For a few years now, we’ve lived where many people get around on electric scooters (e-bikes) or motorcycles. It is incredible to see a four-person family and their dog riding along the busy street on a scooter. Truly fascinating. And despite the rather loose adherence to traffic rules, especially for scooters, the number of accidents I see are minuscule. I spent some time reflecting upon this recently.
Born With It?
In these cases, people are passengers on motorized bikes beginning at infancy. Sometimes they’re strapped in by a wrap around the torso. Other times, they ride in their parents’ arms. These babies experience movement in a very different way from the way I was raised with a required seatbelt in a car. And I’m old-school, many younger people these days have grown up in car seats, in the back seat, facing backward. When riding on a scooter, you have to counterbalance in a way that is impossible when you’re strapped into the seat of a car. Even more intense is when riding in someone’s arms on a motorbike. The amount of physicality and balance that these kids get from such an early age seems to grow as they age. People I see around me on a daily basis never stop challenging the balance and maneuverability as they build agility. Really, I think it’s something we could learn from in other parts of the world where motorbikes are not so common.
In my years living abroad, I have seen very few disastrous accidents to people on motorized bikes. I’ve seen a lot of near misses. Well, to me they’re near misses, and my heart jumps up in my throat, but I didn’t grow up on a motorbike. To the people riding, it may be no big deal. It’s a natural flow that I see where people maneuver around in traffic in all different directions and without ever actually hitting one another.
I am beginning to wonder if this really is the way it should be, if we’re not too overprotective. With so many safety precautions, people don’t have to be agile in order to keep their balance. The car does this for you. I see this transferred into the older generation that is still constantly moving, walking, swinging their arms, and kicking their legs. It’s no wonder they’re still so able-bodied. They’ve spent their whole lives balancing and moving through obstacles.
This isn’t a pitch to jump on a motorbike. Rather, it’s a challenge to find instances in your life where you can safely practice being off-balance, off-center, and challenging your body’s ability to rectify itself. Agility can be developed at any age, though the earlier you start, the better. Challenging your body in space is a great way to work on being more mobile and able to move with quickness and ease. If you practice these skills, they will be easier to integrate into daily activities. If not, stiffness sets in and creates limitations.
Looking for your opinion on this – do you think we could all use more opportunities in our daily lives to be more agile and build agility?