I’ve known how to ride a bike since I was a little girl. But on my 18th birthday, I was hit by a car while riding a bike. Hit so hard I slid under a parked van, still on my bike. In those first moments of non-motion after so much terrifying motion, I was confused. Was I alive? Was I ok? What was broken? Could I move? Turns out I could, in fact, move. And aside from terrible road rash on both shins and both arms that required me to wear “second skin” patches to catch the dripping from the wounds for weeks and weeks and during my graduation speech, I was ok.
And so I don’t ride bikes, really. I don’t find it fun. My body remembers and isn’t interested in any more than a bit of a ride near a cute hotel that offers cute bikes to guests along the ocean. But I can do it. And sometimes, I get up just enough speed and the ocean air is in my windy hair and the breeze in my face feels so so good. So free.
I’ve been working on setting boundaries in my life. Saying no to what I don’t want. Holding a perimeter around where my needs are and where others’ needs are. Standing firm on what I need and saying so. It’s scary at first. Just like riding a bike for me. My body remembers every time I tried to set boundaries with my parents and was punished with yelling or silence or both. But I’ll tell you: when you really choose yourself over others and ask for what you need, say no to what does not feel good for you, it’s like ocean breeze in your hair as you pedal down a beautiful boardwalk. It feels so good. And I know it will feel even better with practice.
Here’s to more of that. For me and for you, however wobbly we may be as we start.