Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Bike Races, Parents, and The Ride of Life

"You're registered for the athletic training major team!"  "...but I'm an English major?"
This Saturday, at Slippery Rock University, there is a stationary bike race taking place, the Race To Anyplace!  Teams, comprised of 10-12 members, mount their metal steeds and race off to the destination in their mind, all the while raising money for The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Although I am very physically fit and active, I am not a big fan of competitions. However, this is an excellent event, and a more than deserving cause, as well as something I've never attempted! Therefore, I, as an English Education major, am proudly racing with the Athletic Training major team in The Race to Anyplace!  While preparing for Saturday, and attempting not to psych myself out too much, I thought back to my younger bike-riding days.

I used to love bike riding.  I would go on multiple mile runs many times a day, looping the neighborhood, the school campus, and the neighboring communities two to three times a day.  I used to be wild, standing on my seat, steering with my feet... I was the epitome of "Look, Mom, no hands!"  

But it wasn't always like that.  I also was the epitome of "DON'T LET GO!  ARE YOU HOLDING THE SEAT?!Everyone remembers seeing that little kid, feet barely touching the pedals, completely turned around in their seat, contorting themselves in an effort to ensure that his or her mom or dad had a firm grip on the bike seat, safely steering them down the road.  I was that kid, often falling off, skinning more knees than normal, leaving scars on my knees, even to this day.  But the important thing is I kept getting back on.  I cried, I yelled at my mom, I was embarrassed, defeated, and hurt... but I always got back on.  It's kind of like life.  Your parents hold on to "the seat" for a long time.  After 18 years, they have to let go.  Hopefully, the training wheels and elbow pads did their trick during your high school years... hopefully, you won't take any terrible tumbles on your own.  Hopefully, you wear a helmet, even though mom and dad aren't around to tell you to do so anymore.  Sure, everyone has bumpy "bike rides" every once in awhile, but if you keep getting back on, keep pushing through the embarrassment and pain you feel from "falling off," eventually you'll be a pro.  Eventually, once you get used to riding down the road of life by yourself, without your parents holding on, you'll be able to stand up on the seat, steer with your feet, pop a wheelie, and yell, "LOOK, MOM, no hands!"

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