Getting Unstuck

By Debbie Koenig

I’ve been experiencing a sort of menopausal stuck-ness, as if the choices I’ve made about my life are settled, and that’s that. The only thing left is to trudge through the next few decades. What started out feeling like a good thing, settling down and growing up, has wound up feeling like I’m knee-deep in wet cement. It would be so easy to just sink into it and give up, then just shrug when the pounds pile back on.

But awareness is the first step, right? Now I’m making an effort to become unstuck. We’re getting ready to move, which is major. You can’t feel stuck when you’re giving away things you don’t need any more, and changing your environment completely. I’ve started strength training again. I even stepped into a batting cage!

Last weekend I took a bike-riding class. I already knew how to ride, but it’s been over 30 years. The thought of biking in NYC terrifies me, even though I watch my husband ride off to work every day. We’ve talked about how nice it would be if biking were something we could do as a family, for fun. He even gave me a quick lesson last year, but I freaked out about steering and never tried again. Getting unstuck seems to require overcoming fear, so I signed up for this lesson.

The class had about 15 adults of varying ages—I’d say the oldest was in her 60s. Several folks were like me, who’d learned as kids, but a surprising number had never even attempted to ride before. After a quick lesson in fitting a helmet and positioning the seat, we climbed onto our bikes. The instructor had removed all the pedals ahead of time, so we spent the beginning just learning to coast, to get used to balancing on two wheels. And just as it had with the batting cage, my muscle memory kicked right in. By the end of the two-hour class, I was zipping back and forth on the practice run, learning to maneuver around cones and turn the bike around without stopping. It brought me right back to my 7-year-old self, flying through my suburban neighborhood.

Riding that bike, I felt free. Definitely not stuck.

Follow Debbie on Connect @debbieskoenig

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