This past labor day weekend my wife and I decided to take the training wheels off my 5 year olds bike. We thought now is the time to make this happen.
We had a plan.
We first lowered her seat so she could touch the ground and had her on the front lawn so if she fell it would be on the grass. We just wanted her to get the feel for balancing and steering the bike.
Once she got the hang of that we raised the seat back up and had her start to pedal. We started to notice she would stop peddling when she got scared then fell then got upset that she fell. We kept telling her to stay focused looking forward and pedal. She still didn’t listen. She kept falling. But, we kept getting back up and on the bike. Finally she started to listen. About 2 hours had passed at this point.
We decided to try the side walk. We took a hold of her seat while she pedaled and steered. At first she was very quick to over correct the handles and would loose control. We noticed that she kept saying no and looking down. So what happened? Just what happened in the grass, she lost control and veered off the sidewalk. She began to refocus and listen to our voice guide her with direction and encouragement. She started to look forward and say yes.
After 4 hours, she did it!
She now is riding around our entire development by herself looking forward with confidence.
Life is like learning to ride a bike. Better yet health and fitness is like learning how to ride a bike. You need to have a plan. You need to start in a safe environment because you will fall more then you think. You need a support system teaching you and encouraging you when you want to stop. Your plan needs to be adaptable to grow with you as you prove you can be challenged and continue to keep you safe. You need to listen to the experts around you and focus forward not down or to the side because that is where you will end up. Finally, you need a goal, a outcome, a milestone to achieve and work toward.
Where ever you are in the process of riding your bike, make sure you get back on and enjoy the ride!