I’m not from here

Sadly, I grew up in Southern California, back when it was still cool to say that, where the temperature was always 73 degrees. In the heat of the summer, it was 73 degrees. In the icy months of winter, it was 73 degrees. Weather when I grew up was boring.
When I first moved to the East Coast, I was shocked that there was snow. I had seen it on TV, but it never seemed real to me. What was more shocking was that in the summer it got up to close to a million degrees outside, in both the daytime and the evening. Where I grew up it was 73 degrees at midnight and 73 at noon, every day of the year.
Today I learned that basketball is not at all like riding a bike. People always say that doing this or that is like riding a bicycle, once you know how to balance and peddle, you can grab any bike in the world and ride it. That is basically true, but then people often say, fill in the blank is like riding a bicycle. That part is not true.
I picked up a leather basketball this afternoon, in a non-southern California environment, meaning it was hotter here than it is in hell, and I wanted to shoot some hoops. First thing I learned is basketball is nothing like riding a bike and the second thing I learned is that trying to shoot a basket while the sweat is pouring out of you at a rate only met in nature by Niagara Falls is damn close to impossible.
When I was but a child in California, I could shoot basketballs any time I wanted, such was the welcoming weather. In Mississippi, it is so hot that while I was wasting time shooting hoops, a koi fish accidentally jumped out of the nearby pond and by the time I was able to rescue it, I was confronted with a well done dinner.
I am a cyclist by nature, I have been riding bikes since I was but a wee little lad in the undeveloped fields of California and I continue to ride to this day. I no longer play basketball for any reason than to sweat and that’s what I was doing when I realized that playing basketball is not at all bike related.
Over the years, smart friends of mine have told me things like, “dating is like riding a bicycle” or “cooking blueberry pancakes is like riding a bicycle” or “getting married is like riding a bicycle” and every time I heard that familiar phrase I kind of thought how lucky I was to have such wise friends.
Then today, after finding out the truth about basketball and bicycle riding, two sports that could not be further apart, I started to think about my so-called wise friends.
When I started dating after a fairly silly marriage, I found it painful and embarrassing to be pretending to be interested in life stories of other people that were often painful and embarrassing. It was profoundly not like riding a bicycle. The same was found to be true about blueberry pancakes, which in making them properly relies nothing on bicycle riding skills.
As I again prepare for married life, I am finding it both invigorating, wildly magic and life affirming, which is exactly like riding a bicycle.


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