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Posts Tagged ‘bicycle’

Note: I will be Counting the Omer for a total of 49 days, from Passover to Shavuot or from Slavery to Freedom.  For many, this is simply the Counting the Omer; for me, it is a time to actively reflect on different middot (character traits) that will lead me to my own rebirth.

Middah (character trait) focus: Balance

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.” ~Albert Einstein 

Over the last few months finding internal balance has felt daunting at times. While the journeys I am experiencing are far from easy, they are made a little easier when I take a deep breath and take one step at a time. 

As I am navigating what sometimes feels like all-encompassing challenges, it helps to not only visualize a bike, but to get on my own bike as a way of processing what is currently transpiring in my life. When riding my bike, I have to focus on staying balanced by taking note of what is happening around me and within me.  The only way to keep balance is through paying attention as I continue moving; if I stop chances are that I might simply fall over.

With each breath, may I have what it takes to deal with one emotion at a time, one situation at a time, and one step at a time. As long as I do, finding balance is possible.

Courtesy of Stephanie Randall

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Randall

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In theory I love biking; I always have.

While it took me until I was 11 years old to get on a bike, once I did I always wanted to ride.  That was until one of my college housemates lost my bike or had it stolen while she was borrowing it.  I loved my Sears 10-speed, I still remember it fondly. Once my bike went missing, it took me years to get on a bike again and quite honestly, it wasn’t what one would call a natural experience.  Do you remember the saying “once you learn to ride a bike, you never forget”?  Well that wasn’t true for me; the first time I got on a bike after decades of not riding, I couldn’t remember how to turn the wheel. The good news is that it didn’t take long; I fell in love again.

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Randall- Tel Aviv Beach

Photo courtesy of Stephanie Randall-
Tel Aviv Beach

Jump ahead to the last few weeks, bicycles have become part of the ongoing message.  I see them everywhere I go.  I also realize that I have always wanted to be a healthy biker chic of the manual bike variety; it has  been a dream of mine to use a bike as transportation not just recreation. Over the years, this has been an ongoing  message that has come to me time and again and yet I have been afraid of pushing myself to build endurance.  Failure is not something I do well and yet I will never succeed if I don’t give it my all.

Biking is for those folks that are in shape or maybe for those people that can really make time to bike.  Biking is not meant for an overweight middle-aged woman.  At this point, you and I both know that that is not an excuse and the messages keep telling me so.  Here are only some of the messages that have come my way:

  1. A few weeks ago my friend Stephanie Randall posted the above photo of a bike leaning against some bars as she was viewing the Tel Aviv sunset.  In an instant, I fell in love and wanted to both get on my bike and to find a beach to ride near.  At least I could get on my bike; there is no ocean front property in Tucson.
  2. “Get a bicycle. You will not regret it, if you live.” – Mark Twain  – This is the tagline that a good friend has all of his emails.  This truth seems to be calling to me.
  3. On Friday, my friend Bob got on his bike after his own health challenges; I loved his selfie of the experience.
  4. My friend Daniel is coming to Tucson next week for our Passover Seder.  NOT.  He is coming to bike and because he is here, we will have a chance to reconnect.  I love the passion that propels him forward as a cyclist; I, quite literally, yearn for that passion and wish I could have some of his skill and endurance.
  5. Yesterday another friend had a minor biking accident.  He had a small break in his hand and needed some stitches too; today he got back on his bike.  Wow, I can learn from that kind of attitude.
  6. And then this morning, another friend posted the following article on Facebook.  Riding Away From A Broken Marriage – http://www.outsideonline.com/fitness/biking/The-Flat-Tire-Project.html?utm_source=facebook&utm_medium=social&utm_campaign=facebookpost  As someone who is struggling myself, the article gave me hope.

In fact all of the points above inspire me to bike and to push myself to be more healthy.  So with all of this in mind, I got on my bike today.  For the first time since pulling out my lower back (twice) in recent months, I returned to my bike.  And today was a really grueling day.  I was suffering from horrible abdominal pain, physical exhaustion after working five 12 hour night shifts, and finally emotional darkness after losing the job that brought me to Tucson in the first place.  Everything about me was depleted and yet today was the day that I felt compelled to push myself.  And you know what, I feel so much better for it, although I sure don’t look that way 🙂

Don't I look great after my first 45 minute bike-ride in months.

Don’t I look great after my first 45 minute bike-ride in months?

Feeling inspired. . . .my plan is to ride tomorrow too!!

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