I have a very overactive imagination, and I’ve been this way ever since I was little. My introduction to Nintendo and all of its wonderful series have expanded my imaginary world and gave me so many ideas for play time outside the house. When I was young, I used to pretend I was a Pokémon trainer who traveled around with Ash and his pals and explore around in my backyard. As I got older and was introduced to The Legend of Zelda, I would pretend that I was Princess Zelda going on epic quests with Link.

Now, being an only child, I had to do a lot of make-believe on my own, but that never bothered me. It allowed me to play out the story I had in mind out just how I wanted to. I would go under the deck in my backyard, pretending it was a secret dungeon that Link and I had discovered. I would run around the yard looking for rupees and hearts. Things like this would keep me entertained and happy, but one of my fondest make-believe memories had only just recently resurfaced.

Recently, I have begun taking my bike out on nice, sunny days to get outside and some exercise. I’ve been using Pokémon Go as a means of motivation so I always have somewhere to go instead of just aimlessly wandering around my neighborhood. However, when I went out just a few weeks ago, I remembered an old game I used to play when I was just a youngster. I would take my bike out and pretend that I was Zelda (or sometimes even Link), riding on Epona throughout Hyrule field.

Yes, my silly imagination got the best of me, and you know what? I have no regrets. It was fun! I would ride around, wandering the town, just as I would in Twilight Princess — Which was all I could ever think about at that age. It was (and admittedly still is) my favorite Zelda game, and one of my favorite things to do was explore the vast kingdom. Of course, I never realized how empty it was until I was an adult, but as a kid, there was something to do in every corner, and that transferred over to my bike rides.

My neighborhood became Hyrule, the neighbors all characters in need of assistance. Cars were monsters that I had to stay away from, and most importantly, my bike was my trusty steed. Some rides through the kingdom were more peaceful than others, but they were always fun. Of course, those times ended when some punks in a car passing by decided to shout at me for no reason and I was too afraid to go out for a while.

Now I’m sure that I had a few bike rides in between all those years, but I hadn’t done it as frequently as I did back then. I went on a bike ride for the first time in a while with my friend about a month ago on a bright and sunny day, and while she decided bike rides weren’t for her, I rediscovered my love for it and decided to do it more often when the weather was nice. Just like Link in Breath of the Wild, I had an instantaneous moment while riding when all these old memories resurfaced.

It was my dad’s birthday and I work at an Italian ice shop not too far from my house, so I decided it would be nice to make him a special sundae. However, I only had until 1pm to get back home. I made a straight line for the shop and got there in about ten minutes or so, and boy, was it hot outside. I asked some of my co-workers if they thought I would be able to make it back to my house without the sundae melting on the way back. They both said I could probably make it, so I took the chance. The clock was ticking even faster now — not only did I have to make it back before one o’clock, but before the ice cream melted! As I was stopped at a traffic light, I thought to myself, “Sheesh! I feel like I’m getting the eye drops for the Biggoron sword trade!”, and then it hit me — I was on a side quest. With that happy little thought in my mind, not only did I start thinking about my fantasy horseback rides with Link, but I made it back to my house with the ice cream hardly melted and just in time for my dad to open his presents.

Though I don’t necessarily pretend like I used to, silly things like this still bring a smile to my face. I guess in a way, Link was my imaginary friend who would always be with me, even when I wasn’t playing his games. This was just my way of having my own adventures, and I know that I can always take my noble steed out if I ever want to have one more quest.

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