For my 8th birthday my parents got me a bicycle, it was green and yellow but though I can’t really recall the make of the bicycle, I can still remember the “tear-nylon” smell of the bicycle. My dad and I worked till around 1am trying to put the bicycle together, thankfully it wasn’t a school night. I hardly got sleep that night and I woke up before the first cock-crow, just to check if the bicycle was real and not a dream.

The next morning when my dad woke up, we took the bicycle outside to test it out. I rode the bicycle around the compound so many times, that I lost count. However, my speed was reduced because of the training wheels, it made manoeuvring hard and strenuous. My Father noticed this and asked, “if I was ready for the training wheels to come off,” sure I said yes, who wouldn’t want the restrictions to come off. I didn’t get what he actually meant till I did physics and learnt things like accelerating, speed and momentum.

When he took the training wheels off, I found it hard to move as the bicycle wouldn’t just stand upright, my dad then started to push me round telling me to pedal as fast as I could, I was accelerating, building momentum and this continued for a while till I looked back and realised that my dad had left my back and I was riding was on my own. At that moment, I got scared, lost control of the bicycle and fell bruising my knee and elbow. I begged for the training wheels to come back on so I could enjoy the bicycle riding, I knew one day the wheels would have to come off, my dad won’t be there to push me, one day I would be on my own.

Years later, I never learnt to ride the bicycle without training wheels so I still don’t know how to ride a bicycle but I have looked over this experience and taken away some lessons. They are:

  • There would surely be training wheels: There would always be training wheels, you have to pass through years of school, masters etc to be a professional. You have to go through training to be inept with your skill and so on. No one just wakes up and just is soo good at something even the prodigies, they just adapt fastest.
  • Don’t drop your training wheels when you aren’t ready: I was in a hurry to jump out of the training wheels when I hadn’t mastered vital dexterity to help me ride the bicycle. Schools would hold you back in courses, if your lecturer realises that you haven’t properly learned what you should have to pass his course. You can probably imagine the disaster waiting to happen when a medical student in year 3 starts to prescribe drugs or perform surgeries unassisted and unsupervised.
  • When you fall learn, why you fall and rise: you have obviously heard that falling doesn’t make you a failure but staying down does. When I fell I realised it was because I wasn’t ready and hadn’t mastered the skills yet and that was why I panicked and fell. My mistake was however that I gave up eventually instead of learning properly.
  • When you eventually get off the training wheels never second-guess yourself: in one of my earlier post I wrote about a steady heart, having faith in yourself is vital to make you look good in what you do. It is never second guessing oneself that makes a newly commissioned army 2nd lieutenant get respect from older and but lower ranked sergeants, corporals etc. Can you imagine how credible the president would look if he came and national TV and starts to stammer, obviously the entire nation would just cover its face.When you come off the trainings wheels never second guess yourself, I fell because I second guessed myself.

Related Article: A Steady Heart

In conclusion, life is all about process, there is a time for everything, A time to learn, a time to be a student and a time to teach. Whatever learning phase you go through, go through it well as what’s worth doing is worth doing well. Just because you fall doesn’t mean it’s over that on its own is a process of learning. Have a lovely weekend.

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