Taking the Training Wheels Off

Sunday, we took off the training wheels on Lily’s bike. She and I began the lesson with learning how to fall (tuck arms to chest and roll), first on the grass with no bike, then on the grass with the bike. Next we went up and down the bike path until she had mastered the art of stopping, steering, and starting, in that order. (Think what foot you want to put down before you stop, I advised her, admitting that sometimes I forget to do that and wind up tipping over, feet still clipped in!)

The apprehension she exhibited is exactly the same as what I see when I teach handstands or lead hard intervals on the bike, or when I prescribe a 30-minute run test to an athlete. We want change, but in order to achieve it, we’ve got to push beyond our comfort level. If only every potential failure could be rehearsed as easily as rolling in the grass!

The best moment of the experience for me was when Lily said, “I just think to myself,
Pedal. Pedal. Pedal.” She’s already got the mantra thing down.
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