With a smile, I often return to, what was for me, a special personal experience of learning to bike. I begged my dad for my first bicycle with all the typical excuses and promises. Finally, the day arrived when I received a classic red bicycle and headed out immediately to try it out, making a confident ceremony of ‘giving’ my big trike to my sister as I rolled ‘my’ bicycle to the street. And, right away after getting on the bike, I crashed.
And I crashed quite a bit before becoming disenchanted. Putting the bike away that day, I even used some of my dad’s excuses for why I was not ready for a bike after all. Dad’s expression is still priceless to remember; so is my mother’s laughter at the whole exchange.
I did not pick that bike back up either … for some time. As dad’s objections became more eloquent, I became reflective on my reasons. At some point, I explained to my dad that it was the pain of falling on asphalt that I could not let go of. As an avid athlete, dad found that reason an insult to his good genes. Mom’s love found the way to give us both a matrix for me to get back on the bike. The game plan became that dad would run along behind me with his hand on the pannier as I pedaled “as fast as” I could.
The momentous day arrived. I still remember I was not exactly looking forward to it. Dad’s reluctance was evident too. Though I half-heartedly reminded him a few times on Saturday, I suspect mom, once again, prevailed on him to make it happen. Sunday, he came to me after church and said, “Lets do this.”
Dad earnestly coaching me as I slowly rolled the bike to the street was only a background hum to the loud noise of my fear. One of the more rambunctious neighbourhood kids jeered at me. My sister may have shut him up. She was always defending me, but I barely noticed so great was this challenge. Seated on the bike, I took a deep breath, and dad started a sort of chant that even the kids on the street took up. “You can do this. Pedal as fast as you can. I’ve got your back. I am with you.”
I took off a bit wobbly at first, but pedaling as fast as I could, per instructions. Fear of falling quickly dissolved as speed picked up. Dad’s voice kept saying, “I’m right here. You can do this. You are doing this.” When I saw the upcoming steep hill, I even pedaled harder, because my father behind me and the accompanying chorus of the kids on the street urged me on. Before I could roll back, I stopped and got my feet on the ground. I looked around and saw my dad, grinning widely, far back down the road.
This all took place around my seventh birthday. Some much harder experiences occurred in the following year. Experiences that rocked my seven-year-old world to the foundations. Life is like that. And childhood may or may not prepare us for how to handle the roiling ups and downs that continually assault one’s hopes. Yet, if one sincerely desires to get above the cycle of pain and pleasure, there is always a reflection of this simple story … if you allow your will to liberation to fuel your search.
Recognition is enough. We all have to persist in refining our ideal of the highest version of our goal. This is how learning takes place. And support comes from the ones who recognize your ideal. Recognizing the support is crucial too. But ultimately, recognize that the journey begins before you notice it has begun! Because you have committed to your aim.
You can do this. Do not take my word for it. I am just a voice in the chorus that is urging you on. Can you hear it? Hear what? The Sound of your attention merging into who you truly Are. No one can tell you what to do. Casting about for your own truth is part of the voyage to realizing it. Sure, falling down hurts. As a baby, you got right back up and kept trying to figure out that walking thing. I am just suggesting another viewpoint. Listen … to the Love, rather than the fear, anger, and naysayers…especially the naysayers in your own head. Just Listen … and do not allow focus on the bullseye to veer off. Pedal as fast as you can.
You Can Do This.