Two posts in two days? Hey, I am on a roll! I so miss this!
In yesterday’s post I briefly mentioned my new bike which I picked up on my birthday after months of lay away.
It had been at least 20 years since I had ridden a bike. I was a bit frightened at the thought of trying to ride again after all these years. Would I forget? Heck, would I need training wheels? On that first hot Saturday in April I took a deep breath, clamored onto this pink metal contraption complete with bell and basket and pushed myself into the street away from the safe harbor of the driveway. I pedaled about and practiced going in circles in the cul-de-sac until the neighbors thought I had gone mad.
I was doing it! After all these years I was doing it! In an instant I went from 44 to about 7. Suddenly all these memories of riding a bike as a child came back to me in a solid rush. My first bike was a Huffy. I believe it was purple with a flowered banana seat. I had a bell and basket then, too. Some things you never outgrow, nor should you. I remembered my Dad removing the training wheels one summer night. “Pedal, pedal,” he shouted to me. Okay, I did end up losing control and crashing into a wagon full of youngster being pulled by their parents. I sometimes wonder if those former children in my Boston neighborhood remember that incident (or have spent years in counseling).
Having a bike meant freedom. Sweet freedom. I raced around the neighborhood with my best friend (she is still my best friend after all these years) and we searched for the ice cream man. We didn’t wear helmets. That was unheard of in that time. Somehow we survived into adulthood.
Back to that hot birthday night. . .
I road down to the canals and went up and down until the sun was only a faint memory in the sky. As it got darker I headed back to my neighborhood and road near the local park. A group played volleyball in the greenway and there was just this certain sense of peace over the whole neighborhood, over the whole evening. A slight breeze blew my hair back and rinsed over my skin. My gosh, I had forgotten how that felt! Who would have thought something so simple as a bike ride would conjure up memories and thoughts. Even the sound of the chain churning as I pedaled drew out a certain deja vu from the depths of my memory.
Earlier in the week my boss, who is about my age, asked me if life in my 40s is what I thought about in my 20s. This was a very interesting question. During that bike ride that birthday evening I started compiling a list in my mind of the things I’ve done in my 40s. I never thought that far ahead in my 20s, truth be told. Here’s what I came up with.
I never thought I would:
- live in Arizona
- ride a bike
- run races
- be a blonde!
- speak Spanish (not as well as I used to –I’ll never be fluent)
- lift weights
- have the same amazing people in my life as I did back in my 20s
- have a job I absolutely adore
- do 50 guy push-ups (let alone 1 push up!)
- own a cute little stucco house with a Spanish tiled roof
- wear a bikini
- blog (4 years now)
- be this happy on my own
So that’s it. If I sat here long enough I could probably think of more things. What about you? What are some of the things in your life that you are doing/have done that you would have never thought you’d do in your younger years? Do tell!