GETTING BACK ON THE HORSE (OR BICYCLE OR WHATEVER)

When I was a kid, I rode my bike everywhere. I mean it. EVERYWHERE. For miles and miles, I rode. To school, to the mall, to my friends’ houses. I could go for hours on my bike. And, I could ride without my hands on the handlebars. I had great balance. I was so strong, I could even ride a friend on the handlebars (I do not endorse trying this).

Then, one day, I stopped riding my bicycle. I think it was because I had a car and a job. In any case, I just didn’t get on a bicycle for a long time. A very long time.

What I didn’t know (until last summer when I was in Akumal, Mexico) was that I had forgotten how to ride a bike! My brain knew what to do, but my body would not cooperate and neither would my sense of balance. So, when I tried to ride “La Bicicleta,” (I gave the bike a nickname in hopes of getting it to like me)  I couldn’t. Well, I almost couldn’t. It took several tries – okay, more than several tries – to get her to be my friend and cooperate with me. I had a lot of near misses and avoided more than one catastrophe. At one point, one of the pedals fell off, and many times I had to walk the bike in certain places because the road was so rough.

This summer, I am going to go on a bicycle tour while I am on vacation. So, this weekend, at the urging of my BFF (you know her as Ms. Powers), I got on her bike to practice. Fortunately for me, she is very encouraging and supportive. She didn’t laugh once. And, after several tries, I finally got my courage up and tootled down the block. It was very scary. I was very wobbly. I felt like an imbecile (look it up if you don’ know that word).

Why am I sharing this with you? To let you know that sometimes even grown-ups have to learn or re-learn things, and it’s not always easy. Life is full of challenges. We might lose our way or forget something we once knew. The road might be rough. Things might break down or fall apart. But, with a good friend to cheer you on and a desire to conquer your fears, it is possible to get back on the horse (or the bike or whatever).

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