Training wheels are a good thing, a very good thing. They let us try something that would be otherwise difficult, bordering on impossible if we’re not ready. Watching a 3 or 4 year old ride their training wheel enabled bicycle down the street with a great big smile across their face is beautiful to see. The child can’t even imagine the concept of riding their bike any other way. Thank you to the inventor of the training wheel.
Then the day comes when it’s time the training wheels off. Can you picture the day (or maybe days) you took them off for you, or a child or grandchild? There were probably a few spills along the way. I remember one day when my son was out with Gramps, practicing riding without training wheels. After a few failed attempts, the bike was seen hurdling across the curb onto the neighbour’s lawn and shortly thereafter Gramps was seen walking home, leaving this training exercise for another day. Okay, so he didn’t get success on the first try, many of us didn’t. And then one day it happened. What was at once seemingly impossible, moved the short step to improbable, and finally it became inevitable. He was riding his bike on his own with no training wheels.
Every time you ride a bike or see your child ride a bike, bring back that image. This was the start of something, something to add to your lifelong list of accomplishments. You don’t even think about it any more but it was one of the first things on your lifetime list of accomplishments.
I think there are parallels in our every day lives. We all have dreams. Some dream of the perfect job, perfect relationships. We have simple dreams of picking up a hobby that we’ve always wanted to do, or taking that dream trip that we always wanted to take. Some dream of scoring the Stanley Cup winning goal, or winning the Masters golf tournament. Others dream of having their art on display all over the world. Others dream of being teachers or speakers. We all have dreams. What are yours?
Here’s a thought. Maybe there are different types of training wheels other than the ones you’ve pictured. If you really want to do something but just can’t seem to get started, reach for the training wheels. You might take a course or hire a coach. Don’t be afraid to ask for help, remember that training wheels are a good thing and they can help you start something that might otherwise seem impossible or improbable. That first step you take just might be the launch pad to another great lifetime accomplishment. Lance Armstrong didn’t win the Tour de France the day after he took his training wheels off, but I wouldn’t be surprised if he started with them.
I bet there’s something else that you’re doing with training wheels on, but maybe it’s time to take them off. You’re doing the same thing every day, afraid to take them off. It’s that repetitive routine that we get ourselves into, waking up day after day and doing the same old thing. Maybe it’s not fear, maybe you’re just comfortable with the status quo. Glad we didn’t do that in our younger days when the training wheels were still on. The visual of me riding a bicycle with training wheels on it isn’t very pretty. Status quo on that one just doesn’t have a good ring to it.
I have always wanted to be on stage and I have dreams and visions of being in front of thousands of people telling stories. I’ve had lots of life lessons along my journey, and sharing stories with people just might inspire someone else to make a change in their life that they’d really like to make. I’ve been in and out of the health care system and have learned a lot about what it takes to make change and live life with no regrets. Maybe someone will hear my stories and be inspired to take action to find solutions to the current state of health care systems in our world. Maybe someone is just that close to making a real difference, and an inspiring story ignites the spark that is ready to burst into a roaring bonfire. Now that is a visual that makes me feel good.
But maybe I’ve been riding with my training wheels on … until lately. I took them off recently. I’ve been successful with a few short trips, I’ve had a few wobbles along the way, and I’m still going. Yup, the training wheels are off. Look out stage, here I come. Maybe I’ll be talking about the day I took off the training wheels. Will you be there?
Start with yours if you need to but don’t be afraid to take them off when it’s time. But don’t do it because you were inspired by this story. Do it because you know you can. Try something without training wheels, you just might find you don’t need them any more.
Training wheels. Know when to use them, and know when to lose them.
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