The Ride of a Life (Coach) Time [Nerd in Transition] Apr07

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The Ride of a Life (Coach) Time [Nerd in Transition]

Oh but I do love riding my bike around the town. It took a little work to make the bike comfortable, but now that the basics have been handled I’ve been discovering LA outside the car. With the help of two big wheels, a few shifting gears and a camera in my phone I’ve managed to experience and capture some unique sights.

It’s easy to pin-point the day everything clicked into place for me and this bike. Two weeks ago I had my first appointment with a life coach. I wasn’t exactly sure what a life coach did until I started seeing one and after one appointment I’m still not entirely certain. It seems like I am now paying someone to hold my hand and kick my ass at the same time. That’s fine, I’m cool with that, obviously I need some pushing to make changes in my life, or simply follow through on what I intend to do. What I was not fully prepared for was the depth to which my life coach would start digging from day one to find out not only what my goals were, but what it is that is stopping me from achieving them. By the time I left my emotions were one tumbling mess that I had to work through.

Charged with emotional energy I jumped on my bike and peddled home. Starting at Pico & Fairfax I headed East towards Downtown. There was 13 miles between her front door and mine so I told myself I would ride until I was tired or until I got home whichever came first. What happened was that I found myself on Wilshire passing one interesting site after the next all while working through the thoughts tumbling about my mind.

While passing by LACMA I came across large chunk of once plain white cement now covered with graffiti standing side by side, they looked like part of a wall, maybe a famous one. I stopped to read the plaque and sure enough it was a section of the Berlin Wall. Camera phone – *snap*

Have you noticed the sheer amount of Art Deco in this city? I know that you have seen it represented in some of the better known locations, Union Station and such, but have you looked around and seen that it’s just everywhere? When you consider that the greatest period of growth and development in Hollywood was post WWII it makes sense. It also makes all the prefab concrete and dry wall structures that have popped up since then noticeable by screaming their ugly boring protests.

Just about the time I was wearing down and thinking about picking up the 45 bus home I came across one of the most active centers for culture and family in all of LA. Olvera Street was full of activity as usual. This gave me a good chance to rest my legs a bit and talk to interesting people.  Tossing a dollar in their bucket I took in the Aztec dancers, dressed in full traditional costumes dancing to the beating of old world drums. While filming their dancing I even worked through some of my own prejudice by getting annoyed with, then accepting, then getting annoyed again, then accepting again the small white boy dancing around with the trained performers. Here you decide: Great that he’s getting into a different culture, or somebody get that damn kid out of my shot?

Aztec Dancers Olvera Square from Kelly Lett on Vimeo.

When I climbed back on my bike it became clear that stopping may have been the wrong idea for my legs. They had shifted from energized by the distance challenge to grumpy from the distance challenge. I think my left knee started clicking just to prove a point. Didn’t matter I had come so far and wasn’t about to give in now. Pushing forward I stopped once more to pick up some juice and hoped this would give me the second wind I was in need of. Unfortunately it did not as I peddled up the first part of my mountain my legs gave out halfway up. I climbed the mountain by pushing my bike and slurping down the last of my juice.

Should I be disappointed by not making it door to door? Not at all, I never set out with a goal to ride all the way that day, it just sort of happened. It was an unexpected victory from an unexpected challenge. Since that day I have found reasons to ride my bike often dropping a bus for a bike. My legs are starting to show the activity, thank you muscle memory! And there really is an awful lot to see and experience in this city if you just get up and out of your car every now and then.