Hear the clarion call from Chicago radio: “Strap on your helmet, slip into Spandex and Bike the Drive!”
Lake Shore Drive closed to cars and open to bicycles for one gloriously clear, cool Sunday morning. Here’s the vision—me on my ten-speed, Lake Michigan blue and sparkly, the Drake Hotel in my sights. Here’s the feeling—grip the handlebars, lean into the turn, pump the pedals.
Then I hit the pothole. Reality check. My vision fractured, blinded and grounded, sidelined and heartsick. Why me, oh, why me?
For years into vision loss, “Why me?” was my last word. Self-pity translated “Why me?” to “Poor me.” Victimhood dictated that active became passive, involved became isolated, with became without. Bike the Drive rode from real to imagined, lacking everything except frustration.
Resilience is a measure of recovery. Coping is finding new ways to do old things. For Bike the Drive, friends partner with sighted pilots on tandem bikes. That works for them, but rings hollow to me. Like taking your sister to the prom, it’s a poor substitute for the real thing.
So, I’m staying on the sidelines again this year. But I’m not acting the self-pitying victim, without choice, without hope. I’ve made my decision not from fear and resentment, but from respect for my quality of life. This is huge, this power to choose how to meet my needs. I have the freedom to say no rather than have it said to me and for me.
I am reframing “Why me?” into “Why not me?” And I say this from a place of abundance rather than deprivation. My life is full with purpose. Time and acceptance have granted me the balance to bounce back from disappointment, feel the loss and go on. Maybe not on a ten-speed or a tandem, but go on nonetheless.