Bike brakes

When I got a bike as an adult I didn’t know how to use the brakes. The problem was that I didn’t know that I didn’t know.

Within three minutes after getting on the bike I was in trouble. I was headed down the hill and I suddenly realized things were not going well. I was going way too fast and the backpedaling-as-a-brake that I had learned when I was a child didn’t work on this bike.

This bike had handbrakes and my husband the bicyclist had not taught me about them. Suddenly I realized I couldn’t ask for help because he was too far away. Suddenly I realized I had to figure it out on my own right there, right then. Thankfully I did otherwise I would’ve ended up in my neighbor’s front yard. And possibly after that in the hospital.

Isn’t that like life? All the time people don’t tell us what is going on and how to get out of trouble. We’re in the middle of the problem and suddenly we have to figure it out. He could’ve told me “Here is the handbrake and here’s how to slow down”. He didn’t. He thought I knew. He was wrong.

I’ll never forget that terror, that sudden realization that I was in a whole lot of trouble really fast, and I had nobody to help me but myself. But I’ll also never forget the calm that came over me along with the terror. I figured it out. I didn’t get hurt. I was fine.

Sometimes you have to sink a little to learn how to swim.

Studying for life.

Health isn’t like a test you can cram for. It is something that you have to “study” for every day or you will fail.

So many people want to get in shape but they don’t want to do the work. So many people wait until they have a serious diagnosis before they start to take their health seriously. Really, they want to be in shape, but not to get in shape.

It is too easy to blame someone else. Your parents didn’t exercise, so you don’t. Your friends all eat unhealthy food, so you do. This is such a passive way of living. They don’t feel your pain when you can’t walk around the block, or you can’t get out of bed without help. You have to live your life, and by living, I don’t mean just exist.

There needs to be an entire sea-change in the way we think, but until then we have to do it for ourselves.

I have a dream that hospitals and rehab centers will teach people how to be healthy rather than treat their sicknesses. People will learn that health is more than just about diet and exercise.

They will teach people how to care for themselves through food and exercise. People will learn how to cook for themselves and what are healthy choices when they are out at a restaurant. They will learn how to grow their own food. There will be no caffeine or refined sugar, and no tobacco.

They will learn about healthy boundaries. They will learn how to protect themselves and how to respect the boundaries of others.

They will learn how to share their thoughts and how to listen to other’s thoughts. They will learn dialogue versus debate.

They will get in touch with their inner child.

They will explore different ways to express themselves. All arts will be shared and people will be encouraged to pick as many as needed.

They will learn the value of getting enough sleep.

They will get career counseling to find a job that fits their abilities and beliefs.

This movement starts with each one of us, right now. It isn’t a top-down way of thinking. It is a bottom-up. We have to be the change.