Tuesday, January 18, 2011

MY FEAT (FEET) ON A UNICYCLE, by Charlene Farnsworth

Over 50 years ago, I was filled with childhood glee for I had mastered the art of riding a unicycle.  My feat, requiring a great deal of balance, is now accompanied with a bit of irony.
I feel quite comfortable describing my accomplishment in my senior years, but shyly accepted the accolades directed my way each time I jumped off the unicycle in my youth.

My favorite Uncle Jim was a superb athlete.  He performed unbelievable gymnastics on the rings, walked on his hands, treated us to unique maneuvers on a trampoline, and rode his unicycle as if it were a “three-wheeler.”

Although Uncle Jim had two daughters of his own, he always made me feel special and was very interested in all aspects of my life.  It was for him that I wanted to master the unicycle.  The challenge began.

My Dad bolted a pipe from the back wall to the front door of our garage so I could practice, holding on to the pipe for dear life.  Of course, my goal was to someday advance beyond the pipe and proceed, hands-free, down our long driveway.  I remember many sudden departures from the unicycle as I advanced one foot, two feet, maybe a yard, beyond my faithful pipe.

With ongoing encouragement from my family, my perseverance never waned.  Then one day my balance and confidence were perfectly synchronized, and I moved far beyond my safety bar.  I comfortably peddled down our driveway and into our quiet street.  How difficult that was holding onto air, but how exhilarating to peddle, turn around and even smile for the camera.

I must admit I am grateful that my delightful accomplishment was captured in an everlasting black and white photograph.  Otherwise, I wouldn’t believe it myself!  Over the years, I have enjoyed sharing this photograph with many people, particularly children, to show how you will eventually reach your desired goal if you just keep on trying.

Unicycle copy


  1. Charlene,
    I so enjoyed your story. I understand your accomplishment. Mine was stilts. Your story brought back very fond memories! I'd love to see your photo. Gail

  2. Sounds like so much fun! I bought a unicycle once for my kids; none of them ever learned to ride it as much as I wanted them to. I even tried it but I can't work a hoola hoop either. Frame that picture; it is a well deserved accomplishment to show off!

  3. Dear Charlene, in my minds-eye I can see you now on that unicycle with style and grace because you are such a classy lady.

    How wonderful of your dad to build that bar for you to practice, that says volumes about his support and encourgementment that he gave to you.

  4. Charlene, as read our story, I could feel your sense of accomplishment as you took off down your driveway. My dad put a trapeze on our bedroom ceiling when we lived in Canada and I fell on my head and knocked myself out. You were wise to practice until your confidence was where it should be. Your picture spoke for itself.

  5. Hi Charlene,

    What a great triumph to capture in the lovely photo. "Quiet perseverance wins the prize" would apply to you. Belated congratulations!