Motorcycling: A Metaphor for Life

Moto Metaphor - Val in Real Life

Throttle therapy is an amazing thing. Lately when I’ve been out on the bike to clear my head, I’ve been musing on how much motorcycling is a metaphor for life. The three concepts that come to mind are: Look where you want to go. Avoid target fixation. Lean and accelerate. Here’s the skinny for my non-rider friends.  And for my …

Identity

identity - val in real life

In the wake of changing my name, I’ve gotten many inquiries about how and why I chose it. Keep in mind this took over three years of searching and consideration. It’s a difficult decision and legal process so I didn’t force or rush it. It took a lot of patience to accept that when I found the right name for …

A fresh start, a new name.

New Name - Val in Real Life

It’s no secret that I’m an independent-minded woman. Or that I’m a feminist. Or that I’ve been through a lot of changes in the last few years. Or that I spent the last seventeen months rebuilding my life from a nearly fatal motorcycle crash. I’m not one to resist change but there are also times you have to facilitate it. There …

Working Past Fear

News flash. I’m not fearless. I’m often told I am and it makes me laugh. I think “Are you kidding me?!?” Of course I have fear. Lots of it. The well-meaning commenters see it as a compliment to tell me I am fearless. I understand the intent. Especially the extra layer of concern that is draped over the compliment for a woman …

On Being OK

val in real life

Today is the anniversary of the crash that changed my life. And yesterday I was out riding my motorcycle. It was an eerily similar scenario as far as weather and timing go: A severe-clear Sunday afternoon. Roughly 50 degrees. Streets somewhat quiet by metro-Atlanta standards. Near home, I stopped into a store to deal with some life stuff. I had …

Forty-Four: Eat the Cupcake

eat the cupcake - val in real life

Tomorrow marks my forty-fourth birthday. I view birthdays as personal new years: a time to reflect, assess, and consider the previous year. Birthdays are usually safe from the turmoil of other holidays so it’s easier to be more thoughtful. This year, more than ever, I’m grateful for the amazing support of the people who love me. And for a fabulous therapist. …

Parenting Teens

Val in Real Life

This week when I shared the nuts-and-bolts of visiting Bandelier National Monument, I had to think back to why I enjoyed camping there so much. Certainly it’s a very agreeable campground in a technical sense but really it was that the time with my sons went well. There are so many challenges to traveling in a small car with two …

Six Months to Life

Today marks six months since I was hit by a car while riding my motorcycle. I’ve written a good bit about this ordeal so far and again I find myself uncertain how much to share. In fact, I had a very different version of this post almost completely crafted. Then two days ago, my dear friend Sarah sent me a …

On Recovery

val in real life

Now 24 weeks into my ordeal of being hit by a car, I’ve come to understand a lot about recovery and how it evolves. The challenges shift constantly. You reach a point when you covered most of the ground but closing the gap on what remains is a bigger challenge than everything you faced to that point. It’s the physical …

On Being Timid

I recently returned from my western adventure, the trip that was to help me regain my Val-ness after January’s crash. And it did in so many ways. It was needed and I gained a lot of ground. I consider it a successful trip but the challenges were significant as I mentioned in my wrap up of the adventure. If I …