Sunday, June 19, 2016

Anjali - Learning to Bicycle

Two things just click in your head - 1) the balance while riding a bicycle that you find as you fight the panic that you will fall and 2) the moment in the pool when you know you will float when everything tells you that you will drown. The bicycle is an area I can handle so Anjali and I did a lot of bicycling when we went to a resort last year (she needed to be held and there were those side wheels and I was in bad shape and wondered if it would trigger off cardiac emergencies). But we put in good effort and I enjoyed running all over with her and her bike.
An old pic with the training wheels on
After we returned from the resort we bought a bicycle - a pretty one but not as functional as some others but little miss likes pretty. so. The idea was to learn how to ride a bicycle soon. A couple of attempts, and it did not go too great. The side wheels kept getting in the way and I seriously considered hiring someone else to run alongside and help her learn. The last deadline was the summer vacation that ended last week. As the deadline passed, I reset the deadline and said we must do it now.

So we had the side wheels removed. Burning the ships so to say. Now we learn fast or we fall. But we learn. No more comfort of side wheels.
Happiness is freedom - On Your Own

Then we set off on the road. After a few rounds of hectic running around beside her, I could see that she was getting the hang of it. I told her to focus on balancing, to slow down and to focus on avoiding obstacles instead of thinking she will crash into them and to use the brake to stop. 'Don't panic and try to stay up,' I said noticing that she was panicking early and giving up on finding a way.

Anyway, after a half hour of strenuous running beside her (I was drenched in sweat - what was that article saying about sweating too much?), she told me.

'Give me a start Nanna and I will manage.'

She looked confident so I did. And off she went, overcoming her panic and at the same time discovering and enjoying the freedom of flying, riding on your own for the first time. The captain of your own ship so to speak. I remember the first time when I found that freedom of balance in Kurnool as an eight year old or something, I got carried away and crashed into a gate and messed up my sister's new bicycle. Anjali was smarter and did not crash into any gate. She slowed down and got off the bike securely.

The first time I gave her a start and let her take off was special. It was nice watching her take off, overcoming her panic, finding a new freedom. The wings, I can see, are growing stronger.

Not a bad gift for us both on Father's Day. A milestone accomplished.

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