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Convo with Croley - FEAR

MUHLENBERG COUNTY, Ky. (4/23/14) – Fear. Fear: noun/verb: to consider or anticipate (something unpleasant) with a feeling of dread or alarm. My definition is an emotion brought upon by the anticipation of the unknown. It is something we will all face many times in life.

Fear can be beneficial. It is a useful tool for putting things into perspective. It allows you to determine boundaries, your limits. Even then, if not properly balanced, it can turn to something harmful to a person’s wellbeing. Fear that is not in check can control your life, hindering the ability to enjoy it.

Whether suffering some sort of hypochondria, trauma, or phobia we have to make the choice on our own whether we allow it to have control over us.

Back in 2008 I had a four-wheeler accident that nearly took my life. My father, brother, and I had gone riding one day with some friends the weekend after my mother’s death. My friend Caleb, who had recently gotten a new racing four-wheeler, wanted to see how fast he could get it.

We had rode trails from our farm to the old coal mine land out on highway 189. The old coal mine road was the perfect place he could test it out. Caleb asked if I wanted to go with, and I said I would only to make sure he didn’t do anything stupid. You can see where this is going.

We arrived at the beginning of the dirt road which, when followed, would come to the entrance to the mine on 189. I told him to go ahead of me I would be following behind him. He quickly took off leaving me behind. I strolled along at a speed of about 30 mph, giving me plenty of space to let his dust clouds dissipate so I could see.

Being able to see was very important because the coal road had eroded in certain areas, allowing huge ruts to form.

All the sudden out of nowhere, my brother zooms past me and I was engulfed by his dust cloud. That was when I made the mistake to continue forward hoping to clear the dust and regain clear visual. When I finally cleared the dust, I saw a rut ahead of me. It was too late at that point, but I pulled the breaks anyway.

Once I hit, it was like slow motion. I went over the handle bars, and flew about 10 feet forward. It was the closest I will ever get to flying like superman. When I hit the ground the four-wheeler landed on top of me, before it continued to roll.

I blacked out. I don’t know for how long, but I think it was around 20-30 seconds. I was on my side, in excruciating pain. I tried to roll over on my back, and then that’s when I felt excruciating pain that made the pain I thought was excruciating feel like stumping your toe.

My brother had turned around and came back. When he pulled up he was freaking out because blood was everywhere. He then ran off to get dad, and moments later Caleb had pulled up beside me and was freaking out. When my father finally showed up, he began to freak out. I had no Idea how bad I looked. I told my father to help me up, and after standing for a few seconds I began to lose my vision so I started to freak out.

My father was going to call in medical air evac, but I stopped him and told him to just call Darrell Locke. Luckily he was available and he drove his old red ‘86 Toyota pickup out to our location and took me to the end of the coal road so the ambulance could get us on 189.

The end result of my of the wreck was 6 broken ribs, 4 broken vertebra, 1 deflated lung, 2 inch gash in my head, and a skinned up leg.

I spent hours lying on my back in Greenville ER struggling to take my next breath. I was in fear that I may not make it. Even that night in ICU my doctor came to see me around 3 a.m. and told me I had so much internal bleeding I was going to die. We all know I’m still here so the worst outcome was averted. Worst thing of all though, I ruined my favorite shirt that day… and ripped my pants.

Reason I told this story was because that day traumatized me. After I finally recovered physically I still continued to ride four-wheelers, but I had a fear that always was there when I rode. A fear that prevented me from enjoying the ride as much as I used to. It caused me to fear any rough looking trails that I thought could have that same end result.

This past weekend my family and I went to a place called Windrock, a campground ATV park located in Tennessee. They have 300 miles of trails ranging from kiddy stuff to highly dangerous stuff. We just bought a Polaris Razor and this was the first time I really got to ride it.

While there, I encountered trails I thought I could never contend with. I had flashbacks of my wreck when dust kicked up. My fear was creeping up on me and was hindering my confidence. I made it though, I had conquered a fear that has been with me for almost 6 years. I even survived riding with my brother, but my handle strap didn’t.

So in the end, the message I leave is don’t let your fear have control over your life, because you only get to live once.

If you have any topics for future columns, please send them to coreyrolley@hotmail.com. Also please have the caption say CONVO WITH ME. Thanks for reading!

This content is the sole property of the author. Permission must be given to utilize this content elsewhere, by the author. If you wish to utilize this content, contact the author at corey.rolley@facebook.com . This content does not necessarily reflect that of the opinions of Ky County News, and is the sole opinion of the author.