Do you have a handle(bar)?


Can you imagine riding your bike without the handlebars? Picture what it would be like to use the stem as the main control panel for your bike. It may be possible, but extremely difficult and unnecessary. A variety of handlebars have been developed, each with their own unique characteristics. Some are short, some extend, some are flat, some are curved, and some don’t have brakes. Although it takes time, each and every rider will eventually find their bar style. This choice is usually made because of comfort and the level of control the person is able to harness over the bike.

Although it may seem abstract, we can certainly draw parallels between our bike handlebars and the way in which we demonstrate control over our own lives. For one, it takes time to gain control. Just as it takes trial and error to find the right set of bars, it takes many tries to find what works for us in life. For example, I used to struggle with the fear of rejection. Throughout middle school I preferred to spend time inside rather than with friends to avoid any possible rejection. It took many years and the testing of different techniques to understand what worked for me. It became clear that avoidance, isolation, fear, and making excuses was not effective in overcoming my fear of rejection. I eventually learned that facing my fears and forcing myself into normal social situations allowed me to overcome what I had feared most. The beginning was certainly not easy, but with practice socializing has become second nature. Just as a new pair of handlebars takes a little getting used to, so does navigating life.

I encourage you to reflect on your handle(bar)on life. Have you found what works for you or are you still getting used to the bars? Keep in mind that handlebars have more than one grip, which allows for flexibility. When I first started riding on drop bars I could only ride steady gripping the top of the bars. However, with practice I have developed a comfort in the drops. No matter where you are at in life, keep going, and remember… will eventually find your style of handlebar.


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