Tuesday, June 02, 2020

Lessons From a Bike Ride

There are two kinds of hills on my morning bike rides. 

There's one that's a short but intensely steep climb. Yesterday, I had to stand up on my pedals to make it to the top, and when I got there, a jogger cheered for me, impressed that I made it all the way.

The other is the long, steady incline that gets me home. I made it to the top of that one, too, but there was no one there to cheer for me or be impressed by me.

I've been thinking about those two hills while I continue to process the words of Brendan Kiely and Jason Reynolds during Sunday's The Author Village livestream, especially the comparison of living with my own racism to an addict living with their addiction. An alcoholic's work is never complete. They are never not an alcoholic. Every day is a long, steady incline. The same is true of my racism. I can't expect to get to the top of one steep climb (with cheerleaders at the top) and be done. Every day I need to wake up asking myself, "What will you do today to recognize and correct your own racism and the racism of the society in which you live?"

There are two kinds of hills on my morning bike rides.

Both kinds of hills will make me a stronger biker. There are also long sections where the way is flat and the riding is easy. I will not let those parts make me complacent. I will not seek out rides that are completely level. Because, while I know that

there are two kinds of hills on my morning bike rides,

I also know that there are mountains out there to scale as well. Let's get going.


  1. Once again. You nailed it for me! My favorite is about the flat sections and don't get complacent. Miss you!

  2. Powerful, reflective post, Mary Lee! Thanks for sharing.

  3. Thanks, Mary Lee, the push helps, knowing sometimes the top might be reached, only to find another hill.


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