Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Like Riding a Bicycle - by Cara

My 6 1/2 year old son learned how to ride a bicycle without training wheels for the first time this past week! I must give all of the credit to my “husband” who worked with my son almost every nice day after school. I was unable to physically participate due to an injured rib (a long story). My husband runs between 5 - 10 miles each day, so he was physically able to run next to my son. At first, my husband would hold the seat, next he kept his arms out in case my son wobbled. Finally he ran next to my son, coaching him on how to use the brakes!

I’m so proud of my son! More importantly, my son is so extremely proud of himself! He would come into the house with his red, rosy cheeks and report to me how he didn’t even wobble once! Or that Daddy didn’t have to keep his arms out to catch him anymore! You could tell my son was beaming with enthusiasm! Every day there was another small accomplishment to describe with confidence and self-satisfaction!

I can remember back to the days when I learned to ride my own bicycle (those were the days before bicycle helmets, knee pads, and elbow pads!). My father took off the training wheels and ran behind me, holding onto the seat. I seem to remember catching onto bike riding with only 2 wheels pretty quickly. I was off! Wind blowing through my hair, streamers fluttering in the wind off the ends of my handle bars! The requisite bicycle bell, and a pretty pink basket tied to the front of the handle bars! Most of all, though, I can remember feeling that riding a 2 wheel bicycle was one significant step towards autonomy! In my childhood days, once you were able to ride a 2 wheel bicycle, the world was your oyster! You could ride to a friend’s house several blocks away and knock on their door to see if they could come out and play (they were not bogged down learning algebra or statistics in those days!), and if they were free, the two of us would find streets with hills or curves! We were learning to master riding our bicycles! It’s a shame that life for children is not the same as it was 40 years ago (was it REALLY that long ago?).

But back to my son...he has nothing else to compare his riding experience to, so he is enjoying every moment of his own new-found autonomy! He is knocking on friend’s doors, along with my husband. My husband then becomes the “chaperone” for the two young riders! I am grateful that my husband sends me video clips so that I will have this milestone event caught digitally to be watched for years to come! And photos taken with my son holding up his bicycle without training wheels!
The smile on this little boy’s face is priceless!

Once my injury heals a little more, I too would like to resume my own exercise regimen. I love to walk long distances and alternate with yoga.
And now that the weather has been mostly cooperating, I am sure that I can slowly work up to the vigorous workouts I still remember so vividly.
I long for the days when I would get up early and walk at least 3 miles before going to work! It energized me and made me a much more productive employee! Even exercise classes taken at night would never “rev me up.”
I used to sleep like a brick those nights after a workout.

So, perhaps getting my body back into the exercising “mode” may not be too difficult, even after years of being a “slug.” I guess it will be like riding a bicycle; Once you master the technique, you never forget how to ride!

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