I needed movement. I felt afraid, overwhelmed, and stuck
and I just needed to move.
Yoga and walking felt too slow, so I decided to jump on a
spider-web covered bike from the garage and ride as far as I could
on the prairie path in Elmhurst. I rode fast, but still took
in the sights, sounds, and smells of a Midwestern summer.
I felt like a kid. Before all the helmets and gear, before
it became a form of exercise, bikes were freedom, a way to get
wherever I needed to go as fast as I could.
A few weeks ago I had a similar time-traveling experience as I
roller skated with my 8-year-old daughter.
I took a turn around the rink, crossed left foot over right, and
was transported to the time when roller skating meant everything to
me - hours on the driveway in the spring, summer, and fall, and
even in the winter on a small tiled area in the basement.
I was Kira from Xanadu or Juice Newton singing Angel of the
Morning while spinning in a circle…
And here I am again at 40 on another set of wheels, feeling the
same longing for freedom, wanting to move away from fear, while
simultaneously realizing that fear pushed me back to this
The older I get the more I know that kids are the ones who have
it right - they spend their time in movement, joy, and inspiration
- they speak truth and they know what is real (well, they
naturally do this if we allow for it, but that's another
We adults focus on yesterday and tomorrow and we strive for
goals and stuff that only leads to more striving.
We look outside for happiness while knowing deep down that
happiness only comes from the inside - connection to self, trust of
life, freedom of spirit, and separation from the illusion of
The closer I get to getting what I always thought I wanted the
more I ache to slow down, to be present; to be here
now. And while this is great in theory, it's a big shift
in thinking when my whole life I've been striving, educating,
working toward something…
And I think this is why fear comes in. Not to make my life
miserable, but to push me back to this child-like place. To
get me back on my bike and skates so I can remember what is
real. Because once I remember what is real, the fear begins
to slip away.
Like this afternoon when I peddled down a steep hill, put my
head back, and let go of the handle bars for a moment.
I could have been cruising down 2nd Street in my
hometown of DeKalb; the feeling was so comforting and
familiar. And as I felt the wind on my face a song from
childhood played in my head.
And for the first time in my life, I understood what this
songwriter, this teacher, was trying to say.
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Cathy Adams is a certified parenting coach, yoga instructor and mother to three girls.
See more of Cathy's stories here.
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