It happened before Miya even knew what hit her. On her blue bike, one windy day in April, Miya was on her way home from Steck’s farm. Becky Steck was Miya’s best friend. The Steck’s lived up the hill from where County Road H and Townline Road intersect, just around the corner from where Miya lived.
“I was coming down the hill when the wind suddenly rose up behind me. It was blowing with such force that my hair flew forward, covering my face like a mask– it was sort-of shielding me,” said Miya as she exhaled and clasped her hands tightly together.
This story was never easy for Miya to tell, let alone to a new boyfriend. Miya searched deeply into Sam’s baby blue eyes looking for reassurance.
Shielding you from what Miya? It’s ok Miya, you can tell me, come on…. just tell me,” Sam pleaded.
“I guess it shielded me from the horror of seeing the truck that was about to run the stop sign and hit me.”
“Oh my God, Miya! How horrible Sam said, visibly stunned.
I can’t imagine what you went through. It must have taken you a long time to recover…. But you do know that you look great, Miya, DONT YOU? Who would ever guess what happened? Look at you! For Gods sake, you can even still ride a bike!” Sam exclaimed, as he reached for Miya’s hand.
“Oh that’s nice of you to say, Sam, but I have more metal under my jeans than on the frame of my bike! It’s rather impossible not to be able to tell. You see, Sam, that wasn’t the life I was supposed to lead. And this isn’t the life I had planned.
“I am not sure I entirely understand what you are trying to say, Miya?”
Well when I was growing up, everyone- I mean EVERYONE- told me that I had the most beautiful legs; so I began to model. In fact, it was right before the accident that I really was becoming quite serious about it.”
“I was a model for McCullough’s Shoes. Their full-page spread in The Daily Gazette, featuring Classic Evening Pumps, was my very last print ad. It ran the Sunday before my accident in the Gazette’s Home and Leisure section. I modeled for JC Penny, the one in Dover, in their spring preview bathing suit collection. I had just been called back the week before, for a national television commercial for Payless Shoes that I had auditioned for in Richmond.”
Miya in that moment looked down. She felt a little embarrassed by the one single uncontrollable tear rolling down her cheek, dripping on to her shoe with a heart-felt ka-plunk.
But you see Sam, that life I dreamed of can never be,” she said with a smile.
“So what made you open a bike shop Miya? Whatâ€™s so fashionable about blue bikes?
For Christmas, the year before my accident, I begged my parents to get me a bike. For months all I saw advertised was the new Schwinn Hollywood. Sam, you will never understand how fascinated I was with modeling and with Hollywood. Becky and I would parade up and down my driveway, all dressed up, pretending to be high fashion models walking the red carpet.
As a young girl, can you imagine a better way to dream of getting there than on a brand new Schwinn Hollywood?
The very first time I was going to be able to ride my new Schwinn on my imaginary ride to Hollywood, was that spring day in April, when I was headed over to Becky’s house. Ever since Christmas Day, Becky and I had been planning what we would wear, on her red carpet, strutting down her Hollywood driveway.
Miya abruptly pulled away from Sam, letting go of his hand and said, But instead, that fateful day turned out to be the day my dream died, and a new one, even if I did not at first know it, began.
Miya’s gaze was locked tightly into Sam Miller’s big blue eyes.
I know, Sam, that it wasn’t an accident that I forgot my shoes on the way to Becky’s house and had to turn back. When I came down the hill, it was not a coincidence that a truck flew right by the stop sign and hit me. You see the life I passionately dreamed of then was not where the heavens wanted my life to go; so they stopped me.
So where was your life headed, Miya?
Frankly, for a long time after my accident I really was not sure. I was very depressed and felt lost. It took four years and six surgeries to put my legs back together with metal bolts and pins. The doctors told my parents that, short of amputating both limbs, this was the only other way I would be able to walk again on my own.”
So, why in the world would you want to open a bike shop after something like that happened to you?”
” Well Sam, I opened The Blue Bike Shop because my Blue Hollywood Schwinn Bike is a reflection of me. It’s changed how I look. It’s changed what I dream. And most importantly, since Christmas Day ten years ago, it has filled me with HOPE and OPTIMISM again, twenty times stronger than I ever felt before.”
“You see Sam, I opened the shop to help my customers find the life they are meant to live. I want to help each one of them find their own blue bike that can transform their life into something far better- just like my Blue Schwinn Hollywood Bike has transformed me and allowed me to finally find the peace, happiness and prosperity that was meant for me.”
“My customers come into The Blue Bike Shop thinking they are buying the blue bike from their dreams. What they leave with is a way to ride their blues toward a far better life than they alone could ever have planned.”
Yes, ‘Make Lemonade from Lemons’ doesn’t quite do this story justice; you have grabbed the passion in my heart as to what makes the creative one ‘tick’ and how we travel from one goal to anothter in the creative process. At the end of the day, we are the few people who have ‘wrapped our head around’ the experience in our lives that shapes our creative passion into a logical, viable, and possibly lucrative entity. It is possible to stay creative and still ‘make money’.
Thank you, Lisa.
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