More Than Along for the Ride

Last weekend I hopped on my aging mountain bike and soared down my hilly paved street several blocks south to neighborhoods with flat, meandering asphalt. Of course, my ride back is an uphill challenge, but it’s always worth the expansion of my lungs and a slight burn of my calves.

A few minutes into my warm fall exercise, I turned a corner to find a little girl in a bright fuchsia helmet wobbling along on her coordinating pink bike. A few feet behind trotted her proud father. The training wheels were nowhere in sight and this excited grade schooler looked at me in my burgundy bike helmet on my coordinating burgundy bike and started yelling

My sweet friend, Maris, in her  early training wheel days.

My sweet friend, Maris, in her
early training wheel days.

“Hey, I ride-ED my bike! I ride-ED my bike! I ride-ED my bike!”

Talk about a moment of pure joy. As I passed by this beyond enthused big-girl- bike rider, I grinned and shouted to her, “Way to go! Congratulations!” Instantly, I flashed back fifty years to the memory of my first attempt without training wheels. I can still clearly see my mom and brother, Dan, trotting behind me on the soft dirt track at our local sports field. (I’ve been riding bicycles for five decades??? Get out!)

As I continued on my Saturday ride, I sensed a fresh lift in my soul (and no, it wasn’t my gasping for air on the incline home). I wondered about the things that keep me from cutting loose with the thrill of accomplishment or the joy of discovering new adventures. I pondered: What is holding back the adult me from childlike glee? How have I let the cares of being a grownup crowd out my celebrating even the little, everyday moments?

How about you? Are you ready like me for bravely tossing aside the training wheels and pedaling ahead with exuberant abandon? I challenge us both to be more intentional about adding some fun and freedom to our days and instead of just going along for the ride. Even if that means a bit more endurance on the hills home.

Brave and Resilient Tip #122: Break free and be brave celebrating new adventures.


  1. That is great, B! I love your thoughts here and the photo of Maris. 😉 So fun to remember her at that age. Love to you!

    • That was a fun age with all the kids. If I had more room, I would add in a bike photo of Calyn and Will. Maybe I need to cut copy. 🙂

  2. Amen, Beth! And good for you for getting out there!

    • Thanks, Nancy. Tell you what…after more than two years off my bike because of injury, I am thrilled to be working my way back in the saddle.

  3. Carrie Brandt says

    Just what I needed Beth!

  4. Logan would be so proud! You are using your freed up “nursing time” so wisely ????????

    • Awwwww…thank you, Shar. I used to walk him five days a week (he went running other two days with doggie pals in the mountains), so that was natural built-in exercise for me.
      Now that he’s gone, I am regrouping and adjusting to new ways to blend exercise and fun.