When John gave Lex this great little "Townie" bike, as a house-warming gift when she moved to her new digs in Austin, it got me to thinkin', about what makes a person athletic. Is it being exposed to sports and physical activities from an early age - being groomed to it, so to speak? Or, does it have more to do with body type and genetics?

There is not one single female in my family who has ever been any good at anything physical. In fact, if there is such a thing as a gene for lethargy, I'm pretty sure we have it - and it goes way back. Lex has much better eye-hand coordination than the rest of us ever did, but she's carrying on the tradition in other ways. I was reminded of this by a recent on-line exchange between her and her father.

Her bike had been on backorder, and when it finally arrived, they asked her to test-drive it around the shop, to be sure it was adjusted properly. That afternoon, her facebook update read "Contrary to popular belief, one can lose the ability to ride a bike over time." Apparently, she came close to crashing into their bike displays. Twice! Her father replied "Well, if I remember correctly, you weren't real swift, even as a kid!"

I suddenly had a flashback to that day, about 25 years ago, when John came wagging home a pastel-colored "Big Wheel" for her - one of those plump, plastic, ground-hugging 3-wheelers that most kids are crazy about. We had seen other little girls whizzing around our cul-de-sac on theirs, just having a blast, and thought surely Lex would love one. The day she got it, we had to practically force her to try it out. She rode sedately to the curb and back, and that was it. Hardly touched it ever again. It wasn't a total waste, though. Soon as Austin could reach the pedals, he was off like greased lightening, growling "Vrooom, vroom!" and whooping with glee.

Both kids shared the same environment, so I have to believe there is more to it than that. My mother, sisters and I were all a bit wobbly on bikes and skates, late-ish (some never) on learning to swim, and could never seem to get a bat or racket to come into contact with a ball. Our brother, on the other hand, was an avid biker and jogger, and is now obsessed with karate. It just has to be something genetic, being passed from female to female!

The good news? A few days later Lex posted this: "Just finished a half-hour bike ride. No near-accidents this time!" It seems she is quite happy, sedately cruising her new neighborhood.
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Reviewed by juragan asem
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Rating : 4.5