When I was 4 years old, I told my mom I had heard from the Lord, and that we were to go down a mile or so to visit my friend. I think I specified that the Lord wanted us to see my friend’s mom, just to be more legit. My mom had some questions, but we’re a prophetic bunch and she thought maybe I was on to something, so we climbed on the banana seat bike and headed out. Well, God blew it, because they weren’t even home, so we biked back, with me perched on the front portion of the seat. As we turned the corner to our road, the bike slipped in the red dirt and pebbles and we made a glorious ascension, followed by a violent crashing and sliding. I vaguely remember standing up, knees and elbows bleeding, to hotly inform her that she “don’t even know how to ride a bike!”
I took a break for a few years then, and I was pretty busy reading books and tape-recording stories about me and my brother’s best friend falling in love and getting married. I (In retrospect, I’m glad that never worked out) Somewhere, though, someone informed me that only the lamest of people do not ride bikes. So I petitioned the court and I think the court was probably just relieved that I might leave the house for a half hour or so, since the tap-dancing to Elvis in the hallway was getting monotonous, maybe. So they bought me a little pink and teal bike and somehow I learned how to ride it. I don’t remember anyone teaching me, but I was 9. Maybe I figured it out.
The problem was, or one problem was that I had genius psychologist type parents, older parents, who had seen a lot and no longer had faith in humanity, and my mom was fairly certain that drug dealers and pedophiles were just hanging around down the block, at the luxury golf course. So I had a pretty short leash, I could just drive on our street. I did that for a few months and then I put my bike on the curb and watched with delight as a family of pickers drove by in a pickup truck and threw it in the back, where some kids were screaming with excitement.
And that was the end of my bicycling career until last week when it was part of my bootcamp. I expressed strong enough doubts about my biking ability that I got to opt out and run instead of biking. But today it came up again, and I thought, “Dangit. I’m a 33 year old woman. I’ve had like 5 kids and I can ride a dadgum bicycle.” So I tried. I tried to climb up on it, but it was tall like a mountain, so they lowered the seat a lot, but my feet still didn’t touch the ground, and it had a foot harness thing, some sort of stirrup on one pedal, and I thought, “When I fall off this bike, my foot will be attached and the bike will fall and we’ll flip over and I will die.” I think it was the Lord, telling me not to ride the bike. I’m prophetic that way. But I just hardened my heart and started to climb up and then I noticed the dashboard, with all the levers and switches and whatnot, and I was informed that they were brakes and gears, which was helpful, like if you were going to take up a space shuttle and they told you “This is the defromoxillator.” By this point, encouragement was being yelled from the gym, things like “Get on the bike!”
I got on the bike. It was so high off the ground, and the road was concrete, and I knew if I fell I would bleed but I just manned up and coasted for 1/10 of a second before I received a clear message from my Panic Center, or maybe the Lord, that I would surely die, so I bailed off into the tall grass, left the bike on the side of the road, and ran a lap instead. Some things just aren’t meant to be.