At the beginning of my exchange year, The American Field Service, or AFS (my study abroad organization) told us that Germans are sometimes a bit like coconuts. With this, they meant that making friends in Germany can be hard at first, but once you do, it is well worth it.
I knew they were right but I never thought I would have a picture like the one above to prove it. It all started after school as I was riding home on my bike with some friends. My lock fell out of a hole in the basket on the back of my bike, and got stuck between my tire and my splash guard (Schützblech). Long story short, it destroyed the guard and in the process wedged it in between my tire and the basket so my bike could not evel roll.
As we were only about halfway home, my friends came back to try and help me. This resulted in one of them carrying my bike while riding his bike, and the other carrying me with on the back of his bike. The friend who carried my bike even took me back to his place and helped me get my bike up and running again.
My friends saw it as something only natural to do to help a friend out, but I am still in awe to this day of how much they helped. What could've ended up as a long, frustrating walk back home turned out to be a learning experience about how bikes work, and a bonding experience with some friends.
Here are a few epic moto & mtn bike rides I've taken recently.
The thing I love about my BMW G650 Xchallenge bike is its incredible versatility. I was literally at Pismo Beach last weekend doing this on the bike:
Yeah, same bike! The only modification I made was putting MacGyver-style hose pieces on the back tire for additional traction in the sand:
I am feeling a little out of kilter lately. The habits that I started trying to change at the beginning of the year have fallen off. The good news is that I haven't let everything go like I did in the fall (just the new stuff and I am confident I will be able to re-commit to them soon enough). But I am running and enjoying the kids and planting a garden. I am finding time for peace and joy and things that nourish my soul.
I think the key difference between the fall and now is that my mind was in a dark place back then. I began feeling as if I couldn't get back on track. I felt unmotivated. Although I have had a few dark moments, I would say that right now I am still in that positive spin. It is like riding a bike. When you stop moving, it is really easy to lose your balance. And when my life gets busy and I put off those nourishing activities--I fall off the bike. But somehow this time, I have managed to keep riding.
Anyhow, I want to list some stuff I am grateful for.