This summer I re-learned how to ride a bike. Yup, you read that right. You see, when you choose to go to a school in a city that’s worldly known for it’s biking-friendly environment, you realize there is no legitimate excuse as to why you don’t know how to ride a bike. So this summer, I challenged myself to re-learn how to ride a bike. And when I say re-learn, I mean sort of starting from scratch.
I was 13 years old when I first learned how to ride a bike. I was visiting my Aunt for a couple days, and when she found out I had never learned how to ride a bike, she pulled out her little, red vintage Schwinn bike. I remember practicing in her yard for hours until I was finally able to actually ride without falling over or putting my feet down. I was so proud of myself. When I went back home, I added a pink hawaiin cruiser bike to the top of my birthday wish list.
But if I told you that I have kept in the habit of riding my bike all these years, I would be lying. Getting on a bike again this summer was the hardest thing I had done in a long while. I kept putting it off, claiming I didn’t have enough time, or I complained about it being too hilly where I lived to practice. But deep down, I was afraid and scared of the possibilities of falling off and hurting myself. Trying something new can be so hard sometimes. But those times when I decided to practice (whether it was for five minutes or a few hours), I ended up having a great time and thoroughly enjoyed myself. Yes, I fell. Yes, I cried. Yes, I became angry and frustrated. But overall, each time I got back on that bike, I got better and better, to the point where I no longer felt embarrassed riding in public and I actually wanted people to see me.
There are so many instances in my life where I allow fear to paralyze me and cause me to doubt my potential. I allow my thoughts to become defiled with insecurity, negativity, and unbelief. Overcoming these moments in my life can take a lot of courage. However, I have learned, whenever I finally do take those long-awaited leaps of faith, I am always so happy I did. I either learned something totally unexpected, experienced something new, or ended up having a total blast. Today, I love riding my bike around, and while I may not always choose to bike everyday, I am simply content with knowing that I can actually ride a bike now. I am extremely proud of myself for choosing to stick it through, even throughout all those tough moments. If anything, those moments in my life have made my accomplishment feel so much sweeter in the end.
My encouragement to you is to not give up. This current season, future goal, or new experience may seem daunting, completely unattainable, or downright impossible. While those feelings and thoughts are completely valid and understandable, I want you to know that there is something you may not be seeing yet. Give it another shot, have more faith in yourself, and believe in your potential. If it’s something that really matters to you, it will be worth it to pursue it.
“Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” – Neale Donald Walsch