I grew up with most many of my close friends and family members being male and we used to go to a lot of riding competitions. In fact, one of my neighbor’s father had a fantastic Honda motorbike that he used to ride us to the park on over the weekends. I spent numerous hours with my friends playing riding games with my friends and cousins at our home and it is the one thing that made me want to be among the first girls in my neighborhood to learn how to ride a bike out of all my peers. I even wanted to take my riding to the pro-level and maybe ride as a profession some day.
However, one morning when I was eight years old as we walked home from the park, we witnessed a motorcycle accident that left me traumatized. The rider and the passenger rammed into a moving truck at a high speed, and the scene was ugly. I developed this phobia for motorcycles and could no longer even ride on one as a passage leave alone as a rider. My goal of becoming a rider had been shattered by the graphic images in my young mind of the accident. At sixteen years is when I first admitted that I had a problem with which accepting the existence of a problem and beating denial is the first step at healing (Newell and Simon, 43). I started reading on phobias and PTSD and how to manage them. A book by Peter Levine suggested systematic desensitization technique that I found very helpful (22).
I beat the phobia by systematically starting by playing my riding video games again, then started attending riding competitions, and later I rode on a scooter at a friend’s party. I built my confidence and beat fear by simplifying it, thinking laterally and facing the fear (Mayer, 52). Six months later I first rode on a big motorcycle after over eight years of fear and phobia and today am part of a fun club where we go racing for fun with my friends. Last summer I was the top in an informal category race we made with my buddies. Finally, my goal was attained.
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