Last year the Pedal Love folks told me that they wanted to take professional pictures of me. Ugh! All I could think about was that I am 50 pounds overweight. No one would want pictures of me on a bike. Aren’t all bicyclists slim and trim? Wouldn’t people judge me? Maybe if I prayed really hard, God would make sure that photo shoot would not happen or maybe I would wake up 50 pounds lighter.
My head can go to ridiculous places. When I settled down and sat with all my emotions, I was able to see and acknowledge my fears of being judged. My fears of not being good enough. When I saw my fears, I could then decide what I was going to do about those fears. I do have a choice on what I will do when facing my fears.
A crazy thought occurred to me: I could choose to enjoy the process. What would that look like? How would that feel? I picked the best outfits I had. You know the ones that everyone complements you on? I picked those outfits. I even pulled out the very high heels I never wear (why did I buy those things?) I shaped my eyebrows. I dusted off the makeup and artfully applied it, using all the tricks I had learned. I even got a haircut so my natural was looking neat and sweet.
I packed up my two bicycles, wardrobe and makeup into the car and drove to downtown Long Beach. I may be big but I still could look my best.
As the photographer Lisa put me at ease, I thought about how much I enjoy riding my bikes and that I wanted that to show in the pictures. I want to show that no matter your size or age, bicycling is for you. It was time for me to shine.
When I finally saw the pictures, my first thought was who is that? I didn’t recognize myself. The pictures were beautiful! I was beautiful! I was beautiful because I radiated with the joy I feel riding a bicycle. I am proud to share the pictures and have seen them published in Momentum magazine, the Pedal Love site and for my Facebook page: We All Ride Bikes.
Kellie will teach her short sweet "Street Savvy" class Saturday February 21st in Long Beach. Here's the link with all of the details: https://deluxesocial.live.promojam.com/weallridebikes
Kellie Morris did her first multiday, fund-raising bike ride in 2002 after a co-worker dared her to take up the challenge - the seven-day ride from San Francisco to Los Angeles. In 2010 Kellie was diagnosed with an autoimmune disease: Mixed Connective Tissue disease that left her so weak she could barely dress herself. Through medication, dietary changes and exercise she was able to recover much of her strength. Kellie does most of her local trips on her trike including shopping, running errands, attending fitness classes, visiting friends and even riding to church.
In May 2013 Kellie became a certified bicycling instructor via The League of American Bicyclists LCI program. She now teaches throughout Long Beach and Los Angeles, writes the "We All Ride Bikes" column for PedalLove.org and Pedal Love podcast for KPFK's Bike Talk, and is the co-founder of the brand new Carson Bicycle Coalition.