Learning how to ride a broomstick is much like learning how to ride a bike. You can’t really learn much about it from reading but on actually doing it. I tried googling “how to ride a bike”, “tips for beginners, biking” and others absurd keywords hoping to discover the “secret” but I am telling you now, I found nothing that actually helped. It might sound as if I am putting too much fuss about learning a skill that is learned by most people during their school age years but for me, that is exactly the point. This has been on my to do list since last year. I believe as time goes by, more and more “arrogant” youngsters ride past me ever so often to brandish their bike riding skill. I look at them with disdain but really…I cry inside^^
I’ve had around 5 biking lessons (with varying degrees of failures an triumphs) and my confidence was somewhat low. Some might consider this a bit as a defeatist attitude but I can’t help feeling that way since I always hear stories on how fast and easy it is to learn how to bike. My age is also against me, not really in a physical way but more of mentally. There is always this nagging feeling at the back of my head that is scared to death at falling, ergo failing (yet again!). I am fortunate to have very patient teachers (one of them is my cousin and the other is my friend). I find myself giving up on some occasion not just because I am physically exhausted but also because of the fear that I’m being too much of a bother already. Teaching a kid how to ride a bike, I think, is easier than teaching someone older and bigger (comme moi). I think I could have learned on my own, but it would probably take me a couple of years to do so. Hence, I am super grateful.
But on this particular Sunday, I was really feeling very positive. A couple of weeks has already passed since my last lesson. I think this worked to my advantage since I was not feeling too physically bruised and the pain of failure has already subsided. My riding “instructor” told me that I was already making good progress the last time but I really can’t be sure.
When I woke up that day, I was 90% sure that this is going to be THE day. I’m not certain if it was the idea of riding a bike while temple hopping in Thailand gave some extra boost but to make the long story short, I was able to ride that dreaded two wheeler on my own…and I have the photos to prove it. Yey!
My teacher Jasmin was just amazing and I really can;t thank her enough. She gave me free reins to practice on her red foldable bike and her new helmet, which was soaked in sweat after my run (Yuck, I know.) I actually thought there was a slight drizzle in the middle of a very sunny morning. I didn’t notice that it was actually my own sweat dripping from my hair. That was just plain awesome. I actually made some jubilant cheer when I first realized that I was actually do it. Incredible!
Learning how to ride a bike is quite special for me not simply because of how much I really wanted to learn. I was surprised that another realization dawned on me in this whole learning process. Although learning how to ride a bike is a success in itself, this event didn’t feel much like any other accomplishments.
While I was flying past some immobile vehicles, I learned that 1) I am now able to do it and 2) I’m not really do it yet, not in a way that I envisioned it at least. Now the second one might sound as if the mood will be somewhat be dampened. But it was really not the case. The fact that I am already on that particular moment of success, I suddenly understood what they meant when they say that success is a journey not a destination. If there was ever a moment that is both figurative and literal at the same time, I would probably think of this line and my first bike ride. I thought all along that once I am finally able to learn how to bike, I that would already be a final hurrah, a red CHECK mark on my bucket list. But while I recognize that this event can be considered a success, I still need to learn more. Oddly enough, this thought did not for a second gave me a feeling of disappointment. I honestly felt so enlightened by this moment. Yes, I can now balance myself on 2 wheels, but I started to realize my own weaknesses and limitation. I need to learn how to turn, to watch the road, to slow down, to climb a hill, etc… Basically, I need to practice more and to journey on.
I never thought that learning how to ride a bike can open up a lot of philosophical (and somewhat crazy) thoughts.
But it did. Now I wonder what flying will do to me 🙂