Training wheels exist for our protection. They give us a safe environment and keep us from great bodily harm. They also hold us back and are only designed to be temporary.
Our five year old had shown zero interest in learning to ride his bike without training wheels.
My wife and I would talk with him about it but he was perfectly content to roll around on his bike with his training wheels on. That was good enough for him. Several days ago my wife decided enough was enough and the training wheels had to come off. With significant protesting he finally agreed to try and learn to ride his bike without the training wheels. It was a slow process at first. He could only go a few feet before bailing off the bike.
The whole time these bike riding lessons were going on, Greyson, our 3 year old was watching and riding around on his bike with the training wheels on. He was watching his older brother, Cooper, fall off his bike time and time again. Cooper was unable to ride more than 30 feet without falling over. Greyson, on the other hand, was riding his little bike all over the place. He was perfectly content to peddle around on his training wheels. Cooper kept at it though. Little by little he was able to ride farther and farther each time. Then finally it seemed to click. Cooper took off and he didn’t fall over in 30 feet, he didn’t fall over in 50 feet, he made it all the way to the end of the street and didn’t fall over. He turned around and rode all the way back and still didn’t fall over.
Greyson watched the whole thing. He saw us cheering for his older brother, he saw how fast he rode his bike, he saw how freeing it was to not have training wheels. Greyson jumped off his bike and started shrieking. He had a fire in his eyes that I rarely see. He looked at me and yelled “Get these wheels off my bike! I’m ready to be awesome!” I thought he was too young so I tried to brush him off. He was persistent “Get your tools and get these wheels off of my bike!” I’ve never seen him so serious. I looked at my wife, she kind of shrugged and gave a nod that said “Hey let’s go for it.”
So I got my wrench and took off his training wheels. We started practicing. He couldn’t go more than a couple feet at first but he was determined. Slowly but surely his rides got longer and longer. He never had that moment where he completely mastered riding a bike but he was so proud of himself for the progress he made. It was all he could talk about all night. The next day he wanted to practice some more and the next day even some more. He is determined to learn how to ride his bike and I’m confident in a few days he’ll have it down.
Here’s a video of him trying to learn:
What changed all of a sudden that he went from being content to riding with training wheels to being completely driven to learn to ride without them? I believe it is because he saw firsthand how freeing it was to be without them. By watching his older brother ride around faster, it gave him the motivation to step out and remove his training wheels too.
What training wheels do you need to remove in your life? Stop accepting complacency. Don’t be satisfied with just “good enough” if you can have great. Is it time to start writing that book you’ve been thinking about for years? Is it time to start your own business? Blog? Do you need to step it up at work and take on new responsibilities? Do you need to step it up at home and be a better parent? Spouse? Whatever it is, I encourage you to take the chance and not be afraid to remove the training wheels in your life and enjoy the freedom that comes with it.