People often refer to riding a bike when talking about learning something. Once you catch on your brain has it forever, like riding a bike. You never forget how to ride a bike.
When I was a little girl (similar age as my son now - 5 years) I had a difficult time learning to ride a bike. I never learned. I tried, but I never actually learned. My analytical brain relates it to being short and trying to learn on my older sister's bike (probably too big for me). My emotional side and my heart remember the pain. The laughter : (
My brain doesn't remember riding a bike when I was a kid. It remembers pain, and fear and embarrassment. I buried it deep.
I tried again about 10 years ago, had some bad falls, had the wrong type of bike, the fear was still there. As an adult there are many more factors. I didn't enjoy it. Sold that bike.
Got another bike a few years later. Fear doesn't just go away over time. More falls, more stress, getting upset with my well-meaning husband as he tried to coach me. Sold that bike.
You'll see me posting pics now of my family on bikes, my son with his training wheels and the littlest one in a trailer. You see, I needed the right motivation to be able to break through my fear and I needed to do it little by little, releasing the past pains.
I'm good at teaching people things. The pandemic gave us time this summer and I began taking my son to practice riding his bike in the neighborhood (me walking alongside) each morning. But I couldn't be in process of learning to ride and ride alongside my son, how could I protect him and not fall over in the process? I was telling him that being on a bike would give him freedom, wheels = freedom, yet I was holding on to so much inside.
Then we bought the van! Woah ... game changer. I could load it up easily and go by myself!
The other game changer was that this time I bought the right bike. It belonged to a lady whose husband refurbishes bikes for a living. She is 5' tall. I am 4'11. It is technically a kid's size bike and so tiny compared to my husband's bike. I've got the seat as low as possible. Finally, it fit me, rather that me trying to fit on it.
I hadn't yet figured out friction and gears, so I crashed into a curb. Had some lessons in gears and had my husband ride it to make sure it wasn't broken.
It was a perfectly fine bike.
I healed for a couple days and got back on, even as I could still feel my ankle hurting. This time I could not let fear get the better of me. I didn't want to be the mom teaching her son to keep at it and then give up on myself again.
I gave myself time to make progress. I told my son about my injury, I related it to the time that he fell. I told him about how hard it was for me as a kid, how much I cried. It made sense to him. He still has his training wheels and I am NOT going to rush him. We've come a long way, taking family rides that are actually fun now!
Ha! I never thought I would enjoy riding a bike! Wheels do = freedom!
Yes, I could dwell on a year of crappy occurrences, but to me is has been a year of new beginnings. I've learned how to ride a bike AND opened a new business! Nope, not easy.
And so I have taken a couple days to be alone, to think about the big picture. This morning I rode up and down Fulton Beach Rd, alongside big Texas trucks, the wind and the bay. Right now, I am in Rockport, typing in a bungalow near the beach, enjoying some quiet time to reflect.
How do I make the best impact with Elderwheels? How do I explain to people that wheels = freedom? Any type of wheels, training wheels, 4 wheels -- heck ... it's Austin ... a unicycle! The point is mobility.
Be mobile, be alive! (at any age)
Exhale ... Elsa can finally ride a bike! : )