Why I Asked For A Unicycle For My 30th Birthday


I just rode home, and cruising from Belleville, half drunk, along empty August streets, I played for the first time in weeks. I did loop-the-loops, rode hands-free, and wove in and out of pylons for absolutely no reason. The 4th day of August is about to end, leaving me with 3 more days until my 30th birthday, and I only just really understood what it was that drove me to ask my fiancé, months ago, for a unicycle.

Despite what this picture might suggest, I can't ride it yet. Charles gave it to me early, as we'll be away on vacation during my actual birthday. I've been wobbling around the apartment, gripping onto the back of the couch, grabbing the door frame, and slapping the white painted walls in our tiny corridor for stability as I lurch back and forth, getting used to the strange balance and low crouched pose. 

It's gonna take ages to get the hang of. Probably longer than it would have 10 years ago, or even 5, and I've already got bruised shins and a scraped palm to show for it. 

And here's the thing: there is no way to be serious on a unicycle. 

How often do you do something just because it's fun? Because it feels good? How often do you behave in a totally uninhibited way? If you're like me, not as much as you should. 

Being on wheels makes me feel free and alive in a way that almost nothing else can, but it's not often that I remember that my body is a tool, the world is a playground, and life is a game. 

With this new toy, I know that I will force my body, and my spirit back into that place of play. I will make my wobbling, unsteady, bruised bag of bones come to grips with a new way of being, and I'll smile while I'm doing it. Because as I go into my thirties I want to continue to be an un-serious person. I never want to stop seeking that feeling of freedom, even it it means transgressing the spaces and expectations around me.

I have a strong, working, healthy, flawed, normal, thirty year old body and I'm going to keep using it. 

Psssst... I'm constantly writing about travel, sport, and cycling. Click here to read more!