Last week I read an article about a woman out of Montreal, Wendy McGean, learning to ride in her mid forties and then in her fifties she made some pretty dramatic changes in her life and one of the results of those changes was riding across Canada to reconnect with herself. Attached to the written article is an audio file that I also listened to which was pretty informative. Well, I haven’t been able to stop thinking of the journey she went on and I completely get it and I think I understand the why!
Before you read any further please understand that I’m not interested in walking away from everything – a few things yes but definitely not everything!
I grew up in a small town and the youngest of four. My grandfather and uncle lived with us. My siblings and I were very close in age and grew up being friends. Throughout high school I would work sometimes up to four part time jobs at a time so I could save for college. I spent a lot of my childhood and young adulthood in and out of the hospital from Crohn’s, Colitis and Arthritis. The year I finished college I met Andy and we were married within 2 years. Jacob arrived almost exactly a year later and Michaela 21 months after that. Having a child diagnosed with Aspergers when our kids were young was very different as there wasn’t the support for him or us that there is now. Plus, we were trying to do our best for Michaela. You get the picture life got very busy and very complicated.
One thing that has stayed the same over the years in my love of going places. Whether it’s an afternoon drive/ride or a flight to another country it doesn’t matter where I go I just want to see new places with people that I love.
Fast forward to now where in July I turned 48 – the same age my mom was when she died suddenly. I always knew that she was young when she died but this year it really truly hit me on how much living she still had to do. My age has never bothered me, as I’ve always looked at it as just a number but this year it’s been hard and weird. It’s honestly something that is hard to explain. Plus I lost other friends this year and again it’s just added on to an already difficult year.
When I learnt to ride it was like a switch got flipped. I loved the confidence that riding gave me, I had never experienced anything like that. I liked the community that I found and I really liked that it was one more thing that Andy and I could share.
Riding has provided me a freedom that I’ve never really known before. I feel like I am finally doing something just for me and it’s something that not everybody else can do – it’s mine and mine alone. It has been good not only for my physical being but more so for my mental health than anything else. Talking with friends that are around the same age and same stage in life I know that I am not alone in this thinking.
Again, don’t misunderstand me I love my family and would do anything for them but it’s really nice to find myself again.
The other side of this is – I don’t think these feelings only apply to women!
We’d love to hear how riding has helped you so please leave a comment below and let us know.
I grew up in small town Ontario so of course there were a couple of motorcycles in the drive house. The only problem was that I didn’t ride them I was only a passenger.
It wasn’t until I met me husband, Andy, that I spent any real time on a bike. We had a bike (Yamaha XJ750) before the kids arrived. However, after the kids came along we just didn’t have time to ride anymore so we sold it. There’s nothing worse than a bike sitting around and not being ridden!
Fast forward twenty years and we were once again cruising around on two wheels. Almost five years later and the only thing that’s changed is I now ride my own bike. If only I had understood how awesome it was to ride my own bike I would have done this years ago.