Lose Your Training Wheels

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.

14 thoughts on “Lose Your Training Wheels”

  1. Nice application my man. Someone recently helped me remove some training wheels in a certain aspect of my life. I think you actually referred to it in your post. Haha. There is always room for improvement. I can’t wait to see when Grayson gets the nerve to take it a few steps further and ride his bike with no training wheels while standing on the seat.

    1. Yes it’s great when the older ones can positively influence the younger ones. That is something I’ve been trying to speak to the older kids about. Because right now they mostly just want to try and manipulate the littler ones. ha

  2. What an inspiring post! I have an older sibling and wanted to always follow in their footsteps… But here I think Grayson wasn’t necessarily looking to follow what Cooper was doing, simply because he is older… It was, as you say, the freedom your younger son saw in the removal of the training wheels, and the joy that came along with it!
    How amazing from a 3 year old!
    Great video too!!
    Have a super weekend and happy riding!

    1. Thank you Lia.
      Greyson learned to swim and push himself on the swings too at an earlier age than most kids because he watched how much fun Cooper was having. He can be just as stubborn the other way too if he doesn’t want to do something 🙂
      You have a great weekend too!

  3. When I was a kid growing up, I don’t think they had training wheels. I went from a tricycle to a bicycle. I was about 4 years old and fell a few times.It felt so good once I mastered riding a two-wheeler and I could go all over the neighborhood. Freedom !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  4. we’re huge supporters of the balance bike and keeping training wheels out of the picture altogether. norah learned to tackle the two wheeler with ease right around four, and Cros is just starting to try out the balance bike at 2.5. all those years before kids, I never could have imagined the emotions involved in something like this. good luck to Grayson!

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