I love riding bicycles. It was something I did a lot of as a child. My body has always been restricted by my brain. I can’t make my hands do the correct thing, like tie my shoes. I can’t walk in a straight line. But, on my bike, I feel free. I am in control of what is happening with both my brain and my body.
There were quite a few years where I didn’t ride. After I was diagnosed with POTS, my parents refused to let me ride because they thought I would pass out while riding. A little time passed and I got used to the POTS. Every spring, I would get back on my bike and try again. I also have nerve damage in my legs, so that makes the task even more difficult. I failed every time. My heart rate would just shoot up. I considered it a good ride if I lasted more than 5 minutes.
This spring, everything changed. The man destined to be one of my boyfriends came into my life, although at this point we were just friends. He lived close by and would ride his bike to my house a lot. I always got super jealous. One day, everyone else in my house got ready to take a bike ride. I was sad because all I wanted to do was ride bikes with the other kids, but I knew I wouldn’t be able to last long. He said, “fuck that. You’re going to ride again.”
Each day, after that, we went to a park by my house. He was patient and every day I was able to ride a little farther. Eventually, I was able to ride as long as he could. I got my freedom back. We rode bikes the entire summer and our love blossomed right there in the park. We would ride to the park, do some sick tricks in the parking lot, and go sit by my favorite tree and talk for hours.
I am so thrilled that I can ride my bike whenever I want. I truly feel like I am flying when I stand up on the pedals and soar down the street. It also helped me learn that I can accomplish much more than I ever thought I could. Bike riding will forever be a part of my life.