It took nearly a decade after my amputation for me to regain my confidence to get back onto my bike. The hesitation wasn't because I wasn't physically ready. After my amputation, I had developed a paralyzing fear of falling off of a bike.
It wasn't until Robby began to beg for me to join him on bike rides that I decided I needed to conquer my phobia. It took months of reflection and incremental steps for me to gain the confidence to start riding my bike again. It wasn't easy, but I am now able to ride with the kids through our neighborhood. Even though I'm riding, my worries and fears still haunt me with each turn of the pedal.
I have gone from being carefree to cautious. I was hopeful that my riding anxiety would lessen as I gained more experience in the saddle, but instead, I have only become more adept at masking my fears. The speed and freedom from my pre-amputation life have been replaced with a slow pace and intense (and sometimes exhausting) caution.
Yesterday Scott was teasing me because of my slow and methodical pace. He wasn't trying to be mean, but I don't think he grasps the gravity of my fears. Given the depth of my falling anxiety, I think just riding through the neighborhood at a granny pace is a victory!