Wednesday, September 8, 2010

learning to fly

I'm learning to fly, but I ain't got wings - Tom Petty

When I was little I must have been inundated with a lot of books about one's "special gift" because I was really driven mad by the whole concept. My mom said that when I was young I would always ask stuff like, "mom, what's my special gift?" This was not said like a casual musing. It was a desperate, worried plea for help in finding something lost.

This makes me smile now, because a grown up doesn't worry about her special gift. By the time you become a grown up, you have spent such a long time tending your precious ego that you have developed quite a list of why you are so special. Sometimes I'm just so done in by how special I am I worry how people can carry on in my absence.

But this post isn't about special gifts, it's about learning to fly. Which I have learned to do.

When I got home from school yesterday, my bike was waiting for me in the garage. My 19 year old, never ridden bike. My dad and husband had spent two hours fixing the tire and breaks so that I could finally learn to ride a bike.

Sure, I already knew how to ride a bike. When I was in fourth grade, my best friend finally got sick of my crap and bullied me into learning to ride. She was a tiny little drill sergeant of a girl and I was pretty much terrified of her. We must have been a funny sight. Such a small girl, holding the back of her best friend's bike and forcing her to learn by sheer fear. She did in a matter of 30 minutes what my father had failed to do my whole childhood.

After that afternoon, I knew how to ride a bike...sort of. However, If you combined my total bike mileage, you wouldn't have a mile. Not even close.

Last night, I sat on my bike, at the edge of the driveway. Scared of falling, scared of the cars, scared of looking stupid. But I pushed off and rode. Slowly and with my hand clutching the brake, but I rode. And it felt like flying.

I'm going to keep practicing. I'm going to practice until the bike becomes a vehicle for enjoying the fall leaves and the company of my husband on our romantic weekend away.

1 comment:

  1. There are few things in life that are more fun that you hope they're going to be, and riding a bike is one of them. I learned this on vacation in San Francisco three years ago, after a bike-hiatus of 13 years. Have a fun weekend!