There were few things that brought me as much joy in my childhood as riding through the Ozarks on the back of my dad’s motorcycle. I would no longer ride with my mom after she dumped me into a creek. I think she somewhat enjoyed it and I didn’t trust her not to do it again. I did enjoy riding though; I especially loved the feeling of freedom and being surrounded by nature.
When my sister was a teenager, my dad taught her to ride, but when it came my turn, he refused to teach me, stating he didn’t want to be responsible for my death. I guess I couldn’t blame him, I was a little bit of a daredevil with a wild streak.
One of the many perks of being with my husband, Greg, was riding again and I trust him completely. We took a trip to Estes Park for the 4th of July when I was 5 months pregnant with Tabitha and I discovered that I really love riding fast—not out-of-control, crazy fast—but more than the law would like. Whenever I wanted him to go a little faster, I’d give him a little squeeze between my legs.
As Tabitha got a little older, she started enjoying riding too. The only way we could enjoy riding as a family was for me to learn to ride my own. In the past, when I thought about learning to ride, I’d think back to what my father had said and what became a subconscious belief, riding my own motorcycle meant I would die. And then there was also the incident with my mom and at some level I didn’t trust female riders.
It was while we were riding to Estes Park in 2009, Greg throttled up when we went through a tunnel and the sound of the pipes vibrated and echoed through me. In that moment, I knew I wanted to be able to do the same.
Greg offered to teach me but since I don’t believe spouses should teach one another anything—especially something that requires multiple steps and patience—I thanked him and signed up for a motorcycle-riding course.
With my motorcycle endorsement in hand I went to get my new driver’s license. I couldn’t believe the differences, including my signature. I carry both of them with me as a reminder of what is possible when we are willing to face our fears and be open to the process of letting go of that which no longer serves us in order to become the person we are meant to be.
I’ve been riding my own bike for a few years and I absolutely love it. I especially enjoy the freedom of the open road with nothing holding me back.