Thursday, March 18, 2010

Collisions of Motorcycles & Gumption

I should probably let you all in on a little secret.

I can't ride a bike.

Well, I'm sure I could if I really wanted to. Seeing people riding bikes also looks like a heck of a good time. I even remember being able to ride a bike when I was younger and having no problem at all.

For whatever reason, I never kept up with bike riding. I'm guessing it's largely in part due to the fact that I have no balance. I walk a crooked line when I'm sober, I fall over a lot even when I'm standing still. Trying to perform the balance poses in yoga was something I'm sure is akin to water boarding. At least it was for me...

So yeah. I can't ride a bike. What the hell made me think I could ride a motorcycle?

Well, for one, what I lack in balance I make up for in gumption. For another, I became completely enthralled, (read: excitedly scared senseless), when I first got to ride on one nearly two years ago. The experience was what you could imagine it was: Scary, thrilling, freeing, beautiful, and oddly serene. So really the question wasn't 'why a motorcycle?'. The question instead was, "Well, why NOT?"

I enrolled in the beginner motorcycle safety course offered thru a local community college. I researched what helmet I should buy (lucky for me it came in sparkly red!), and got myself geared up mentally for the class. I knew that the possibility of me + motorcycle= fail was high, but I still had to give it a shot.

Sure enough, on the second day of the weekend long course I panicked to the point where I wouldn't even put my feet on the petals. I couldn't let go of the pavement beneath my feet. I used the tarmac as a security blanket. And you know what? I ended up falling on my butt not once, not twice,....but thrice. After trying to shake it off, trying not to cry, trying not to listen to the other girls mocking me in the ladies room...I left.

Yup. I decided that being black and blue from the knees down and having dropped several hundred pounds of motorcycle on my big toe was about all I could handle. So, I wussed out and came home.

Ohhh, and believe me...I cried. I felt like a flop. Complete failure. The Hero wasn't going to ride into the blazing sunset on her Harley-Davidson. I can't ride a bike (engine or no), so I obviously won't be able to cure cancer! And you know what? I don't need to.

We can't always make magic. Sometimes it's just not meant to happen. The reason isn't always revealed to us immediately. Sometimes the reason isn't revealed to us at all. Sometimes the only magic there is is in the trying. With every try we become less and less afraid. And eventually, we learn to take our feet off the ground so that we may learn to leap: regardless.