Monday, October 10, 2011

I'm on a Bike

Props to you if you recognize the reference, but don't worry about it if you don't, because it's not a very good song anyway.

If I wanted to reference a good song, I'd have put something along the lines of "I want to ride my bicycle, I want to ride my biiike..." (Thank you, Queen, for writing so many songs that involve bicycles. Even if they are rather bizarre lyrics to include.)

So, it's Herbst Ferien, which means I have two weeks of no school to get through. I say "get through" because the first week of that is a little tough. My social circle is not very large in Rimbach, right now, so I'm, well, a little bored. I went out to dinner and then watched a thoroughly bizarre Danish film called "Adam's Apples" with some other teachers on Friday night (a film I'm still not sure if I actually liked. Some parts were funny, but on a whole, I'm not certain that I'd bother watching it again.), but other than that I don't have much by way of plans. Hanging out with a friend tomorrow, which should be fun, and I was potentially going to go to some kind of ski-aerobics class with another friend tonight, but I may not go to that, because my tennis shoes are soaked, and I'm a little sore.

Which brings me to the title of this post (it's official, I'm needlessly verbose. It took me....what, twenty lines of text to get to the point?), which is that I have officially begun to teach myself how to ride a bike. Before you all go crazy and ask "You can't ride a bike? Can you swim?" (If I am asked that question one more time, I swear, I might explode.), yes, I can't ride a bike. I got to training wheels as a child, and refused to learn how to ride properly. Mostly it was because the continued failure to actually learn it made me furious (yes, I know that falling down a bunch is normal; didn't make me any less mad), and I was a very stubborn child. I'm pretty much just happy that I didn't break the bike in the moments I was angry enough to really want to break something.

See, I used to have a really bad temper. An irrationally bad temper. Yes, anger is usually irrational, but I would get angry at the smallest, stupidest things. For the most part it was a childhood thing, and I grew out of it. I was pretty sure in Brazil, for example, that I had nothing to worry about as far as my temper went anymore. I have discovered over time that certain things will still set me off pretty easily. One of those things is feeling incompetent or failing repeatedly at something, which usually leads to the feeling incompetent. This doesn't happen too horribly often, since I usually also tend to try not to take anything too seriously, since whatever it is I'm doing probably isn't exactly life-changing. But every once in a while, something really gets me going. Attempting to ride a bike today was one of those things.

Anyone who has spent the majority of their life unable to do something that 90% of the population does without actively thinking about, and has tried to learn said thing, knows what I'm talking about. It's even a cliche. "It's just like riding a bike." I loved when people would say that to me, so that I could calmly turn to them and say, "I can't ride a bike." And then watch their face contort as they tried to think of what to say to that. But seriously, it is ridiculously frustrating and embarrassing to have so much difficulty learning something that is essentially the poster-child of "easy."

Which is why I took my bike to an abandoned patch of grass, out of view, and practiced for two hours.

I can stay upright, at least for a while, though I probably could have chosen a better spot to practice, since the ground was uneven and the grass ridiculously long. But I'm getting it. I need a lot of practice, but the simple fact that I actually TRIED today is pretty huge. So I thought I'd share.

And no, I'm not riding on the street much yet. I don't feel like getting hit by a car anytime soon, so I'd rather have much better control before I actually try to go anywhere.

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