Being A Survivor Is Like Riding A Bike
By Vicky Lynn, cyclist and survivor.
My life isn't just about surviving, anyone can do that, all you need is a pulse.
My life is about living and not giving my life's energy to the negative things or negative people that come along. It is about awareness and about being here now.
Does that mean I am never hurt, disappointed or have a bad day? Absolutely not. I am just as human as the next person.
What it does mean is that I don't live in those hurts, disappointments or bad days, I live through them to get to the other side and back out into the sunshine.
As I prepare for my round-the-world cycling adventure. It occurs to me that being a survivor is kind of like riding a bike...
When I was about 7 or 8 years old my father was teaching me how to ride bike. He held onto the seat and I started pedaling. Of course, as any child would, I thought he would protect me from falling. I was so wrong! He let go and I landed in a rose bush.
I was crying and scratched from the thorns. My father reached out his hand, helped me out of the bush, and said get back on the bike. At the time I had no idea that would be such a life lesson for me. When life throws you into the rose bush and leaves you wounded, get up, and get back on. The freedom I felt when I got back on and learned to ride is the same freedom I have every time I get back in to the game of life.
When I look at my bike, and the cycling experience, I see a useful metaphor for traveling the road of life, as well as some simple lessons.
The pedals on my bike are a reminder that I am the source of the power. God helps those who helps themselves. If I don't pedal, I go nowhere. Keep pedaling, no matter what!
Use the Gears
The gears allow adjustments for the climb, and help me to accept that change is a positive thing in life and it is there to help with the climb. My ability to staying positive through adversity is a great gift. At a very young age I discovered that I was able to separate who I am from my physical being, with the knowledge that what is happening to my person is not happening to me.
The handlebars are clearly for direction and the knowledge that I can choose the direction my life goes. It's also important to have faith. I learned that from my father. Having 8 children and many unexpected hurdles, to this day he just has faith and does whatever it takes to get through.
Wear A Helmut
And last but not least, my helmet, my protection. This represents so many things. Friends, family, an organization that supports me in my time of need, and so much more. Most of all it represents the love I give myself everyday and in turn the love I have to share with others. When you are struggling, ask yourself what kind of energy are you surrounding yourself with? Studies have shown that we tend to become like the people we choose to spend our time with. Is it time for new friends, more positive friends?
I haven't even started the journey, and already I've learned invaluable lessons - stay tuned for more!
Vicky Lynn is a cancer survivor on a mission. She is also a mother of three, grandmother of nine, writer, voice talent, cyclist, speaker, coach, activist and advocate for a diversity of causes. She is cycling around the world to raise awareness and funds for cancer research.