I hopped on my seat and looked down the winding path ahead. I slowly found my balance and started pedaling. The pedal assist was on setting two, and it gave me a boost forward right away. I laughed out loud and a big smile appeared across my face.
“This is so fuuuunnnn!” I cried, glancing up and squinting in the bright sky.
“Are you okay? How does it feel?” my boyfriend yelled back turning his head slightly.
“It feels great!” I yell to him. “Wait stop – this is so beautiful! Can we get a picture??”
“Absolutely!” he said with such enthusiasm and pure excitement.
My first picture of the day. I am wearing my “Mighty” shirt because it just felt right. Underneath the bridge was a fast running creek cutting through rocks. I peered down and felt very subtle splashes of water hit my face. We continued riding through the winding path, up a tiny hill and down again. As I rode, I realized my bike didn’t have a name. This little white beauty of a bike, one that is giving me the freedom to go out and explore nature, enjoy time being active with people who are close to me, and re-instilling some adventure back into my life, surely deserves a name. Penny or Pip?
I rode through the hills and around a medium sized glassy lake. We stopped and took pictures, soaking up the nature and the God given beautiful day. We explored hidden places. We sat on a log resting on the beach – the only ones there – just enjoying the silence and each other’s company.
We finally made it around the entire lake and found our way back to the car. I plopped down on a rock heavily, but my heart was filled with gratitude and my soul was dancing.
4.5 miles we rode. I cannot believe it. Yes I had pedal assist, but still. With chronic illness, I can barely stand for 5 minutes sometimes.
Pip is more than just a bike. She is my gateway to freedom. My way of feeling alive and a means to exploration and adventure, which for a while now has been lacking in my life.
We all need to feel liberated. We all need adventure. We all need to feel like we belong and that we are a part of this wonderful world.
Chronic illness friends, I encourage you to think of things that give you a sense of freedom. What awakens your spirit? Whether it is sitting outside in nature, drawing/painting, reading, using your walker to be outside, or having someone push you in your wheelchair as you feel the breeze hit your face and blow back your hair – you need that. You deserve that. You are worthy of that.
We all are. Chronic illness or not.