Riding a Bike Isn’t Like Riding a Bike- Fear, Change, and Going Back

The title’s a cliché. Clichés are bad. Ok. That’s out of the way. On with the blog!

Returning to a distantly familiar situation can be jarring at first, but once you’ve left the awkwardness of re-acclimation, it’s surprising how quickly it becomes once again familiar. This isn’t a rule, but it is a general truth that applies to many situations. We often use the phrase “like riding a bike” to actually encourage ourselves or another to get back in the situation.

What I’ve never heard addressed, though, is the reasons why you got off the bike in the first place and what happened to those reasons so that you decide to get on again.

Ok. I’m going to talk about actually getting on a bike. So stay with me.

I remember wanting my own bike so badly. I remember riding it a lot, around and around the figure-eight of the subdivision in which I lived. I remember feeling confident as I sped around the streets. One day, as I was turning at the top of the eight, I slid. My leg was fairly screwed up. It hurt. I was a bit afraid. I remembering wondering why no one came to help.

I have two other major biking memories. Both were on adult sized bikes and both memories are of me toppling over the handlebars because the bike was suddenly stopped. After the last time, I didn’t sit on a bike again for 15 years. Not intentionally, I just didn’t have or find an opportunity.

My husband and kids take their bikes out every once in a while. I decided to start going with them.

My husband found a bike in the barn (his family used to be avid cyclists) and was going to adjust it for me. I sat on the bike. I was terrified. I literally almost had a panic attack. Just.sitting.on.it. In my driveway. Feet on the ground. Ridiculous!

Long story short, I didn’t have the “like riding a bike” experience.

A year later, when I was healthier, I tried again and it wasn’t bad at all. But riding the bike wasn’t the same experience. My center of gravity has moved with age, my butt hurts way more. Instead of racing and doing loop-de-loops, I’m playing with my kids and watching out for their safety. Plus, this was a real bike, Not a Christmas present from Walmart bike.

When you are returning to once familiar territory, sometimes you can just go, endure the awkwardness, and get back on track quickly. But many times it’s not that simple.

Maybe a SAHM is re-entering the workforce, or someone is learning to walk again after an accident, or a divorcee is dating again. Returning, especially if there was pain, can be a struggle. Someone encourages you it’s like riding a bike, but it really isn’t that simple. You’re different. Others are different. The situation is different.

When faced with “getting on the bike again,” realize you are different. In some cases, the world is different. Adjust your expectations, or you’ll find disappointment and frustration.

Not every return is “like riding a bike.”. Sometimes, riding a bike isn’t even like riding a bike.


What returns have you made that weren’t as simple as riding a bike?


What are you thinking after reading this post? What is your response to these thoughts?

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