CREATIVE SUGAR with Cathy Syder Fontinha

I started my weekly blog series CREATIVE SUGAR  to promote positivity and provide a platform for everyone to share their unique stories, knowledge and experiences, showcasing the beauty, connection, and inspiration that exists in our every day.

This week on CREATIVE SUGAR, I'm delighted to share inspiration from Cathy Syder Fontinha (Sines, Portugal). 

photo via Cathy

What’s the greatest advice you’ve been given?

There's always a light shining down on you, you just got to be able to see it.


What’s some not-so-great advice you’ve been given?

Give it up!

photo by Diários de Lisboa 

As a child, I inherited my big brother's first bike. I loved that bike and I was a happy camper, riding it on the patio beneath the building where we lived. That was until after one or two rounds, when I lost my balance and almost fell down some stairs that went right to the street. So, my parents added some training wheels to it. I then had a cirgury to my inner hear, so that might be one of the reasons for my unbalance.

Anyway, those wheels never came off and the bike became too small for me, so it was set aside. But in the summer, we used to spend a couple of days at my cousin's house, where they had bikes. Every afternoon there, they went riding around the block. As for me, at the third turn of the wheels I was hitting the floor. I tried and tried, but never got further than that and they had no patience to stay with me and teach me (nor was I that easy to teach). So I went on living as "the girl who couldn't ride a bike" for a long time.

A couple of years back, though, I was challenged to change my status! I was a girl scout and my team wanted to do a "riding-campment," so I got lessons and training with some of them. That activity never happened, for I didn't quite get it in time, for as much as they battled with me.

You'd think they'd give up eventually, no? Think again!!! Suddenly the whole group was preparing a major activity based on riding a bike! Within a couple of months we were to travel the route of Santiago (in Spain) from Léon to Santiago de Compostela... over 78.3 miles riding a bike in one week!

That meant I had to go back to training and insist… and so did they. It was on the first day of our travel, still in the north of Portugal, that I accomplished my goal! I did it! I somehow managed to do a couple of meters riding the bike on my own! (And I got one of the boys who was helping me around mad, for he missed it due to a last minute urgency).

After that, trainings went on and I was was able to ride the bike alone for longer periods of time. I did not do the route on the bike, for I was still too unsteady. But every time we stopped to eat and relax a bit somewhere along the way, there I was practicing! And I’m proud to say that at one point I got confident enough to do 5kms straight of the route… on a bike!

Since then I haven’t touched a bike. But now that I’m living in a small town, perfect to ride it on a daily basis, I can’t wait until I buy my own bike and start it all over again!

ps. so excited to share with you my newest online painting workshop...HOW TO CREATE WHIMSICAL ANIMALS. registration will open this week. class begins in september! 


Feel free to say hello and ask questions. I would be delighted to hear from you! xo -juliette

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