On my way to work the other day, I had a pretty eye-opening experience behind the wheel. 

I'm sure we've all done it -- sped by someone because we're late to work, or dealt with a bad case of road-rage. Normally, we just get to where we're going and move on with the day.

This week, I was in a major rush to get to work. I was already peeved because the person I was driving behind stalled and I missed my arrow to turn left. When I finally turned, I was driving faster than I should have been. The car in front of me hit its brakes quickly to turn again, and I swerved onto the shoulder to avoid him rather than patiently waiting behind him.

I swerved right back into my lane when I realized that a bicyclist was on the shoulder, maybe 20 feet ahead of where I had swerved.

I don't think anything has ever shaken me as much as that did. I legitimately saw a different version of my life unfold before my eyes -- one where I had accidentally killed someone. I'm already a super anxious person; I always replay situations in my head and I know I truly could not have handled that. I would have never forgiven myself -- ever -- all because I was late to work on an otherwise unimpressive day in my life. I thought of how many people a tragedy like that would touch. Nothing could ever be worth that.

Then, I thought of my parents. They're both avid road-bikers, motorcyclists, runners, walkers -- the whole shebang. If anything happened to them while they were out participating in one of their many passions, I would be absolutely crushed. So, I thought I would take a bad experience of mine and try to shed some light on it.

Cyclists and pedestrians are people. They have families, friends, pets, girlfriends, boyfriends, sons, and daughters. Be aware. Be late to work.

Mom and Dad