When I was in elementary school I had the run of my neighborhood.  My parents set the limits on three main roads that I was not allowed to cross whether on foot, on bike, or by trying to jump really, really far.  I was fine with this as all my friends and all the adventure I could ever want were inside those bounds.

One of my favorite things to do was ride my bike.  I loved the feeling of the wind rushing past my face (like any other kid) and used to imagine that this was probably what it felt like to fly.   There was a “hill” that was ideal for flying.  When I was little I thought that I could go rather fast down this hill.  It had this soft curve to it that always gave me a thrill of excitement as I anticipated it.  I used to “save up” for the hill and not let myself go down it everyday.  It was a treat that I would allow myself just every now and then, and never with my friends.  It was my own personal reward.

Today I am married to a man who loves to bike and dreams of going 40 mph under his own power.  He has two bikes and loves to ride for miles and miles and hours and hours.  And me?  Somewhere along the way I lost that sense of adventure.  A husband like mine is probably not so secretly ashamed at my lack of grace on two wheels.

I now hate the idea of riding more than 10 mph.  I have difficulty getting off of my bike.  I am constantly thinking about falling off.  I am, in fact, the sort of person little-er me would have hated hanging out with.  In other words, I totally suck.

However, it’s time for me to get over it.  So what if I fall off?  Bruises fade, bones heal.  Watching the Tour has shown me that it’s certainly time to man up.  For reals.  Some of these riders crash, break bones, and still finish the stage before they get bandaged up.  That’s not just inspiration to ride, that’s inspiration to live.  And if you ever needed a metaphor for life, a cycling race will surely fit that bill.

But how to overcome such a thing?  For me the answer is simple-research.  Since the Tour de France is currently on (and of course we watch it every day!) I am totally into the competitive cycling world.  I am starting with no knowledge but whatever I can eke out of the husband as we sit mesmerized in front of hours of cycling for the next two weeks (9 days are already done).  So I start with learning all I can about the sport.  Understanding is half my battle.  Somewhere I stopped being the kid that made up songs and sang them to herself as she walked home from school and started being the bookish researcher who needed every detail to determine what she was going to do.  If that’s me, so be it.  That is how I will tackle that problem.  And, hopefully, along the way, I might just start to yearn for that rush of wind and maybe I’ll even sing a song about it.