July 14, 2019
This June, I tried several uncomfortable things. I turned casual tennis shoes into tools for jogging. I filled my schedule with interviews and meetings. I re-familiarized myself with a something called, “t-ball,” which requires hour-long stints on metal benches. And I took a chance on the seat of a bicycle.
They say you never forget how to ride a bike, but I wasn’t so sure. As I hiked my leg over the frame, pushing high on my tippy-toes, my children’s small bikes looked appealing. I asked for the seat to be lowered and tried again. (Tippy-toes were still necessary.) The only way I was going to pedal the bike was to push up, launch my weight forward, and see what happened. For a few seconds, this would mean going airborne, core fully engaged as my arms struggled to control the handlebars. I swerved around the driveway like someone in a network comedy show, almost letting out a, “Wooahhh!!” at the perfect time before diving forward into a bush. But just as I felt sure that this would never ever feel comfortable again. Just when I decided that taking a decade away from bike riding was the best way to forget how to do it forever— a pedal stroke felt smooth.
Within the hour, I was on a trail with my sons, rolling in and out of sunshine and shadows. Smiling, I breathed in the air and called to them with a light voice, confidently pressing my legs down to show off my speed. I hadn’t forgotten how to ride a bike after all, no matter how uncomfortable it felt at first.
And this is what brings me to blogging.
Over two years ago, I closed my blog. This spring as I worked on a website design, I hesitantly opted to start a new one. Writing the words in the email, clicking the tab to preview, and activating WordPress felt more intimidating than the jogging shoes, the interviews, the t-ball stands, and the bicycle. This was a place I left, not sure if I ever wanted to come back. But the idea of free-writing was too curious to pass up.
This dashboard feels unfamiliar. I’m not sure how to tag things and size my photos—or maybe I am? What will this button do? More importantly, what will I write?
As I post this, I still don’t have the answer. There’s no doubt, my writing has changed since I closed my last blog. I’ve written microblogs, copy, articles for ministry blogs and devotionals. I’ve been edited by peers and experts. I’ve submitted a manuscript. I’ve edited more articles than I can count, provided feedback on writing for friends, and read books on writing. I’ve googled “em dash” and have dabbled in style guides. But I’m still not sure if I can ride this simple bike, and I’m afraid you’ll see me struggling to control the handlebars as I figure it out.
But I’m hopeful. Where blogging requires me to push up into unfamiliar territory and swerve around, it might also allow me to glide down a trail in the open air. What beauty will be discovered here? What muscles might be strengthened? What places might I see?
You’re welcome to join me as I figure it out.
To start, I’m planning to fill the blog with notes about where I’m at—podcasts, websites, and so-on. But I also hope to drop the occasional original piece. If I get ambitious, I might even explore a monthly newsletter with extra thoughts and resources.
Time to ride.