As I was walking through the park today, a man called out behind me. I turned around, startled, and saw that he was motioning towards his young son who was sat atop a bike – his first, probably – complete with a bell and plastic training wheels that seemed to buckle under the strain of the wobbling young rider.
“Keep going”, the dad said, “if you keep stopping and starting, it only makes it harder to get going again”.
I smiled to myself.
My own dad probably once told me something similar, and yet it has taken nearly 32 years for me to fully comprehend the notion of consistently moving forwards, of progressing, of having direction, no matter how fucking tough it gets. Life is hard, just like learning to ride a bike. You know this. I know this.
I have written before about choosing to surround myself with extremely courageous and balls-to-the-wall-type people. These people ride their bikes with vigour (some of them quite literally) and I have noticed that they rarely stop and start. They falter at times, of course they do; they brake heavily and get off their bikes and kick the wheels with frustration, but they always get back on again and pedal towards their goals, towards the things they want to achieve in their lives. They know that if they keep stopping and starting, dilly-dallying around and riding in circles and making excuses, it only makes it harder for them to get going again.
How about you? Are you on or off your bike?