A few weeks ago, I wrote about our new bikes, and all of us learning (or re-learning) to ride. Since then, Nate mastered the art of no training wheels, asks to ride every day, and, despite the fact that it still makes me want to throw up a bit, I'm drawn to it too.
Before I become that person who waxes on about the bike (which could happen), let me just say this. I'm at this point where riding is half nauseating and have exhilarating, with a comfortable dose of fear and joy. So that works for me.
As I told my friend Kim, an expert biker, aside from dance, as a child I never had that physical activity was my thing. This is in part because of the condition that causes fatigue, and if I'm not careful, passing out. (Here's that story.) Anyhow, exercise intolerance is part of the jam.
I can build up strength slowly, though in the past few years I didn't consistently try. I felt shame around my physical differences, and instead of doing anything about it, I just avoided it. Insert sitting on couch. Insert weight gain. Insert anxiety. Insert the rest of life -- a bit of a cluster -- and I was hurting, physically and otherwise.
But back to biking. In biking I can sit down. In biking I can stop if I need to. In biking, even around our little neighborhood, I have to peddle up hills, which make me feel the burn. Yesterday, peddling around Railroad Park for the first time, I drove past cranes rebuilding Birmingham. (How's that for a metaphor.)
I'm trying to build up strength so I can ride with friends (turns out a number of friends are getting bikes). Unraveling a bit of the shame story that I wrote for myself, one pedal stroke at a time.