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How I learned to ride a bike

March 16, 2006 - Back to Journal

The way I learned to ride a bike is that I dreamed it first. This was after several months of training wheels followed by a few failed attempts of going up-and-down the drive on my blue girl's Schwinn, my father's hand resting on the back of my seat to balance me so I would not fall.
"Not yet, not yet!" is the only thing I remember saying, which meant, "Whatever you do, Dad, please don't let go, I'm not ready yet." What was balance anyway, I wondered, how could I possibly learn to suspend myself on moving wheels? I despaired I would ever be able to ride a two-wheeled vehicle when that night, I dreamed I could.

It is one of those dreams that I remember still in detail. The image that floats to mind first when I think of it is a wet portrait of me in-motion  painted in pastels: but the key is in what I am feeling in the dream, the sensation of balancing as I ride my bike in the dream.

It was so strong a feeling -- so convincing a "fact" -- that  when I woke up the next day, I ran downstairs, jumped on my "real" bike, and rode all over town. I never experienced fear or hesitation again because I had already succeeded in my dream and remembered how it felt.