My son learned how to ride his bike without training wheels last week. It feels like a gigantic milestone because we had been working on it with him for a long while. Basically, we had a hard time convincing him that it would be fun to ride his bike without training wheels. He brought up all these hard to argue points about why training wheels were just fine with him. You would think he was a little old man for how set in his ways he can be. Trying new things is not at the top of his list of fun. Anything he hasn’t done before seems to present him with a lot of “what ifs” and he is not a risk taker by nature.
So as you can imagine, when I saw that shift finally take place, when I saw the determination finally dance across his eyes and the confidence march up his little spine, I was elated. When I heard the words, “You don’t need to help me anymore Mommy, I can do it by myself” there was a pride I couldn’t contain. He had made the connection. He knew he was capable. And not only capable, he was gonna be darn good at it.
Seeing him sail across the asphalt, confidently pedaling and turning just made my heart sing. The determination in his adorable little freckled smile was overwhelming for me. He was joyful. And that made me joyful.
I started thinking about how we all have a little fear of the unknown. What if I try something new and it doesn’t work out? What if I’m no good at it? Wouldn’t it be safer to stay where I feel comfortable?
I have felt this way so many times in my life and have had to force myself out of my comfort zone. Putting together an art show, starting a blog, reaching out to new friends, those are all things that are hard to imagine doing at first. But I can honestly say, I don’t think I’ve ever regretted putting myself out there. I think part of the joy of being alive is not knowing what waits around the corner. There’s beauty in taking a risk. And as they say, no risk, no reward. Life is meant to be lived.
So as I see my little man cruising happily down the street on his bike, I know this accomplishment has elevated his confidence and helped prepare him for the next time he is faced with something new. Once you learn to ride a bike, you will never forget how. The same holds true for taking risks. Because taking risks is something we can learn to be better at. We can learn to trust ourselves and really rely on the fact that no matter the outcome, we are always capable.