BRATISLAVA – From the slumber of their winter hibernation, I’ve pulled our bicycles from the depths of our cartoonishly overstuffed hall closet.
Dad’s self-appointed task: wipe down the dust and cobwebs, pump some life into those tires. Sure, I’ve suffered minor injuries, like a bruised shin, but I get no sympathy from this crowd.
There’s another cost, too. When you go so many months between riding a bicycle, as we did from fall to spring, certain muscles grow dormant. Guess what? They begin to atrophy. At least at my age, they do.
In the wake of that initial sojourn, then, I know I’ll feel a little achiness in the buttocks, knees and calves. So much so, I’ve begun blurting out a new slogan to anyone who’ll listen: I ain’t gettin’ any younger.
Yet, the muscle memory is there, retained. That maiden voyage flips the switch and re-activates the muscles. Soon enough, your confidence soars until even biking with little kids feels oh so natural.
Well, writing is just the same. Neglect certain skills, watch them wither.
I was thinking about this as I sat down to write another article for Harvard’s Nieman Reports. Sorting through hand-written notes, jotted in a notepad, becomes something of a chore. I find myself procrastinating. But of course I must go through these damn notes.