Friday, April 18, 2008

The small, yellow bike

I started learning in the summer of 2002, just when I was about to become a high school sophomore. Driving across lawns at my grandmother's backyard, I bumped into trees, rocks, and pits that left my limbs aching. The morning after, I would see dark spots all over my body that felt painful whenever I touched them. The lessons were excruciating.

My younger brother Sean, who, for days that followed, would be my personal mentor, had to bear with my apparent unresponsiveness. "This is how you balance..." he'd tell me. He'd demonstrate the proper way of handling the equipment, the proper stance, and in a way, the proper look, because his face always looked so serious when talking. And I would obey, knowing I had no other choice. Sean is 3 years younger than I am, but learned his lesson years and years before I even began mine. Such is the paradox of life.

I came to realize that the balancing part is the hardest; it took me three days to go on for 3 meters without falling. After that, everything was breezy. It took me less than a day to learn how to make a wide turn, how to pull the brakes, and how NOT to get rammed by a truck in the highway.

Sadly though I went home without finishing the entire lesson: I didn't know how to make a U-turn. I had to descend from my bike and manually re-orient my bike to the opposite direction. I guess I was too scared of falling. You could say it was one of my frustrations.

The unfinished lesson would begin six years after, in a totally different setting, with a taller, more hairy version of me. Out on a whim, I asked my classmate Zi if she'd teach me some lessons. She graciously said yes and agreed to come early before our lab class so she could teach me. With her suggestions in mind, I travelled around Albert Hall, past speedy cars, heavy trucks, and bigger bicycles. It was reliving the good, old days.

Then the inevitable time came when I said, "I'm gonna finish this." I was determined to finish the lesson. It was now or never.

With all the courage I could muster, I made my way to a small alley then turned my bike at a sharp angle. Was that a U-turn? It was incredible!

Suddenly I felt that the warm breeze on my face was cheering me on, and at that moment I felt that I could go on and on...that I could travel the world with my small, yellow bike.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Congratulations, Lance!
IMO, you are more than a decade overdue :P, but it's better late than never.
Btw, did you take the recent NMAT?

Tue Apr 22, 09:46:00 PM GMT+8  
Blogger Lance said...

Thanks so much, Kuya; yes, I'm two decades (and one year) old. :D

Yes, I took it. HAHA. I leave the results to God. :D

Tue Apr 22, 11:52:00 PM GMT+8  

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