Actually this post is not about my mom’s dreams. It is about a dream that I had about my mom. The title has a certain swagger to it. It is reminiscent of something our president might have written if he had been a woman.
In my dream I was riding my Santa Cruz Heckler mountain bike and getting really big air on a jump near the bottom of the trail. I was jumping a lot higher and further than my companions. My mom was waiting at the trail-head to pick me up and take me home.
Why do I remember this dream? I guess it was because my mother passed away several years ago and I have never gotten over her death. I enjoyed seeing her even though I was conscious enough to realize that it was just a dream.
When she was alive I didn’t realize how much I would miss her once she was gone. I thought that I would be able to bring her back by visualizing her in my mind and reconstituting her in my imagination. It turns out that I do not have a good memory and I cannot bring her back no matter how hard I try. I find myself powerless to imagine her face, her body, her voice, her mannerisms or even her scent. It is impossible. There is no going back.
Maybe if capturing her memory was like a paint by numbers canvas, I could just fill in the empty spaces with nice colors. It all escapes me even now though I miss her more than ever.
I hardly ever dream about my mother and so it was a powerful experience. I clung to it emotionally; a warm, comforting presence that brought me back to my childhood. The getting good air was just icing on the cake.
Actually to be entirely honest, she never approved of dirt bikes because she was afraid I would get hurt. In the end, however, she accepted me for what I was and stood by me no matter what. Eventually I stopped mentioning the fact that I rode and raced motorcycles to stop her from worrying about my safety (the bicycles were OK). I don’t think that I will ever be able to get over her death even though they say time heals all wounds.
The reason that I am writing about this dream is because it gave me a way of visualizing getting really good air on my mountain bike. It was about going over jumps that were not normally big enough to get any real height or distance.
Getting “good air” is more than about sailing into the wild blue yonder in your imagination. It is about muscle memory and visualization. Squeezing the seat with your thighs, pressing down and outward on the pedals, crouching down and setting your muscles before springing up off the lip of the jump. Kids do this naturally because they are full of energy and are always jumping and hopping over things.
No amount of visualization is going to help until the moves are implanted in your brain. The trick consists of releasing your muscles at just the right moment to get the most height off the lip. I used ramps that I had never considered jumping before. One was a steep berm which I used as a launch pad when I approached it from a different angle. I also found water bars to jump.
I visualized the jump as I remembered it in my dream and lo and behold I was doing it in real life. Recalling the feeling of my mom’s presence made me feel confident. I wanted to tell everyone about the dream and let them try to follow me over my new obstacles.
Of course I couldn’t bring her back but now I had real memories to store with the dream of jumping my bike. That being said, I couldn’t wait to go back out and reproduce the experience of sailing through the air and make sure it was for real.
When I went back for a second time it seemed that the jumps had been leveled. I was not getting good air. I tried again: Same thing and again… Maybe I was tired and did not have any spring left in my muscles. Perhaps my ability to concentrate was hampered by fatigue. The truth was that the dream had faded and I couldn’t use the memories it evoked to launch my high flying shenanigans.
Whatever the reason; I came to the realization that getting good air is as much a matter of perception as it is about reality. Maybe I was doing the same thing on the motocross track the other day with my Honda CRF-450R (my dirt bike) and the perception that I was clearing all the jumps would disappear next time I went riding.
It pays to pay attention to details. Unbeknownst to me someone had changed the propedal setting on the shock from all the way hard to all the way soft. No wonder I couldn’t get any air the second time around. I changed it to the hardest setting and it was better. Yeah right…