What Learning To Ride A Bike Taught Me About Life

It was in 2001 that I learnt to ride a bike. I was 14.

Yes, you read that right,ย LEARNT to ride a bike at 14. While most of my friends had probably learnt to ride a bike when they were about 5 to 6 years of age, I didn’t, and I have a perfectly good explanation for that.

I am afraid you see; afraid of falling, afraid of losing my balance and afraid to not be in control. That’s partly the reason behind my hydrophobia. I am petrified of large bodies of water and I try to avoid swimming as much as possible. I need to feel solid ground beneath my feet to not be anxious.

So you can imagine how I must’ve felt when my dad gifted me a bike on my 14th birthday. I asked him, ‘you are joking, right?’

He wasn’t.

My parents wanted me to learn how to ride a bike. Not because it is an oh so essential life skill that I can’t do without, rather, they wanted me to overcome my fear.

I made excuses at first. Tried to not look at the bike because I thought that will make my parents realize how much I didn’t want to learn how to ride one. But that’s not how life works. Sometimes you just have to do things that you don’t want to do and sometimes you are made to.

That’s exactly what happened.

It was a hot summer day, I had just come back from school and my mum was waiting outside our apartment with THE bike. I looked at my mum and said, ‘Nice! are you going for a ride?’ She gave me the death stare and replied, ‘No…but we are.’, in a tone that let me know that she meant business.

And we did.

I wish I could say, I got on to that bike and rode away into oblivion and everything was fine and dandy… except, it wasn’t.

We slowwwwwlllyyyyy (like a pair of tortoises) made our way to the neighbourhood basketball court. Oh that damned basketball court, I still remember it. I tried to resist it as much as possible. Tried to cry, tried to reason with my mother but she wouldn’t have any of it! She was hell bent on making me learn how to ride one and she did.

I was not even allowed to drink water till I learnt how to ride one.

Before the day came to an end, I knew how to maintain my balance on a bicycle! Sure I didn’t know how to turn corners but you know what they say, practice makes perfect!

Long story short, there are going to be a lot of things in your life that you are going to be afraid of. You are going to resist them, hate them, try to make up excuses for not wanting to do them. But you know what’s easier? Learning to master it, learning to master your fears.

Is there something that you have always been wanting to or meaning to do but never got the chance to because it scared you practically sh*tless? You know when will be a good time to do them?


Take the leap and fake it till you make it.

46 thoughts on “What Learning To Ride A Bike Taught Me About Life

  1. OMG! This is such a perfect piece you wrote! I wish I could “like” it a hundred times, that’s how good it is. Plus, it’s true! Sometimes you can take little baby steps to master a fear, and other times a fear can be mastered in one big giant leap. But the key is to find YOUR WAY of mastering the fear so that the fear doesn’t master you.

    1. Thank you Darlene! I am not quite there yet but I am getting there! ๐Ÿ™‚ You are awesome!

      I have just finished reading your book! ๐Ÿ˜€

      I am going to send you an email right about now!

  2. My favorite post so far, you’ve hit a nerve we all can relate to, and hopefully gave us the courage to just do it. My daughter has coordination and other health issues, so she is still not riding a bike, and I fear for her sometimes.

    As for me, I’m scared about the next step writing wise, because deep down I know this just might go somewhere. Weird, I know!

    1. All the best Julie! You write wonderful posts!

      Oh I hope your daughter will learn to ride one soon and that she will overcome all her fears and health issues ๐Ÿ™‚ Much love to you!

  3. Oh, I’m a huge believer in the last statement! Fake it till you make it! Works in so many areas of life! Glad you overcame, and it gave you a wonderful post to share! Love the look! ~ Sheila

  4. This was beautiful. Stunning, in fact.

    I’ve come across some very bad times as of late, and you are exactly right. I will “fake it till I make it,” because practice does make perfect. Thank you, Love =]

  5. I learnt when I was about 6, one of my neighbours taught me how to do it. ๐Ÿ™‚ I’ve always wanted to learn how to ride a motor bike but I can’t bring myself to do it. My dad had a Harley nearly a decade ago and he came off of that and broke several bones in his body. Screw that, I’ll stick to driving dangerously.

  6. You could “riding a bike” with “doing drugs” and you’d have my life story.

    Seriously though, this is a great story about going for it. Legitimately good advice.

  7. Great post!

    I conquered the same sort of fear when it came to running. Growing up I was not an athletic person- definitely more the intellectual-artistic type. Through university however I really wished I could take a break from all the stress of exams and papers and, literally, run free. My big hang-up? Having someone see me start running and….. 100 feet down the road, see me stop again.

    But I worked at it and now I run 5k every (k, bit of an exaggeration…) day. Fear conquered. Now I feel the benefits, like health, confidence, stress-relief and goal setting, ripple into other areas of my life.

  8. I think this is a lovely story and also more than anything makes me take a look at my own life, never I have I thought the phrase “Do something everyday that scares you.” Congratulations! x

  9. Glad you managed to conquer your fears here, Ria ๐Ÿ™‚ I haven’t done too much bike riding since I got mine stolen back when I was 16, but I’ve always enjoyed it. I hope you eventually do too ๐Ÿ™‚

    Like we were discussing earlier today, fear can be a powerful thing โ€” I’m in a weird place in life where I don’t fear many things, except maybe not accomplishing all of the things that I want to do. Probably fundamental to the reason why I’m ALWAYS working on something…

    Maybe one day I’ll finally feel like I’ve gotten enough done to be at peace.


  10. Excellent story Ria!!! Oh if only I could share my ‘learning to ride a bike’ story with you ๐Ÿ˜€ Talk about determined with a capitol D! Unlike your parents, my parents forbid me to ride. And oh how I longed for my very own bike. ๐Ÿ˜‰
    But I have to say I totally agree with Casey above! About not fearing “many things except maybe not accomplishing all of the things that I want to do.” Wow! I can relate to everything he said ๐Ÿ˜‰
    Best of luck with the new blog! I’m starting two more blogs myself soon ๐Ÿ˜‰ YIKES!!!

    1. Hey Ann!

      haha really? why did they forbid you to ride one? I wish my parents had done that ๐Ÿ˜‰ I have a phobia of losing my balance.

      haha Casey has his own site and he writes well! I think you will enjoy his musings! http://caseypalmer.com/

      Really? I want links lovely lady! ๐Ÿ˜€ I can’t wait to read them!

      1. I think my parents were afraid I’d take off and never come back ๐Ÿ˜‰ My parents were very controlling. I wasn’t even allowed to join Girl Scouts or any type of group or go to the Roller Rink etc., because, “The girls sneak out the window to meet boys.”
        Thanks for the link.
        I’ll let you know when my sites are up and running. Just bought a .com for one today. ๐Ÿ˜€

    1. Hey Joshua!

      Thanks for reading! ๐Ÿ™‚

      It’s on the right hand side of this post and if you scroll down to the bottom of this page on your iphone, I think you’ll see it! I am so happy you like it! ๐Ÿ˜€

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