My eyes squinted tightly as the warmth of the bright sun enveloped my freckly face. Curly red piggy-tails bounced, as the breeze blew gently past. Pedaling hard to get nowhere fast, I’d smile as the sound of a clanking chain worked it’s magic mile after mile. Everything was a blur, and a mental drum beat in my head as I passed the white lines of driveways through the neighborhood. Foot loose and fancy free – I felt so big in my little girl pants. The world was massive, and freedom was mine.
Yup, those were the good ol’ days. Breathing fresh air from dawn ‘til dusk. The only deadline that lurked was the dinner bell, sounding off a reminder that the night was closing in. I’d forgotten those bygone days. They’ve been tucked in the archives of lost memories gathering dust.
Over the years I’ve always enjoyed riding bikes. I graduated from my classic red Schwinn (equipped with a long white banana seat) to a yellow 12 speed when I was a teenager. Later, during college, I invested in a dark blue Trek that served me well from dorm to classroom, classroom to library, and back to dorm.
Then, somewhere along the line I traded my spokes and pumped-up tires for a love of walking and hiking. A few summers ago, I completed 28 miles over two days in support of breast cancer. That was a great experience. Walking proved to circulate blood, clear my mind, and burn off Twinkies.
This summer, I’ve had some foot issues which have made walking distances extremely painful. During a visit to the podiatrist, I was told that riding a bike would be a great source of exercise and that doing so would give my foot a much-needed rest. My back issues (darned back issues!) made traditional bikes pretty painful. At my husband’s suggestion, I researched recumbent bikes.
We found a really cool bike shop about 60 miles away, in Colorado Springs. The guys there specialize in “ergonomic nirvana.” We spent about 4 hours trying different 2-wheeled contraptions. I found my match-made-in-heaven on a Day 6 recumbent. It’s red with big handle bars, reminiscent of my old Schwinn. My legs reach forward and I sit up at a slight angle. It’s got a huge comfy seat with a backrest… and, at the salesman’s suggestion, I regularly ask spectators, “Does this seat make my butt look comfortable?”
My bike is awesome! I’ve put about 200 miles on it in the past month.
Sometimes when the daily grind sets in, I begin to lose touch with life’s balance. This happens somewhere between the kid’s taxi services, helping with homework, balancing checkbooks, meeting client deadlines, doing laundry, washing dishes, scrubbing toilets, tending to volunteer commitments, and planning out some sort of nutritionally balanced meal. I sometimes get lost in “minutia triangle.” It’s like a vortex of stress.
Luckily, the kids are old enough now that I can politely escape reality and hop on my Day 6 recumbent. While approaching the front door, I holler over my shoulder, “I’ll be back in an hour, guys!” I swear, some sort of magic morph occurs with each step taken toward my bike. I trade “momma’s apron” with “little girl panties” and me and my big red bike take off leaving all traces of reality and stress in the dust.
As I leave the yard, I take a deep breath… My eyes squint tightly as the warmth of the bright sun envelopes my freckly face. My curly red hair is pulled-back in a pony tail and it bounces as the breeze blows gently past. I pedal hard to get nowhere fast. And, I smile as the sound of a clanking chain works it’s magic mile after mile. Everything becomes a blur, and a mental drum beats in my head as I pass the white lines of driveways through our neighborhood. I feel so alive in my little girl panties! The world is massive… I’m foot loose and, in these moments, freedom is mine.
Who knew that foot pain could bring such an awesome blessing!
Where are you finding your freedom today?
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