If you read this blog regularly, you have already figured out that anything athletic (except my husband) isn't my thing. An incident came to mind this morning that I found rather comical now that there is 50 years distance from the day of the happening. The "incident" occurred the day I learned to ride a bicycle.
I don't ever remember having a small bike with training wheels...maybe a tricycle, but not a training bike. Among other things (lizards, off color lipstick, and bad fitting shoes) I am very afraid of heights. So the fact that this took place on an extremely elevated plain leaves me breathless to this day. Everyone I knew rode a bike, with the exception of me. Greer, my ever the dare devil friend, had a brand spanking new one. I think it had little streamers that came out of the handgrips. When she rode, the streamers whipped in the wind. Oh, how I longed to zoom by a group of friends, hair blowing in the wind (well, maybe not) but at least my streamers tossing about.
Every time I got on a bike to "practice", I'd wobble and eventually (after several seconds) would crash. It must have been my balance problem. I still have to watch that to this day. I wobble to and fro most of the work day. It's quite exhausting working plus staying upright for 8 hours.
So on this day, I figure that Mr. B (Greer's dad) took pity on her little bobbling friend (me) and decided this was it! He got me out in her yard and I practiced until even he, the ever present hand on the back of the bike, was worn out. After what seemed like hours, he made a decision that probably changed my life forever.
Greer lived on the tippy tippy top of a hill on Line Street. When going up into her driveway, it felt a lot like going up to the top of a roller coaster. I would clutch the car seat and hold my breath until we made it safely to the flat area of her drive. Anyway, Mr. B rolled the bike and me to the top of the driveway and said, "Ok, little Missy, this is it." What??? What was It??? What on earth was he thinking? I know what I was thinking....my short life flashed before my bugged out eyes. "I think," he continued," you are ready for the big time." (Could he be referring to my ascent to heaven?) I balked.
Patiently he persisted. "You can do this." He righted me on the seat (which, btw, was too tall for my short legs). With that he gave me a push and it was do or die! I put my feet on those pedals and pedaled for dear life. Down the hill I went, streamers flying and hair flat back against my head. When I hit the flat surface of the street, I kept going. I did it! I kept my balance and conquered the beastly hill. What a day! I can still see Mr. B standing at the top of the hill, grinning and clapping. You would have thought he had just launched Sputnik...and in a way he did! I owe him much, but most of all I owe him for teaching me to conquer a fear and soar into the unknown, knees knocking, but soaring none the less. Thanks, Mr. B. (This would have been Mr. B's 99th birthday today!!) Such a good friend!