I was biking home this evening, on the nigh empty streets of downtown Toronto, when I realized why, despite my life-long apprehension towards involvement in sports, I’ve enjoyed cycling so much. It’s because, on a bike, I feel graceful. And I love it.
I’ve never been the most deft of individuals, at least physically. I’ve only found a few creative outlets where I felt graceful: music, mathematics, and programming. I’ve always valued the ability to choreograph a poem that could move a reader, or to improvise a jazz solo that would make any foot tap to the beat; I’ve always preferred those abilities more than dexterity tossing about balls, pucks, or shuttlecocks. I understand the appeal of sports, and appreciate the work of those who are proficient at them; it’s just that I have never pursued them because they were not for me.
Despite my lack of aptness for sports, I’ve always enjoyed cycling. I can’t remember a time when I didn’t enjoy riding a bicycle. I love the balance, the motion, and the feeling of accomplishment. More than that, when I’m on a bike, I feel graceful, as I weave a path in and through backstreets and avenues. I don’t know how I stack up against the average Toronto bike commuter, and I don’t really care, because I realized tonight that it’s the only place I feel agile, nimble, and fluent in the physical world. Whether that feeling is imagined or real doesn’t really matter to me.