So here we are at a hundred stuttering posts. Thanks of course to all the visitors from 66 different countries who have stopped by. I think things are still going pretty strong. It’s getting difficult to post every day (not through lack of ideas, mind you), but hey, a few times a week is still pretty decent, right?
I put this two-part story below together for Tom over at Stuttering Brain as a guest post, but he ended up being busy and didn’t put it online … so I’ll share it here instead. I think it sums up nicely where I am with my stuttering and being determined to push through it when I really want something.
Please keep on reading, commenting and sharing! I appreciate any and all feedback.
Cycling and Stuttering
I’m someone who stutters, and I’m someone who also likes to ride my road bicycle. But when I came to Saudi Arabia more than three years ago for work, I didn’t know anybody who also rode. And since I was a covert stutterer, I didn’t really ask around too much either. I would occasionally go on solo rides on the wide open roads we have in our small town, but I missed the camradarie of riding with even one other person.
One Friday morning just a few weeks ago I was coming back into the compound with my family. I saw something strange. Two guys. Road bikes. They were also heading back into the compound. Finally! Other people who rode! I was in our car, about 500 feet behind them as we went through the security checkpoints. My wife knew about my cycling angst and thought I should go up to them and find out who they were. Yes, I needed to find out.
Excuse time. Remember, I’m a covert stutterer. Pulling up to cyclists in a car would necessitate an immedate greeting and question. They probably wouldn’t stop. I’d be stuttering. It’d be horribly awkward. What to do? I was trying to figure it out as they pulled away — I had to stop for some checkpoints that they sailed through.
I was getting angry and frustrated with myself. Here it was, the perfect opportunity to go riding with some guys, and my stuttering was getting in the way. Unacceptable. We followed them into the compound, but they split up. After parking the car, I thought I saw one of them go into a nearby house, but wasn’t sure. Great. Thanks stuttering. Thanks a lot.
As we got out of the car, my wife said she thought she heard a door nearby close. Oh? I was angry enough at my stuttering that I said to her, ok, you take the kids and go to our house, and I’ll catch up. I went over to the door that she said was probably it.
I knocked. No response.
I knocked again. I had no plan on what to say. I just wanted to start doing something before my stutter protested.
No response. Oh, fine. Still angry at myself. I went back to my house and told my wife that nobody was there. She mentioned that she knew the security guards pretty well and that she could call them and find out. Really? Yes, can you please call them? I felt like a coward for not making the call myself, but I’d make up for it soon enough.
To be continued …