Monday, December 10, 2012

It's Like Riding a Bicycle...

It was as if someone took a hammer to my kneecaps. I could feel the stinging scrape on my elbow. The cold, wet street pressed against me. My backpack, weighted with textbooks and my laptop, kept me face down on the ground. After riding a bicycle to and from class for two years, I never managed to have any serious bike accident. Even a fender bender was rare for me on the bike path. But no matter what my experience or skill, it could happen to anyone, myself included. And that night, it happened to me.

I didn’t think about any of this when I flew over the handlebars of my bike, however. Instead, I thought, “Get up. Keep going.” And I couldn’t have been on the ground for more than ten seconds before standing up, picking up my bike, and riding the rest of the way home. Sure, I was sore all over and scraped up, but I had no choice; I had to get home.

Weeks later, it amazes me that I was able to get up so quickly and continue home to write a paper, as if my accident was no big deal. Why can’t all problems I encounter be similar to this incident? In emotional matters and conflicts of the mind & heart, why can’t I just “get up and keep going?” What is it about my physical body that makes it much more capable of overcoming struggles than my mind and soul? Are the tangible me and abstract me different in this regard?

What I do know is this: On that cold, rainy night, I could have chosen to stay on the ground. I could have cried, thrown myself a pity party for everything wrong in my life, my accident and the rest of the mistakes I’ve made, how this would ruin my night and the days following it, and remain in the road until I didn’t want to deal with the approaching cars. Knowing me, I very well might have done so. Instead, I bypassed all of that. I told myself to get up and keep going. I think the same can be said for any other issue in my life. It has become increasingly apparent to me that everything is a matter of perspective. While we may not be able to change the events life throws our way, we can control how we view them and respond to them. And maybe instead of falling into emotional slumps, I need to “get up” and “keep going.”

PS: Thank you to the car of bros who asked if I was okay. I am, and will continue to be so. :)


  1. This is such an interesting idea. I think that our physical bodies are capable of a lot of things--far more than we'd ever expect.

    There have been times when I've been on a fire crew assignment where we are hiking and sweating and working our asses off all day long, non-stop for two weeks. By the end of it I wonder how my body could do it. But, I've also found that the emotions involved on those fire assignments because of the people I'm working with are much harder to cope with and take so much more time to heal than any sore muscle.

    I don't know that it's really a matter of overcoming or even of getting up and continuing on. I think that your'e right about perspective. I think we experience the world in so many different ways and our emotive responses and experiences are just deeper and stick with us far longer than do our physical responses. Emotions are so much easier to remember than any physical pain--but why? It's such a fascinating thing.

    Maybe sometimes we just need to remember to let our emotive self have a little more time for processing and healing than our physical self might need.

    Thanks for the post! Sure got me thinking :)

    1. A fire crew assignment?! Sounds intense! In writing this, I just found it interesting that our bodies, which are physical and tangible, can bounce back so much more quickly than our emotional selves, the abstract and conceptual. One would think that since the abstract is not physically present, it's much easier to fix and do away with than something that is. But in the struggle between the body vs. the emotional self, it seems to be the other way around.

      Thanks for commenting! You got me to think through this a little more. =)