Seeking My Best Self

trying to make sense of my life – and lose some weight

Taking My Life Into My Own Hands

bikeweb

My beloved bike. It has a special seat that doesn’t smash my lady parts.

It’s been a blessing to have my son Nick and his soon-to-be-wife Hanna move back to Oregon. Last Saturday, Nick fixed up my bike and we all went riding. I’d forgotten how much I love it, because I quit riding when helmets became standard equipment about fifteen years ago.

I hate helmets. There were no bike helmets when I was growing up, and most of us made it just fine into adulthood.

In fact, bike helmets weren’t around when my oldest two were born. I regularly placed 2-1/2 year-old Gabriel in the kiddie seat on my Schwinn three-speed, strapped him in with a flimsy plastic strap, then placed 6-month-old Ariel on his lap, said ‘hold the baby’ (he dutifully wrapped his chubby toddler arms around her) and then belted them together with one of my husband’s leather belts.

After stuffing a blanket and a picnic lunch into the front basket, we toodled around town, happy and helmet-less. I’d be arrested for child endangerment these days, but back then, even the cops smiled and waved.

Then came the helmet days. Since I had young children, I needed to set a good example. But I hate hats, much less styrofoam eggshells strapped tightly to my head. I felt like I was choking. I couldn’t do it. My bike days were over.

Now my kids are grown, and I don’t have to set a good example. Besides, half of Portland cycles around without miniature inverted canoes perched on their heads. So I’m back on my bike, sans helmet. And I’m ecstatic.

I removed a barrier to movement. Yes, I increased my risk of injury. But my risk of health issues from a sedentary lifestyle are higher. I choose to move.

Walking. Yoga. Dancing. Now bicycling. What’s next?

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