Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I know I can





I am very proud of my girls for a laundry list of things they have learned and accomplished. Just when I think I couldn't be more proud, one of them will do something that blows me away. I ran into another one of those instances this week while out on a little bike ride with my six year old.
One of the physical characteristics of our little town is that it is filled with hills. I find the hills add a lot of character to the neighborhoods with a variety of bluffs offering a grand view of various parts of town. The hills have some pro's and con's when it comes to physical activity like walking, running and biking. They're awesome when you want to mix up your routine by having some heart pumping challenges with a few breaks sprinkled in. When it comes to a bike ride with your six year old though, it means you really need to plan your route.

We can do the boring route that stays on our street which offers long distance travel with no noticeable change in elevation. Choosing to go up or down a block requires a decision to be made as to whether you want to start or end with the uphill battle. Although it's not a big deal for an adult, there are different challenges for a youngster. It's not only the challenge of peddling uphill that scares them, but also the downhill runs that can get out of control when you're new to the whole braking thing. Well, we've mastered the braking part now - and nearly wore out a back tire practicing. The recent battle has been sticking it out to endure the challenge of the uphill climb.

Now for the moment you've been waiting for - the part I'm proud of my daughter for and makes this a health goal related post. My daughter went from "I don't think I can" mode to "I know I can" mode.

On Monday, we rode our bikes down to a park about 1.5 miles away (mostly downhill), played at the park a while, and then headed back home (yes, mostly uphill). Most of the ride wasn't too terrible. The hard part is the last block that rises significantly. This is the part where my daughter usually says it's too hard and wants to walk her bike up the hill. (I have to admit - I'm not always disappointed myself.) Not this day though. She kept peddling her heart out....slowed down almost to a stop near the end....and then pumped those little legs all the way to the top. That in itself made me proud, but it wasn't the end of this story.

As we rolled to a stop in our driveway and exchanged high fives, she was beaming with pride. She looked and me and asked me if I knew how she did it. I said it was because she didn't give up. She corrected me and said that it was because she "listened to my training." She then explained to me that I (apparently??) often tell her that if she thinks she can't, then she won't, but if she believes she can, she will. Now, I don't recall actually saying that, but I might have been mumbling it to myself back in my pre-bike days while running alongside her while she was riding her bike....trying not to keel over myself. Apparently I am getting the credit on this one.

Before I even had a chance to pat myself on the back, she then asked me if I knew how else she was able to make it up the hill. I assumed she was going to tell me some amazing motivational thing my wife told her since she is the one who actually has good exercise habits. But no. She told me that God helped her do it. Now I was the one beaming with pride.

The moral of the story is to remember that you won't succeed if you don't believe you can. It's also important to remember that you're never doing it alone. Even if dad isn't there to encourage you along the way...God IS. Until next time....