They say about riding bikes, you never forget, but what if you’re 31 and never really learned in the first place? And what if the bike has 24 gears?! Eek!
It’s one thing to pedal up and down mostly straight, flat roads, but we’re not in Weldona anymore. Navigating 24 gears in San Diego county is a whole different animal. But, this is the Tour of Hope, after all, so let’s remain hopeful!
I will start by saying Z is way stronger than I am. She’s been running and exercising regularly for most of her adult life. Me? My exercise comes in the form of need-inspired walking, sporadic stationary biking (no shifting required), the occasional strength circuit, periodic bouts of yoga, and isolated incidents of bedroom calisthenics. My quads and hammies are not up for all this pedaling, but they’re getting there!
We’re making rookie mistakes, for sure, as we cruise up and down the hills in La Mesa. Accidentally going up hill in high gear, not shifting down soon enough before the hill, skipping gears when we don’t mean to. Still trying to figure out the trick in timing to take that sweet momentum off the hill up the next one while being in the best gear….not quite there yet.
So far, an 8-mile round trip is the longest ride we’ve done, and it truly filled us with hope. I took my time on the hills, was patient with myself, and never had to walk the bike, so that’s a success! It’s still a long way to go before we head out to a powwow 140 miles away next month, but we’re going to make it.
Despite the unforeseen plot twist, we are still planning to attend the upcoming powwows around San Diego and LA. We will volunteer at these traditional events to gain a better understanding of each community and seek input from the elders and other community leaders about how our program can help meet their needs. This will be invaluable experience to inform our program development.
Additionally, I begin my own self-defense training tomorrow! Z is already a trained instructor, but I will be investing my time in learning combination martial arts, defense-based kickboxing, and whatever else I can fit into my schedule next to the bike training.
Something else we are working on is finding a piece of land for a workshop space. Or rather a person who owns land they’d like an office and garden on. We will build a small, sustainable, office/living space from reclaimed materials, complete with a rainwater filtration system and garden and compost system, if they like, which we will build, maintain, and leave the landowner with once we no longer need it…we just need someone in San Diego with the right space and the interest and willingness to let us work there for no exchange of money. Please let my know if you are or know of such a person.
So, I’m super hopeful about that, and look forward to building a tiny office in the near future!
It turns out that starting your own non-profit/service-based program is a lot like learning to ride a bike!