First Bike Ride

Give me balance and I will give you freedom”

You fell off the first time but you got up because you remembered your friends faces riding their bikes — how happy they were. That and the fear that your friends will make fun of you if you did not get this right. But you’re afraid — you feared running up a tree or falling off the bicycle. You lost focus and you fell again. You wanted to quit but you have to muster the courage, the alternative is not an option. You rode a third time, but now you got some idea of getting your balance, and you did. You moved a little faster now, you smile — a little worried but a little braver. Then you heard it, you heard this heavy, cheaply-welded hunk of junk talking to you. “Give me balance and I will give you freedom”, you heard it say. You got excited. The anxiety choked you but drove your blood up. It doesn’t matter how hard taking every breath was, you pushed on. Slowly you sped up, you felt pride … then … thud!. Your hand slipped and you fell again. This time you did not want to cry. You perished the thought. You laughed — you’re laughing at yourself. You wanted to ride again. But now you didn’t hear your friends voices nor saw their faces, you did not care what they would call you for the rest of your life. You just needed to feel it again. The wind on your face, the speed, the rush but most of all to hear that voice again. A voice of coexistence, of dependence, of belonging. A rationale only a child can make, “My bike needs me as much as I need him”. You climbed again and again … and again.. falling every single time. Then finally, you realized something. Something is different, the fear changed to anticipation — blissful anticipation. You straightened your grip, prepared to push hard on the pedal, you thought of all the times you failed, saw the things you did wrong, took pride in what you did right, then you let go. You started slowly but a little daring now. You slowly pushed the other pedal as well. Taking speed you took one more breath. And you were off gliding — almost flying across the road on a magic metal monster that kept shouting in your ear. “ Faster !! Faster… keep your hand straight !! … Don’t fear to fall again… Keep your center! Do you like it? You’re free! “ … The day ended. You need to get home. You parked your new best friend, blurted a soft goodbye. As you close your eyes you whispered “Tomorrow I get to ride again”, and you smile.

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