Active is not a word I use to describe myself – not recently in any case. There was a time when I rode a bike to the lake for a quick swim or to play (a then plausible) game of tennis or to simply run an errand. Those days have long since passed. Recently my family vacationed on Hilton Head Island. If you’ve ever been you’ll know that bike riding is the best way to travel and explore. Bike paths run throughout the island including the beach. I hadn’t been on a bike in years – multiple digit years – the beach chair was more to my liking.
A bike – after a 15+ year hiatus seemed ridiculous, ludicrous, stupid. In truth I was afraid, terrified actually – of looking foolish as an over-weight, somewhat unbalanced (in more ways than one) middle-aged lady who clearly hadn’t been on a bike in a very long time.
The rentals arrived on our second day. With heart pounding I swung – not as graceful as it sounds – my leg over the bike and braced myself. Two things happened – I hadn’t forgotten how to ride (can now verify the saying is true); and was overwhelmed with the joy it brought. With the wind in my face I rode along the bike paths and on to the ocean floor (the tide was out). Out of my comfort zone and loving every minute.
All of those years denying myself the simple pleasure of a bike ride because of what others might (and likely not) say.
I have a new bike now (new to me – from a friend); and that makes me smile.