Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Bike Therapy: Part I - Surrendering to Heavy

In less than three weeks the E Mundo has brought to the forefront various issues and fears in my life, including the fear of being weighed down, the fear of not being able to carry my own weight in the world, and the fear of getting hurt. It thus became apparent that biking would be more than simply a physical therapy or a physical yoga. The flip side of being granted an expansion of movement and boundaries is certain confrontation with or compression against whatever habits, obstructions and contractions are in the way of such an expansion, on all levels of being – emotional, mental and spiritual as well as physical. Part I addresses the confrontation with the weight of the E Mundo and issues of not wanting to be weighed down … by others, by physical things … by my own body.

Part I – Surrendering to Heavy

The E Mundo, with its 6.5 foot frame, electric components, wheels, tires, batteries, locks and such, weighs close to 100 pounds. I weigh 125 pounds, get winded walking up a few steps and prefer zip up sweaters to pullovers, because pulling a sweater on over my head tires out my arms. Riding the bike with the motor assist is usually a piece of cake, but I found that when initially parking the bike, locking it up, getting it in and out of my house’s entrance gate and such, the bike’s hefty weight and size intimidated me. I feared it was too much for me to handle.

I have a history of traveling light in life … not liking to collect more than I can carry on my own … not much liking the thought of depending on others for help … not wanting anybody or anything to weigh me down in my movements.  When my first symptoms of Lyme hit in early 2006, I happened to be in the process of moving from Ukiah (where I had co-owned a hatha yoga studio) back down to Marin County. I asked my family if anyone would drive up to help me move the final batch of things out of my house, which prompted one of my brothers to comment that something must be truly wrong with me because it was completely uncharacteristic of me to ask for help.

Lyme forced a change in my not-asking-for-help modus operandi, as well as other go-it-alone ways of thinking. At some point, perhaps two years into my ongoing health crisis, I stopped resenting the fact that I could not carry my own weight, so to speak, and felt deep gratitude for my support system … for that which held me up and helped me along. Just like at some point along the way I stopped resenting what my body could no longer do and felt deep gratitude for what it could do and what it could experience. These were important reversals of mind and heart which could not be faked. The heaviness and difficulties in my body remained but my emotional/mental load was henceforth dramatically lightened.

It is in this vein that I became interested in using an electric bike to HELP me get around, rather than brood over the fact that my body is not up for ‘real’ biking.  It is also in this vein that I have let this heavy thing into my life to carry my weight. I am slowly getting over the unpleasant fact that I cannot carry It. It’s a cargo bike for god sake. It is built to carry up to 400 pounds above and beyond the weight of the bike and the passenger. It is a freaking SUV (a Suburban Utility Vehicle) in its own right … or an Urban Utility Vehicle for that matter.

Thankfully the weight of this vehicle is becoming less and less a reminder of my own weakness, and more of a reminder to surrender my weight and my worries/fears to That which carries All.

You do not carry the World, She carries you.

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