Training wheels......these are the coolest thing when you're a kid. It is so big kid because you have ditched the big-wheel, shunned the tricycle, and now you are going to join the big leagues on TWO wheels. Two wheels, some open road, wind in your hair, and wheels on fire! Well, maybe it is more like four wheels, an empty parking lot, a breeze your Dad is trying to block so it doesn't blow you over, and the only fire is that of the hot air that is entering your ears from old Dad telling you to keep peddling. Typically these are the stories of kids much younger but today this was our afternoon. Sam likes the idea of riding a bike a lot. At 6 1/2 most kiddos are cruising either skillfully on two wheels by themselves or burning through their training wheels just on the verge of taking off.
Today our goal was simple.....two laps around half the parking lot at Green Elementary and then off to Fire Station Park. The nerves were settling in as we approached the runway, sweat began covering the brow, hands were a bit shaky and the counting to ten to keep from really losing it had already started. Then I looked in the mirror to see how Sam was doing. He was just smiling away and singing some Daughtry. Nothing like a little jam session to get up for the big ride. Sam piled out, I pumped the tires and he jumped on. Out of nowhere a little figure appears sitting next to us. Braxton W. he tells us and of course Sam does the meet and greet very well so we have the name thing down and understand Braxton is in third grade here at Green Elementary. Braxton looks down at the training wheels and cleverly realizes I can take this guy. "Hey Sam, wanna race." Sam has no idea what Braxton is talking about so he does what any kid would do....he ignores him. I smile realizing this was a good "typical" response....and if you are wondering....no discussion of hair dryers has occurred yet.
Braxton smiles at me and says to Sam let's get moving. There we go on lap one around half the parking lot and sure enough that breeze we talked about earlier, it's full on Texas WIND. Sam falls over, right side, knee down, arm bracing, helmet secure. Now I must say, as a triathlete I have seen some awesome crashes.....full on 50 mph mayhem during the Alcatraz Triathlon to someone falling over in the staging area and breaking both wrists during their first Half Ironman. Even the most minor fall can be devastating. We're good though. Sam is ticked off, very ticked off. He tells me his hand is broken as he proceeds to punch his bike. This is a "lesson" fall and Braxton realizes it also. Our little friend tells Sam to get up and get on. Braxton is wise in his old age, he tells Sam to keep on moving his legs and don't bail at the last minute. Then without any prompting on my part, Braxton asks Sam if he has seen Nemo. Upon confirmation, Braxton jumps right into the song (with a slight alteration)
You know what you gotta do when you fall down.
Just keep peddling
Just keep peddling
Just keep peddling, peddling, peddling
Sam joins in and we close off on a full two laps. Some other kids approach on motorized mini-cycles and Braxton is off to his next adventure. Sam and I toss some high fives and it is off to Fire Station Park. We meet Meredith, Ms. Melissa and three year old tiny dog Lilly.
We have some more laps to finish before we start blazing a trail but for now......we'll just keep peddling, peddling.