Wednesday, November 17, 2010

The Second Time Around

My bottom hurts. I've got bruises between my thighs from a bicycle seat that was slightly too tall for me. Owwie! It's no secret that I'm a late bloomer when it comes to transporting myself. I didn't learn to ride a bike until the summer after undergrad, age 22; I didn't get my driver's license until my second year in grad school, age 24. My first major road trip? Driving myself from Iowa to New York. I don't drive often, but when I do it's always important - like driving the UHaul to move my ish around NYC. Unfortunately, bike riding doesn't get that same importance, or practice.

Syd circa 2007: Learning the first time around

So when I got an invitation to go bike riding in Brooklyn this weekend I eagerly accepted. Ooo! A chance to practice and use my late-learned skill! Problem was, when I got up on the bike I quickly fell over. It was like I had never ever ridden at all. :(  The planned ride to and through Prospect Park never left the block. I think it took me an hour and a half to semi-ride* the length of the block. I was a Saturday afternoon spectacle on a warm autumn day.

I laughed so hard that day my cheeks hurt, but I can't deny I was a little disappointed in myself. Fun as it was to fall over, get back up and try again while spending quality time with a friend, I wanted to ride that bike! If for no other reason than this: I have done it before and I know I can do it again.

It's funny to me that this bicycle incident happened when it did - in the midst of putting together a performance of my choreography that goes up this week. I've blogged at length about the stress and exhaustion of my performances in May and June of this year, and for some reason I thought that with some rest and more preparedness it would be much easier to produce my work this November. I couldn't have been more wrong. To date: the other artist I shared the show with pulled herself from the performance; the one I got to replace her realized she could not commit; one of my dancers got injured and there is no time for an understudy (even me) to replace him. There's always a little pre-performance drama, but what do you do when the main work you have been rehearsing - the meat of your program - can not be performed?

Like riding a bike, producing a performance of choreography this time around has been anything but easy. There's still so much to learn, so much to prepare, so many objects to dodge as they appear out of left field. The only thing I know to do is pray and practice; to keep on keeping on. I'm keeping hope alive that it will get easier the third time around, but the way things are going I have a feeling that their will probably be whole new set obstacles thrown at me. Such is life.

Meanwhile, I've got to master turning on the bike, and stopping... without crashing.

*semi-ride: stop and starting along the length of the block


Aleksandra Robinson said...

I've so enjoyed reading your blog lately, Sydnie. What a laugh!

I totally sympathize with you about long breaks from bike-riding. It's not easy to just hop back up there after a long break, no matter how the saying goes!

Anyway, here's wishing you luck with that performance. I can't wait to read and find out what happens!

Allie (from high school)

Sydnie said...

Hi Allie! Thanks so much for reading and thanks for the well wishes.

That saying is totally a lie, but at least now I know.

I hope you are well. xoxo


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