Working to Remember What You Love
by Susan Leem, associate producer
A biker’s view. (photo: Seth Werkheiser/Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0
Is there a thing you used to love to do that you don’t do anymore?
Maybe on the way to work or home from work, for minutes or hours, all alone, at three in the morning, on fine sunny days, in howling winter wind? For me it was biking. I’m no aficionado, but from my teens to my 20s, I always seemed to have a 10-speed Murray or a yard-sale Schwinn with barely there coaster breaks at the ready for an adventure.
But when I got pregnant years ago my lizard brain switched on, and I suddenly became mortally afraid of falling or getting hit by a car. I cleared out all the junk bikes like any other detritus. The safety and ease of buses and cars began to feel more and more normal. I thought I’d never made it back onto a bike until just recently when a friend convened a gang of moms to for a bike ride. The idea of riding a bicycle on city streets again was terrifying, but I knew these positive women and saw it as a rare opportunity to force myself back on the bike.
At first I was weaving and wobbling feeling awkward and tippy, even forgetting how hard you have to push the pedals to move. But soon my neurons found one another, fired in sync and I was stable, steering, braking. Didn’t know how to shift the tiny tabbed Shimano gears on the borrowed bike, but I grew back into the stance, the balance, the speed, even though I hadn’t moved any part of myself like that in half a decade.
From the quiet safety of an early morning city bike path, I marveled at the absurdity of how fear makes you forget to do the things that you love, and how much it takes to muster the energy to try them again.
What thing don’t you do anymore that you used to love?