I don’t remember learning to ride my bike. I am sure my dad or mom helped. I do remember my first real bike though. A purple chopper. One of my most vivid memories of being a child was my father taking me to get a new seat for it, one of the cool ones. Just like a real chopper motorcycle. I can see myself clipping my hockey cards on the spokes so that my bike would make that perfect sound, like I was really ridin’ a hog. Such a great memory.
I do remember teaching my first daughter to ride her bike. My hand on the seat. Running with her, letting go and then she would wobble a little, then a lot and then in the end fall, cry a little and want to quit. We wouldn’t though, I would always say to her, as I have with the next two kids, “If you fall off, get back up, wipe of the dirt and try again.”
I can see her just as vividly, that moment when I would run along behind her and let go and she didn’t fall. I would keep up with her not holding on. Then suddenly, I would slow down. She would ride along farther ahead by herself, tassles on the end of handle bars flowing in the wind, silver, pink, red. She would sail, I would stop. My eyes glazed over a little as this moment would be the first of many, those moments where you have to let go and let your child grow, help hoist the jib sail and let her ride the waves of life that lay ahead. To chart her own course.
The key with life is no different than the key to riding a bicycle. You fall off, you get back up. Does it hurt to fall, yes and in the the case of a bike it can hurt a lot complete with bruises and blood. The moment though that you get it, the pain is gone… forgotten. Soon you ride with your hands behind your head, as if on a unicycle. With ease and grace.
Today is my day 6. I have fallen a little here and little there but for the large majority of it I have pushed through. The best part is it’s getting easier. Life’s like that, some call it “the secret”, I call it bike riding. Nothing can beat that feeling of the wind in your hair, the sun on your face and the speed you get up going down a hill. It is truly brilliant.
Live your days that way. Be the Lance Armstrong of your life. Peddle hard, fall… but get back up. I will.