My arms felt like stiff cement bars as I struggled to navigate the motorbike. Despite his arms holding the bars over mine, my mind kept returning to the fear of my accident. Since the accident I have been told many times in Indonesian ‘now that you have fallen you are certain to ride’. I have been so dependent on the transport of an ‘ojek’ which is a guy that you pay to drive you around on the back of his bike.
This dependence does not allow me to fully experience the island as I limit the ojek time based on appointments and work. Also I feel rather bad as he waits sometimes 2-3 hours during my meetings. I knew that I needed to learn so when the offer came I took it.
I could feel the stiffness that encompassed my entire body. But I kept hearing my teacher say in my ear ‘pasti bisa’ for certain you can. His smile and patience continued for the hour of our drive. He chose the perfect place, surrounded by trees, beach and a quiet road.
Before the sunset I learned to relax and let go of the fear. When I was off on my own with my teacher watching in the distance. I felt the freedom and sense of relaxed control of my destiny. I still have many lessons to go, but for the first time I believed in myself. I was so focused on falling that I forgot to believe that I could ride.
As we returned that evening to my place the guard asked how I did at the lesson. I said OK I am still learning and in his broken English his voice echoed ‘if you don’t try you will never know’. This day touched my heart in many ways. Firstly I learned to relax which is a challenge in itself, but also I learned to face my fear of riding a bike. Just because I had a crash doesn’t mean I will fall again. Like the Indo saying goes ‘now that you have fallen, for certain you can..’.