had he been solely mine, but he was massive and wild, and strong when he wanted to be, and he didn't belong to me. I thought he would eventually calm down after running on the trails, but his furious energy was too much for me, and the taste of freedom, once he got it, was too great. His joy at being out of the prison that was his home was evident and real, so much so that we always struggled when it was time to bring him back. I always had to trick him to get him through the front door of his home, and I could hear him barking as I left him there. He knew his warrior energy was greater than mine, but I was the smarter one.
I wish I'd had more of the warrior in me after I fell, but I had never been helpless—at least not in my adult life, not since I was an infant. I was as helpless as a baby that day, and very overwhelmed. It happened so fast, me, the dog, the mountain, and the young warrior pushing his mountain bike, all colliding at once, as though it was preordained, in perfect unison, him carrying me in his arms like a little baby, as if I was weightless, his feet slipping on the rocks, and then carefully finding their balance again. That's how it was, all the way down. Warriors don't waiver.