Overcoming a simple fear to be a good mirror
Despite being required to be fairly physically active during my time in the Navy, one thing I rarely did or rarely had the need to do, was ride a bike (except that time at my junior leadership course where we all had to do cross country riding...that was interesting). Apart from that week of training, I haven't ridden a bike in about 20 years. But it's so simple you say!
Sure it is, but here's the rub, when you have a bad experience, no matter how young you might have been, there's that tiny little voice in your head that says "you can't do this, you're going to fall and hurt yourself".
As a bit of a back story, when I was little I had a bright yellow bike that my Dad had refurbished for me (and no I would NEVER call it upcycled because let's face it, it's a silly word). I was riding near my Nana's house with my sister, because you could do that in those days without a worry in the world, and I was screaming down a hill which to my little brain was HUUUGGGGEEE, when realistically it was little more than a gentle incline, when I fell over the top of the handle bars, and unlovingly snapped off my little finger nail to within an inch of its life. Running back to Nana's house, she dutifully pulled the rest of it off, bandaged me up and made a cup of tea.
I tried again to ride a bike when my folks got me one about 7 or 8 years ago. I blamed the bike for not being good enough as an excuse not to go riding. Problem solved.
But was it really? My tiny little secret fear of getting back on the bike and learning how to do something that really challenges me has taken me a very very long time to overcome. There was always an excuse not to do it. Too tired, crappy bike, poor weather etc etc. The thing is, now I have two little people who are using me as a mirror for their every move, their development and their growth. It's time to overcome the fear (as tiny and as unremarkable as some might think it to be) and tackle it head on. Why? Because challenging ourselves is important. It allows us to grow. It allows us to learn. It allows us to change old habits.
So, we went ahead and bought a bike for me, and a trailer for the kids. With it, I hope to teach them a love for the great outdoors, a love of exploring (we like to geocache) and a love of spending time together. Am I scared, yes a little. Is it rational? No, probably not! But the thing is, in this situation, it allows my kids to see that you can overcome your fears, whether it relates to organising your family or riding a bike, no matter how apparently irrational they are to someone else, if you're just willing to give it a go.