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Saturday, April 28, 2012

as easy as riding a bike

I was beginning to worry that Ella might get her driver's license before she mastered the art of two wheels. I knew that her lack of riding ability was only due to the amount of effort she wished to put forth (none), rather than her not being ready.

A few weeks ago she asked us to take the training wheels off her bike and we practiced a few times with us holding the seat and running behind her. It was frustrating for her to not just be able to go out and do it and the idea of the multitude of practice was a major mental set back. She didn't want to ride with the training wheels and she couldn't ride without them. So for the last many weeks, throughout this beautiful spring, she has just abstained from the bike altogether.

And then last week Skyler learned how to ride on two wheels and motivation flamed anew.

We bought the back saving parent bar (yes our parents managed without this tool but we have chiropractic bills to pay) and Ella suited up.  With a new attitude and some hearty sunshine, I had a feeling today would be the day.  Sandi donned her sneakers and I sat poised for electronic documentation.


Pretty nifty, huh?

Maya decided she needed to do some tricks to garnish some of the spotlight.

"Look at me! No hands!"

"Check it out Momma! My bum isn't touching.  See my bum not touch?  It's just like in your gym class!" (Spin class, which she watched the end of today.)

Eventually, she felt compelled to take a turn on two wheels too.  The entire time she was yelling to Sandi, "Don't let go of me! Don't let go of me!" for a total of something like 20 times.

There is much sage advice floating around about striving toward a goal. First off, it helps if you smile a bunch.

And while it is true that hard work toward a far away goal makes one long for the old days when the old milestone was enough, you must not dwell here too long.
At some point you have to reassess why you're working so hard and if it is all worth it.  Many people have to lie down to make such determinations.
But, alas, with a good support system and some old fashioned boot strap pulling, you get back on the horse/bike and practice, practice, practice. 

(I am ashamed to see that my running form still includes a flexed foot and straight leg even in Danskos.  No wonder I can't run more than 4 miles without pain.)
Some comic relief doesn't hurt either when you need to remember to take a long awaited goal in stride.

Then, before you know it, you are on your way...

and the training wheels are off, the bar is no longer needed...

and you can ride free.

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