Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Tuesday Tip: It's Like Riding A Bike

It took my daughter a long time to learn how to ride a bike. She was afraid she would fall and get hurt. She wore a helmet, wrist guards, elbow pads and knee pads. She did not want us to let go of the bike. We would exhaust ourselves running next to the bike. We would encourage but she did not believe she could do it.

I sat on the porch step and told her to try. I reminded her that she could always put her feet on the ground to prevent herself from falling. I told her the story of when I learned to ride a bike. I would get on the bike and try, fall, get up and try again. It did not help. My daughter was too focused on the "falling" and not on the "riding".

She began to pedal one time, then two and eventually more. I told her to look forward and not worry about her feet because they would find the petal. She tried and as she succeeded her confidence grew. She practiced and pedalled. Within minutes of her first successful solo run, she was soaring through the parking lot. You would have never known that twenty minutes prior she did not know how to ride a bike. The look on her face was pure joy. She told me she liked the feeling of the wind on her face as she floated across the lot. She rode her bike for hours that day.

It was all about confidence. I must have told her 100 times that she could do it. But it did not matter what I thought.

She had to realize she could do it.

Tuesday Tip: It's Like Riding a Bike


Sue C said...

Hi Michele,

Of course the other thing they say about riding a bike is that you 'never forget'. I'm hoping martial arts is like this - once learned, never forgot!

Anonymous said...

Every beginning is difficult and once you master something it all seems so easy and logical... A large part of martial arts training is conquering fear (as your daughter did) and learning to cope with frustration, both very important life-skills. As to Sue's question: I do think gross motor skills like punching and basic kicking is not something you ever forget and those techniques will retain their usefulness, however you'll always be more effective with continous training (obviously) and especially the finer points (which often make the difference between victory and defeat, at least against a skilled opponent) need constant practice and refreshing. I once quit practice for about 6 months and my locks were off, not that I forget how to do them but the feeling wasn't there. The lesson: keep practicing, if only for the heck of it.


Michele said...

Thank you for your comments.

I think the basic movement principles would stay with me even if I stopped training. There are 51 kata in Okinawa Kenpo and some get rusty if I don't review them regularly. :)