I have had a wonderful week of watching my son, who is nearly 4 years old, riding his bike along the beautiful seafront where we live. Now, there is nothing unusual per se about this – he has been riding his bike for a little while now, and he has become a super speedy cute bike-riding sensation, catching the wind through his gorgeous blond curls, bringing smiles to the lips and joy to the hearts of many an old and young passer-by, including – to my delighted surprise – teen boys who can relate to the energy of being young and loving speed-related thrills. They obviously revel in the cuteness of his passion and his joy as he sails past……..on a bike with stabilisers on.
My dude is developing big-boy bike envy. We had a moment this week where we watched a dad help his young son to ride his bike along the seafront without stabilisers. Having watched the small boy metamorphosise into a big boy before his very eyes, my dude doesn’t want a little boy’s bike anymore. He wants a big boys bike. I have since loved watching him staring at all the other children’s bikes as he cycles along, then looking back at his stabilisers with a pang of desire to be without them too. He covets the status of having stepped into a new world of big-boy-dom. It will bring him amazing feelings of freedom and a massive sense of achievement – but first he needs to be ready to balance.
Do you remember when you learned to ride a bike without stabilisers? Do you remember the happiness and joy at being able to ride free, without help from the little clanking diddy side-wheels that held you back? Do you remember what that felt like? Do you remember where you were, what you were doing and who helped you?
I’ll bet that – even if there were a few scrapes involved – you beam at the memory. That your heart feels happy remembering the greatest achievement of your life so far at the point. The joy at your success, the “yes!! I can DO IT!!” feeling – and the feeling of freedom that came with being able to manoeuvre a two-wheeled contraction purely through being able to use your legs, push forward and balance.
It is an amazing metaphor for life. At the point at which we are ready to ride a bike without stabilisers, we are able to put together a phenomenal array of learning and growth. We can feel the dynamics of movement, know how our bodies move, have created millions of connections in our brains, and are able to rely purely on ourselves to move forward. Fast. We can move our bodies along with the bike, in an elegant synchronised dance that ensures we stay upright. We are connected to our centre, our balance, our core strength. We work together with the bike to ride, but do so in full interdependence, trusting our skills and abilities to keep ourselves going forward. All our learning to this point has helped to set us free.
We tried, my dude and I, to see if he could do it, if he could ride free of stabilisers. He almost did it, but wasn’t quite ready. It’s OK, we will try again soon. There are so many achievements that he makes in every day of his little life, yet for some reason this one is causing my eyes to melt into floods of tears. This is a big achievement. He will have found his centre, my boy. All that growing, learning, stumbling, getting up again, the tears, the frustration, the joy, the happiness of going from being a tiny baby only able to drink milk and cry to being able to balance himself, and be connected to the centrepoint of his body and to use that centrepoint to dance in concert with the centrepoint of another object – his bike, and all in less than 4 years. That is MASSIVE.
We are amazing, all of us. My dude, you and I. For all of us have been on this remarkable journey.
We couldn’t have cycled without stabilisers before we were ready – we hadn’t gathered all the resources we needed within ourselves. We still needed to rely on something outside of ourselves to help us along. If we tried to ride too early, we wouldn’t have been able to do it, for all the pieces hadn’t yet been in place. But once we were completely ready, all the parts in place, we did it. We connected with our centre, our point of balance, and were free to move forward fast.
At times, even though we know how to do it, we lose a connection to our centre, and fall off. We have to focus a little more to come back to it. So it is with life.
Where in your life are you connected to your centre and able to ride forward fast and free? Where in your life do you struggle to move forward? What else needs to be in place before you can be at your centre and balance? How can you welcome those into your life now? What are the stabilisers holding you back until you are ready in your life?
Always know you will get there. Your dreams come true when you are ready.