I stood on the District line train in London’s Underground ready to disembark, not holding on to anything, applying lotion and lip balm as the train pulled into Victoria. I finished up my beauty regimen as the train jerked to a stop and was taken back to my childhood in New York City…
When I was 8 I thought the worst thing in the world was holding on while the trained moved. It wasn’t about me being a big boy it was more about proving to me and my mom that I was a super hero in training with death defying balance. My mom would beg me to hold on and I would ignore her. Sometimes being a super hero means blocking out the naysayers, even if they gave you life. My mom is truly one of the most patient people I have ever known so she wasn’t the type to put down the iron hammer. She let my training run its course. That is until I slammed into the shin of an unsuspecting passenger. Then she would rough me up a bit, more out of social obligation than anything else, and make me take a seat.
Even a super hero knows when to retreat so I would humbly take my seat and vow to continue my training at a later date. That later date was usually 10 minutes later.
As I successfully applied Vaseline intensive care to my hands and Burt’s Bees to my lips without crashing into another passenger I smiled and in my head said, “look Ma, no hands.”
My persistence mixed with my mother’s patience has made me a top notch train surfer. It’s like I trained in Maui on a rickety surf board and now I’m surfing in the mild Atlantic with top notch equipment. The London Tube didn’t stand a chance. Thanks Mom.