pride and my new bike

Welcome to my kitchen. This is my bike:


I want this blog post to be a picture of my bike outside, on a trail, near some trees. Preferably, with me on it. And I want that helmet to be on my head, not on the bike seat. And I want to be giving the camera a thumbs-up or two because I’m 25 miles from my house so I earned the photo op.

There’s a not-so-small problem: pride. It’s getting in the way.

Mr. S. is a cyclist and loves it. To get around town, for exercise, for fun — he loves riding his bike. After years of dating and months of marriage, it made sense to buy me a bike too. I was excited to participate in this activity that brings him so much joy. And maybe, just maybe, it would bring me a little joy too.

After we bought the bike, I had to learn how to use hand brakes. I rode a bike growing up, but only the pedal-backwards-to-brake variety. Mr. S. patiently instructed me, and I listened carefully, and I still fell off several times. That was back in May.

I slathered the scratches in Neosporin and they’re scars now. It’s the end of July and my pride has kept me off the bike all summer. I don’t like falling off and tumbling all over a parking lot. I don’t like riding in circles. I don’t know the rules for riding and I don’t want to anger drivers. I don’t, I don’t, I don’t — I can come up with excuses. They all boil down to pride.

I’m too proud to do something I’m not good at.

I’ve spent the past 12 months launching a consulting and freelancing business. I’m beyond blessed and my career looks radically different than I ever thought it might. College was fantastic and the university I attended was different than every other one I applied to. I went there and loved it. Beautiful, all of it, and I wasn’t about to let my pride get in the way.

It’s the whole Abraham Lincoln dropped the ball about 65 times and then he became President thing . . . you can’t let pride get in the way if you want anything out of life.

So I’m planning to go for a bike ride this weekend. Maybe I’ll fall off, but I’ll get back on. And I’ll leave my pride out of it.

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