Monday, July 6, 2015

Getting off the bike without falling

One weekend I was teaching my son how to ride a bike. While he had been previously riding the bike without any problems when it had wheels at the back, after I removed them he struggled to balance the bicycle and found himself falling off the bike every time it came to a stop or when he lost control.
I had assumed that since he could cycle with the support wheels, he could also cycle when I removed them but I was wrong. He did not have the technique required to take off and also to stop without falling off. The major problem was getting the bicycle to stop without falling off and so I ended up giving him a lesson on the proper way to fall, or rather get off the bike, something I had not planned on doing at all. My realization was that if he could fall properly, he could enjoy riding the bike as the way he had been falling was making him feel that the experience was not enjoyable. And so within a few minutes he could bring the bike to a stop and not fall off ,and this changed his whole perspective of learning to cycle and even made him want to continue where he had previously decided that he had had enough of the bike.

So I found myself learning a lesson on getting off the bike or taking a pause while cycling. Every cyclist will stop at a stop sign or traffic light or to ask for directions. When you do not know how to get off the bike you can miss important stops that need to be made or maybe fall and end up not enjoying the ride. When you know how to get off the bike however, you can get up and get going again. Life is after all a series of starting things, stopping and continuing or starting new things again, more like riding a bike getting off and riding again. The key is to stop in a way that prepares you to get going again with a new venture. There are various reasons why when setting out to do something, we do not go straight through to complete it and may need to get off what we are doing and then get back at it. Many times we are not taught about getting off but we are taught about getting going. Many speakers talk about going where we want to go and how to get there, with a few if any talking about those moments when you have to get off your venture or goal for one reason or another, but with a posture of getting up to go again on the same or another venture maybe due to temporary setbacks. When he fell off the bike he left hold of the handles and rolled all over the place bruising himself in the process. I told him to maintain his hands on the handles of the bike when the bike stopped and then get one foot on the ground ready to carry him and avoid falling.

So while he still got off the bike, he did in a way that prepared him to take off again. We start many things that we want to achieve in life but sometimes we may need to temporarily, maybe
permanently even, get off something we are doing for various reasons but still be able to get going. Do we know how to get off while maintaining the passion and zeal to pursue again? It is important to know how to  get off, step back, reflect something and still prepare to get going again as we cycle the bicycle of life. You could be cycling perfectly right now but you need to know how to get off when the next stop (obstacle/hindrance) comes up. Unfortunately it is not as easy as riding a bike as there is no set formula on how to do it, but you will need to know how to get off the bike at some point. It is important to avoid falling which can put you off ever finishing what you set out to do in the first place.