2 days ago, the furtherest our daughter had ever cycled in one go was around 100 metres. She would confidently go from one end of the courtyard to the other. We took on a quiet road where she managed the 100 metres. We tried a local forest trail, which proved too bumpy for her. 100 metres seemed to be her max.
Then yesterday happened.
11.328 miles later she was beaming and happy to do more (the .328 was emphasised by our son). At mile 2, she had a fall resulting in a cut knee and hand, but she got back on. She navigated different types of paths, dogs, lots of walkers and other cyclists, and even roads and roundabouts. She wasn’t the only one beaming.
What was the secret?
Other children and adults, we think. We did the ride with two of her cousins and an aunt and uncle. And she wanted to be like them, to join in with them, and not miss out. Effectively it was peer pressure that enabled her to do something she had the ability to do, but not the mindset. It was wonderful to see.
This doesn’t just happen to children. It is the story of all of us. There is so much we have the ability to do, we just lack the confidence and mindset to do it. But when we are with others, we go further then we ever imagined.
Change by ourselves is extremely difficult. Change with others is easier. And not just personal change (i.e. exercise buddies, AA, etc.), but also organisational and system change too.
Find the others. Go together. And stop for ice cream along the way.