It’s day 25 of my 30 days of biking and all I can really say is that this has been a welcomed and needed journey back to me. It’s been so amazing to take time out from each day, sometimes twice a day to simply jump on my bike and go for a ride. This has been especially true when I get stressed or worried about things. Instead of stewing in worry and doubt or worse, going to the kitchen to turn to food to help calm me down, I’ve been turning to my Trek Mountain Bike.
My Trek was given to me back in 2009 from someone who wanted to help me with my outreaches. It had been the3rd bike given to me during homelessness, but by far the nicest and most expensive. Right away I began to ride the bike daily. Two, three and sometimes four times a day just to clear my head and get stress off me. It became a way for me to escape from the harshness of homelessness. I know it might be hard to imagine for someone who has never experienced homelessness and even sound like I was being a slacker by those who claim to know so much about homelessness and how it effects people. But being on that bike, I could ride far away from places like missions and shelters. I could peddle so far that all people could see was someone riding a bike. They did not see homelessness, cancer or HIV. Those times on my bike were so crucial for me and provided so much mental release. They helped me to stay sane and not totally give up on myself.
Being back on my bike has once again come at a time in my life where I need to escape. I need break from the day to day shit that tends to pile up and before you know it there’s this mountain of shit in front of you that you feel you can not deal with. Biking has allowed me take a step back, clear my head and when I return, the mountain of things that I thought was pretty high, really wasn’t at all like I thought.
Recently I embarked on parts if the “Loving Me” journey that I started a while ago. There were things I needed to do some maintenance on. The minute I started doing this I started to see people, places and things in my life that had no place there. But without even having to do anything other then love and respect myself, these things began to fall away. One day I was so angry at what had been said about me, I spent the entire day on my bike, trying to ride away my anger, frustration and to be very honest shear disappointment. By the time I came home my head was clear and suddenly I could hear the voice of my Ma saying “Baby don’t allow people to distract you in any way”
Yesterday while out riding I was stopped at a red light when I car came along side me. The passenger called out my name and when I looked over I saw someone I had not seen in a while. She had this look on her face that I had never seen there before. She smiled and said “thank you for believing in me, which taught me to believe in myself.” I smiled back and said “you’re welcome” The light turned green and they pulled away. I was left there smiling and feeling so much better.
Not less then three blocks later I saw the car parked in the lot of the CVS and she was standing outside the car waving at me. I stopped and she gave me a huge hug. She told me how things were going and that she has been clean and sober for over 2 years now. She’s back to styling hair and he son is back in her care. She looked and sounded great.
“Kengi you believed in me when no one else would. You answered your phone, returned all my calls and stood by me and I never really thanked you for that.” she said with tears in her eyes.. “I lashed out at you Kengi. I pushed you away and I am sorry. But I never forgot you telling me to find the person I use to love deep inside of myself and hold on tight to her.”
The woman driving the car was her mother, someone she had not spoken to or seen in over 10 years because of her drug addiction. Her mother walked over to me and grabbed me so hard I thought I would fall off my bike. She started crying and said “you reached her and that’s all that matters”
We talked for a bit longer, exchanged information and then said our goodbyes. I must have peddled about four or five blocks before I had to stop. My eyes were filled with tears and I could no longer see the road. I stopped and sat on a patch on grass and just cried. Not because I was said or upset, but because I so needed to hear that.
Sometimes we spend far too much time worrying about the lies and negative things people say about us…..even the ones we call friends, can sometimes make you feel like any good we have done means nothing. Sometimes the ones that can cut or hurt us the most are the very ones we care so deeply for. The ones we fight for, the ones we worry the most about, the ones we allow into our homes, our lives, the ones who eat our last food, take our last bit of strength to and then in the end will sit and talk shit about you.
Had I not been on my bike I would have missed this blessing, this clear message to keep moving forward, even in the face of so called “friends” doing all they can to distract or destroy me. When it is all said and done it would not matter not one bit if I went along with their thinking, subscribed to their way of doing things because they would still find a reason to have something negative to say, some lie to tell, because ultimately their not happy with themselves, so it is impossible for them to be happy for or with anyone else.
As I approach the end of the 30 days of biking, I already have plans to carry it over into the next month, but this time adding a little special something to make the journey that much sweeter. As I embark on the “Loving Me” journey I am very happy that I am no longer the man I was when I started it over two years ago. I am comfortable with who I am, embracing my “nia” and not at all worried about things people say about me because I know the truth about me and so do my friends.