Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Riding a bicycle

I did not learn how to ride a bike when I was younger.  My senior year in high school one of my teachers found out I could not ride a bike, and was determined to teach me.  It did not go so well.  It was a pretty scary experience for me, and I never managed to feel comfortable enough, for my friends to let go of the handle bars.  (I still feel bad for holding on to Scott's hand super tight, and yelling at him.)  

Since I never learned how to ride a bike, I can only imagine what that experience might be like for both the child and their caregiver based on observations.  I imagine there are a ton of different scenarios.   Here are a few that have been running around in my head.

For example the caregivers can clearly see that the child can balance and they bring up the issue to take off the training wheels.  The caregivers encourage the child that they are ready, and the child can then react a number of different ways.  They can agree with the caregivers, and the training wheels come off the bike. The child can disagree with the caregivers and friction might build until the training wheels come off the bike.   The child can disagree and the caregivers accept that, and wait.  

There is also the situation where the child is ready, and the caregivers for whatever reason disagree.  Eventually the training wheels come off in this case.  

Then comes the interesting part, what happens after the training wheels are off?   What does the child do with all that encouragement either from his parents or from himself?  I would love to believe that it is just like the movies and the child easily coasts down the street.  There are no bumps, no bruises and certainly no cactus bushes on the path.  At no point does the child wobble, or hesitate, or even question their ability.

In reality there are infinite outcomes to what happens after the training wheels come off the bike.  Maybe you even have your own experience that you remember.

When my first yoga teacher sent me a message asking me to cover some classes, I completely freaked out.  I needed to check with my work about the schedule, and that allowed me some time to breathe and freak out even more.  After I accepted the classes I continued to freak out, to focus on my practice, to freak out and feel the growing pains that come with teaching. 

There were so many thoughts racing through my mind about teaching and I came to this idea about riding a bicycle.   I decided I would be the kid that argued with their parents about taking off the training wheels, and then would sneak into the garage in the middle of the night,  remove the training wheels and see what happened without anyone watching me.  (Honestly, the first classes I ever taught were on the other side of the world.) 

I had a choice, I could listen to and believe the voice in my head telling me I was going to fall down or I could listen and trust my teachers belief in me and the training.  Knowing that if I fall down, I will pick myself up, and keep going.  That it is not about being perfect, or even smooth, it is about sharing something I love and continually discovering how to translate that to others.  I felt this huge amount of gratitude that Aaron saw something in me that I was not looking at.

Question to consider: What was your experience with learning to ride a bike?  What has been your most memorable bike ride?  

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