The Santa Clara
April 11, 2019
In fifth grade I learned how to ride the unicycle with my older brother, quickly expanding into learning tricks and then trail riding.
At that point in my life I did not know who I was— similar to most fifth graders. However, learning how to ride the unicycle gave me stability in my life that told me it doesn’t matter if you don’t know exactly who you are or who you want to be, as long as you stay centered and connected with yourself.
It was a strange hobby, for sure. I stood out when I rode it around the neighborhood or brought it to school for recess. This was how I learned to be confident in myself and give less power to what other people thought of me.
Last quarter Andrew Ishak, my public speaking professor, said something to our class that really resonated with this. He said, “One of the most important things you learn when you get older is to stop caring what other people think of you because, honestly, the people who stick out for doing something different are usually the most interesting.”
Riding the unicycle taught me that lesson early. I learned that if I just owned my strange hobby, people respected it and thought it was different in the best kind of way. However, if I didn’t have that confidence in myself, other kids would not have been kind to me and my circus skills.
This connection and awareness with my body gave me the balance I needed to learn how to surf and center myself in my yoga practice. Even though I do not ride as often as I once did, I still feel very connected to my quirky, unique skill.
I have always considered myself lucky that I developed internal balance and comfort with myself and my body so early on because it has made me the person I am today. In that way, unicycling is the gift that will keep on giving to me as it was very formative in both my balance and more importantly, my confidence.
Sahale Greenwood is a sophomore political science and communication major.