How my love and fulfillment for cycling all started, (1988-1989) I was 6 or 7 years old…..I woke up on a crisp summer day excited to put this lucid dream that I had woke up to into existence, and I did.
I had recently got a brand new bike. It was a sparkling white with a turquoise stripe and ‘palm-palm strings’ hanging from the edge of the handle bars (which didn’t last long as I pulled them out with time). I was told by my parents that I had training wheels on the bike to ‘teach’ me how to ride and then when I was ready to safely ride my bike without them Dad would remove them. Hmmm… I thought to myself, I don’t want those things.
I remember riding for maybe a couple weeks with the training wheels on listening to the cues my parents were giving me to [balance my weight evenly, push through the peddles, holding on to the handle bars evenly] formulating an idea of what this would look like and feel like as I would watch my parents show me how it was done and also with admiration watching my older sister ride her bike.
I was (still am) extremely a visual learner and used methods of connect the dots to figure things out that I desired worthy of my attention. Then, I remember having a thought “How can I learn to ride without those training wheels?” There was a circular dip in the grass next to the garage where once lived a tree that had been removed. I remember formulating a plan to park the bike over that hole-dip-circular area. Visualize this- the training wheels on the edge of this hole-dip-circular area (west/east) and the length of the tires extending farther than the area (north/south). Basically a perfect fit for me to balance but have enough space for the peddles to fully rotate. Here is where I put in the reps, the visualization came to life and the confidence to ride one day with out those darn training wheels became my target focus. Without even knowing I created a goal, I put in the work to accomplish something every kid hopes to do. There was a lesson to learn here.
Back to THE LUCID DREAM…. It was so real, that in the dream I rode my bike for the first time without the training wheels. I crushed it and I remember feeling so much fulfillment and I was proud of this exact moment. It was rich in feeling such an accomplishment. My Dad was there and watched and enthusiastically blurted a combination of “Be careful and Go Lisa!” at the same time.
As my Dad often did, he would spend time in the garage, mowing the lawn, watering the grass, washing his car, etc …The same day I had the lucid dream I decided to go for it make it happen. I remember walking outside and telling him I don’t need my training wheels….he looked down at me confused by me asking, yet slightly confident in hesitation to say “are you sure…Maybe you should spend a little more time with them on?” I said “No, I can do it!” I think I asked at least 3+ more times….convincing him to remove them.
This moment I attempted to ride with a little push from Dad holding the back of the seat…I gave it a go and 3-4 peddle strokes, the visualization and cues and that same feeling of accomplishment in the dream came to fruition. I remember Dad asking me with proud wonder and excitment “How did you do that?….. And my response was “I’m strong and I knew I could!”
I rode the hell out of the bike with out those training wheels on our street; Walnut Creek Parkway, in West Covina, CA. (the childhood street that I grew up on) It was a semi flat rode and slightly busy street, we lived basically in the middle of the street so going left or right gave variety. My favorite part about this street was the up and down dips on the sidewalk from the driveways in conjunction with speed. I remember going so fast, no worry in the world, I LOVED THIS BIKE and individual time spent on it. My thinking space of imagination, athleticism and that daring feeling of pushing the limits of how far I was allowed to go from my house. I had always been too brave of a kid in the sense that determination will always prevail. In my adult life, I’ve accounted for that sense of bravery in which comes in form of more from the essence of being resilient. I’ve spent a lot of my life in “attack mode” “work mode” “get of of chaos” “keep digging deep to get where you want” to being a radiating sense of peace, joy and gratification which runs through my body.
Fast forward to now, late 2017 in November I signed up for the Aids Life Cycle Ride. Which goes from SanFrancisco to Los Angeles riding 545 miles over the course of 7 days. I was beyond thrilled to do this. Really a hefty goal considering that I was a novice to road biking, but a determined little sucker to make it happen. I teach cycle classes and was a participant of many cycle classes as well, but this was different than being on a road bike. I had deeply wanted the sensation of owning a road bike for many many years that I had never made it happen. So when I purchased my first road bike early this year in March 2018 all the youthful memories came alive again from that very childhood moment. Putting in the practice and reps to better my performance as a novice road cyclist. I had so much support learning the ways of the road, riding all through the land of Orange County, Los Angeles and Malibu. Demolishing hills, increasing speed, finding the best way to become great and exceed the mileage I was about to endure on the Aids Life Cycle ride. My success and performance as a rider was guided by the support from my AIDS LIFE CYCLE EQX TEAM which held quality experience riders who gave their feedback, tips and advice. In true form it was and is the time that I actually spent in the saddle, going to bed early, early morning get ups, doing the work, endlessly pushing, proper recovery, quality nutrition that really counted with my riding partner to make me a great, strong cyclist. I’m grateful for that investment of time. Time well worth it to have such a positive outcome. Surely this sport is an investment of time and many hours on the bike in order to make it through a Century ride (108 miles was the furthest distance I would go that week and high elevation of 5,000 feet climb).
What a wonderful experience I had riding along the Coast of California. I saw so many rare sighting that could only be seen on a bike path and the beauty of inhaling the awe and wonder, but most importantly I learned a lot about myself: my wants, needs and my inner truth. The ride was very healing, therapeutic in the sense of self-time, and a workout for the mind and body. True grit is needed to see way to the end of the week. Luckily for me, the adaptation over the course of the week my performance got better and better and I finished that week with never having a technical issue or flat. I had so much love and support along the week. Calls, text messages, encouragement to accomplish something so magnificent as people knew how hard I trained and how badly I wanted to succeed through this challenge. Even though it was a fundraiser to support the cause for cure for AIDS, the physical/mental demand can take a person out quick. I realized after this how nothing was going to stop me from ever reaching the epitome of my best self.
So I share this with you guys for two reasons, even in the memories of childhood experiences there can be strength that translates to our successes as an adult. More importantly always remember change occurs at the most vulnerable places where we set parameters to protect our heart, mind and body. When we can let go of those parameters there we will find peace and forward movement. My next goal is to start up Mountain biking!