Mar 20

Zen and the art of…

Posted by Nanc

The following may or may not be an inspirational story to you. This is my story from this past weekend. All events are factual, or at least true from my point of view and exaggeration was kept to a minimum. No hand knits were harmed in these events, or in the retelling of this story.

This weekend I took the basic motorcycle course (and passed – wo0t!). This is something that I’ve wanted to do for a long time and had put off for no good reasons. I finally said “Enough” and went for it. No regrets.

The weather here in Dallas was horrible this weekend. Oh, sure – we’re spoiled most of the time with sun and warm temperatures, but this weekend was cold (high of 50 Fahrenheit), rainy (constantly), and windy. Just miserable and any attempts to keep warm or dry were short-lived and futile.

The weather combined with the task of learning new skills, techniques, and good habits made me nearly miserable. It was a serious struggle for me on the first day of class. I couldn’t seem to “get it” (“it” being turning right and gently rolling on the throttle, aka the power). I became more and more frustrated and angry, which makes it nigh impossible to learn. I went home after that first day miserable, desolate, and so cold that it wasn’t until late in the night that I finally warmed up.

I was more resolute the next day that I would conquer and master these skills, and hopefully have a better attitude at the end of the day. The weather was still rainy, cold, and ugly, and the training was still intimidating and trying. But what changed was my attitude! And a big factor in that was my knitting.

Every few hours we would get a 10 minute break. There really wasn’t any where to go for shelter and rest besides one’s car. So for each break, I would return to my car sopping wet (my front seat is still soaked!) and the windows would quickly fog up. I would drink a little water and eat a light snack too keep up my energy, but then would turn to my knitting for respite. I am working on my second sock of a pair of Gryffindor socks – my own pattern. I had passed the heel (I’m working them toe-up) and this was simple K3, P2 ribbing. (You can see a picture of the first one here.)

These breaks allowed my mind to focus on what I want to accomplish and I could envision myself riding through the turns and the course properly. It gave me a way to relax and reflect on what was enjoyable about riding a motorcycle, instead of thinking about how miserable the weather was. Even though I would only knit between one and four rounds (cold, wet hands = slow progress), it was enough to give me strength and comfort to continue on. And I totally nailed it!

I still have a bit more of the sock to work on (I’m up to the stripes), and I plan on taking the written-portion of the motorcycle licensing test this week. Next step is to buy a bike, then show MattyBonez how much fun this is so he’ll get his license, too.

But one thought that kept me smiling during my breaks was imaging the faces of my classmates and trainers if they could see me knitting. (Which they couldn’t because of the near-instant window fog and steady rain.) Not the stereotypical idea of “motorcycle momma” or “knitter!” Not that those carry much weight anymore.

May your joy (whatever that may be: knitting, being a “biker”, or heck – even scrapbooking) provide you with the inspiration and reflection needed to get you were you want to be, and may life inspire your joy. Rock on!

3 Responses to “Zen and the art of…”

  1. Rachel Says:

    Yippe for Nanc for passing your class! I knew you could and would do it. I spent a day of my class in the rain, and I know it can be a downer. It probably will make you a better rider though.

    When you get that bike, take it easy on the roads as it takes more time to build up those real world skills. I can’t wait until we can all ride together (if that will ever happen?)

    -Rachel
    PS: I love the inspirational words at the end and the nod to freakish scrapbookers :)
    PS2: You’ll have to let me know if you get the pre-ride poo.

  2. jen Says:

    Congrats on passing your class!! you crazy chica. ;)

  3. P-la Says:

    mmmm…I love me some motorcycle mama…

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