I’m working on it: Just like riding a bike

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Photo by Kiana Kamalu

Look at me on my bike! :)

By Amanda Lee, News co-editor

Do you remember when you were a little kid and were learning how to ride a bike? Do you remember the feeling of excitement and anticipation when you saw this strange new machine waiting for you to mount it and ride off into the sunset?

It started with a slight sense of fear and nervousness; this foreign contraption offered all sorts of possible injury. It beckoned to you, promising freedom, danger, and the possibility of flight.  With this unknown device, doors opened that were closed before. Things that you had seen, heard of, or wished for were waiting for you. All you had to do was get on the bike.

So you start off slowly. Maybe with your dad holding the end of your seat so you stay upright, your training wheels rolling steadily alongside you on those first hesitant rolls. You start off slowly, not quite embracing the freedom. You are counting on the steady hand that keeps you upright and the two training wheels that roll steadily next to you.

But then, you get braver. Little by little you start to move a little faster and go a little bit faster on your own. The hand that was there behind you, holding you, is gone. Now all it does is hover in the background, waiting to catch you but knowing it won’t have to because you won’t fall. It and a small part of yourself know that you can do this now.

Soon, there are no hands at all, nothing holding you, nothing hovering around you. You’ve reached the point where the training wheels have lifted off the ground, and you’re soaring on the pavement. The wind is blowing through your hair, and your wheels are spinning in time to your heartbeat.

You relish this moment, the moment of pure freedom. You can do a full circle around the driveway, ride up to the mailbox and then back to your front door. You are completely and totally autonomous, making your own path out into the world and all that follows you are your skid marks on the sidewalk as you move faster and faster, hurtling into your future, into every moment of your life. There’s one, there’s one, there’s one. You’re living, breathing, flying.

You get the metaphor, right?  We start out as these fragile creatures, young children who look out with hesitant and unsure eyes. The only force that propels us forward is our parents, our brothers and sisters, grandparents, aunties or uncles: our families.

And so, with their support, we slowly start to move forward. We begin to take the first steps that lead us to the rest of our lives.  We begin to run full force towards our future until we go so fast that we don’t need to hold hands. We are on our own and living our lives. How liberating.

So, I ask you, do you remember when you were a little kid and learning how to ride a bike?

For us, that time is now.