A Skinned Knee Was Just Part of Learning To Ride A Bike



There you were, wobbling around. Maybe you had training wheels, maybe they didn’t even make it to the bike.

I’ve known folks that learned to swim by their elders just throwing them in the water.

I also know folks that learned to ride a bike much the same way – get on it and start riding, “I’ll help you balance.”

I’m one of the “I’ll help you balance”.

As I came around the sidewalk circle where I was learning to ride I saw my balance-helping brother now sitting on a little hill of grass, watching me wiggle my way past the townhome apartments.

My expression must have been priceless because as I fell over realizing Udo was not behind me, he rolled on the grass laughing hysterically.

I don’t remember much of the event after that. The crash is however, burned deep into my subconscious.

What I do know is that even with that horrific seeming crash, I can today ride a bike.

And I love it.

I love it so much that I have owned many bikes. Along with all the equipment to enhance my riding. I have even rode as a bicycle messenger in Seattle; traveling many miles on paths and roads here, and in Europe.

Even with each additional injury along the way – a bloody nose and a blown out knee to just mention a couple -I still love to ride a bike.

When I was that young lad first learning to ride, I didn’t have visions of the travels I would have as an adult.

I wasn’t using this step to further my riding career, or as a step to walking out of a bike shop with a brand new, $1500 mountain bike.

I was learning to ride a bike simply because I wanted to!

I didn’t do a spread sheet on the pros and cons, or calculate the cost versus whatever. I didn’t even understand at that point the freedom and adventure those bikes in my future would bring.

Riding a bike looked fun. Other kids riding bikes were having fun doing it.

And I wanted to have fun.

Did a skinned knee stop me from having fun? In the moment, yes. But that moment of pain quickly dissolved. My mom’s loving care (although somewhat hysterical) allowed me to get back to having fun. And that’s all that really mattered.

At that young age that was all that really mattered. I wasn’t burdened with all of life’s complexities. I was singular in focus as most every child is.

So even with a skinned knee, I pressed on, learning to ride that bike and ride it well.

Imagine if we could become that singularly focused when trying to learn a new skill now. Imagine what we could accomplish if we quit testing the waters, trying things out, and went after the new task with the unbridled drive that we knew learning to ride that bike, so long ago.

Not to be another accomplishment. Not for our resume. Just because we wanted to. And we wanted to because it would make us happy. It would be fun.

Life is fun. Stop complicating the things in life. Go for wanting to – FOR YOU!


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