Cruisin' Together

Posted by: 
Laura Spiegel

I recently invested in something so utterly cool that I’m still in shock that it’s mine. A new car, you ask? Nope. Maybe something uber-techy? Try again. Stumped?  Well, I’ll tell you. I bought myself a brand-spankin’-new Huffy cruiser bike. And it is indeed awesome.

My two kids, one of whom is four and has cystic fibrosis, have been badgering me to get a bike all summer. And on a recent trip to the sporting goods mecca Dick’s, this peach and turquoise beauty caught my eye and held it until I signed on the dotted line. Excitedly, we crammed it into the back of our car. My seat was so far forward I was literally squashed into the dash, but all I could think about was the fun that would await when my kids and I hit the neighborhood streets. 

“What a dork,” you might be thinking. Where is she going with this, and what could this possibly have to do with cystic fibrosis? Well, let me tell you.

Through this beaut of a bike, I have discovered a new-found way to let off steam. You know that feeling that hits when it’s 7:00 at night and you just don’t think you can take it for another minute. “It” could be anything. Endless emails; monotonous children’s sporting events; the mysterious Crock pot meat that is gray and inedible after six hours of culinary toil. These struggles are real. For those of us whose lives are impacted by cystic fibrosis, there is more. Why does my daughter always choose the fat-free 30-cal Popsicle over the nutty fat-drenched Drumstick cone I’ve offered her? Is that another discarded enzyme shell under my feet, and why the heck are these darn things so slippery? Did that child on the playground really just cough directly into my daughter’s mouth, and did I glare too menacingly at him before tackling my preschooler off the slide? These are the more benign CF worries that flit across our minds in the evening hours along with the darker, less humorous ones and the unknowns.

But on my bike, I’m free of that. I’m pedaling down the street, hair flying, feeling a bit like Winnie Cooper without the gorgeous dark looks or adolescent admirers. I’m laughing with my daughter, who is furiously pedaling alongside me with her streamers flying and her grin as wide as the sky. I’m calling to my son who just figured out the whole riding without training wheels thing and is determined to take on the world. I’m not thinking about my responsibilities at home or what’s around the bend, health-wise for my daughter, or for any of us. I’m just cruising with the ones I love, and it feels great.

As my daughter grows, I’m hopeful that she will also embrace physical activity as a way to let off steam and improve lung function to boot. She’s fresh off a summer of swimming lessons and dance classes and is ready (i.e. has procured hot pink cleats) to take the soccer field by storm. Alongside preschool, spending time with her family, and just being a regular little kid, her body is strong, and her life is full. 

I just hope it’s not too full. After all, we have a 7:00 standing date to cruise…


 Help Others Live STRONGER and LONGER- 



Laura Spiegel is the mother of two wonderful kiddos, one who has CF. She lives in Indianapolis and enjoys a good book, a great meal, and nightly dancing in her kitchen. Laura is also a member of the CFLF Board of Directors. She can be contacted at




***Views expressed in the CFLF Blog are those of the bloggers themselves and not necessarily of the Cystic Fibrosis Lifestyle Foundation***   


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