On Any Sunday At The BMX Track

11 year old disappointed in his bmx finish
When I was 11 I made asked my Dad to take me to a bike race in Ft Worth. I guess I hadn’t learned from my experience with him when I played peewee football. Anyhow, I made it to the finals and was in 1st place, then, my pant leg got caught in the chain on the final stretch. This stopped my ability to pedal and I ended up next to last.
My dad asked me why I stopped pedaling, I explained the situation and he just grumbled “you should never have removed the chainguard”. BMX bikes don’t have chain guards.
Once we were on the road back to Dallas, out of the public eye, he started yelling at me about the chain guard (which could never have existed on a BMX bike). He would rant for about 5 minutes, then stop for 5 minutes, then start over again….all the way back to Dallas. Then, once we got home, he marched back to his room and sulked for 30 minutes. Just like he would do every time his Alma Mater (Texas Aggies) lost a football game (which happened a lot because the aggies sucked haha.

When I was 15 a counselor labelled me hyperactivity disorder and started quizzing me about interests. I thought of BMX but knew better than to mention BMX because of what happened in the past. But he eventually pried it out of me. That discussion also revealed my reasons of not wanting to race, I knew if I didn’t do well I would be mentally, emotionally and possibly physically abused by my Dad.

This was nothing the councilor didn’t see before. A couple weeks later my Dad came home with a big poster announcing the Schwinn NBA BMX tour coming to Rabbit Run BMX track in Dallas. He aske if I wanted to go. “No”. Back at the councilor office I protested against the idea, but, eventually gave in to giving him a chance.

This experiment lasted one year. Then, my siblings, who were 8 and 10 years my senior started complaining to my Dad saying it was unfair to them that he was spending week-ends taking me racing. So my Dad stopped. I stopped going racing after that. He had showed me how unimportant healing trauma, caused by him, meant.

He died shortly after I turned 20. Two weeks before he died he called me into his room and told me a story about his father that illustrated how patient his father was. (side note, my grandfather was very patient and never had temper outbursts like my father). As he finished that story he said “I wish I had been more like my father with you”. Then he ruins it by continuing “I just with you would stick with things, you were doing well at BMX and then quit”.

I spoke up “No Dad, I didn’t quit BMX, you quit the prescribed therapy the councilor prescribed”.

To this day my older siblings still bring up how my dad spent all that time taking me racing (for a one year period) and that I didn’t appreciate it. If I bring up anything about the context they shut me down.

But they cannot shut me down now.

David Riewe

David Riewe

Internet Consultant skilled in WordPress, HTML, Javascript, PHP, Search Engine Optimization (SEO), web development, and e-commerce.

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