Dad was there for sure. I don’t remember if Mom was but I’m sure she was too—probably by the house, watching anxiously, ready to cover her eyes when it happened. She never did get used to watching me do dangerous things.
I remember every contour of that backyard. At the center was a small grassy hill, no taller than ten feet high; both the back and right sides were surrounded by impenetrable trees and shrubbery; and the garage blocked half the left side, exposing a gradual runway past the house and down to the gravel driveway below.
I don’t think it’s possible for my memory to be accurate, but that day is still so clear in my mind. I remember being excited but having no idea what was about to happen. I was free of doubt, fear, and anxiety. Of course I was; I hadn’t yet learned how to feel those emotions. I was just there, on my new bike, at the top of the hill, waiting for Dad to push.
It’s like riding a bike
It was 1993 and we had just moved to Crescent Valley—a middle-of-nowhere town in the heart of Slocan Valley, British Columbia. I had just turned three, and my parents figured it was the perfect time for me to learn to ride a bike.
So, Dad took me to the top of that grassy hill in the yard, held the bike while I put my feet on the pedals, and pushed. Down the hill I went, past the garage, and out onto the driveway safe and sound.
And that was it. In five minutes I transformed from a toddler to a biker, and my parents couldn’t pry me off for the next fifteen years.
Effort is the key ingredient
After some research, it seems that three years old is the lower limit for learning to ride a bike. Whatever the case, it didn’t matter, Dad seemed to think it was fine; he always had full confidence in my ability to adapt and learn, regardless of societal norms. They both did.
Throughout my entire life, my parents have always supported my crazy ideas. Whether it was digging up the back field to make jumps, getting back up after bad injuries, or dropping out of university to pursue a startup (I later graduated). Their unconditional encouragement and support provided me with a safe space to fail, learn, and improve, convincing me that anything was possible with enough effort.
The challenge continues
And it all started back at the top of that hill in 1993. From that point forward, I’ve always believed in my own potential. Whether it was trying a hundred times to land a kick-flip, beating all the levels of Super Mario Bros 3, or studying countless hours for my Calculus 200 final (which I failed miserably). 🤭
The ability to go into something, anything, with full confidence is something that can’t be understated. Heck, it’s why I’m sitting here now, typing this post, trying my darndest to become a better writer. Sure, there’s a long road ahead—I’m sure almost no one will read this very sentence—but I’m confident that my feet (and fingers) will get me where I want to go.
So I’d like to take a moment to thank my parents—because I know they’re reading this—for all they’ve done for me over the past thirty years. I’d be nowhere (literally) without them, and it makes me excited to think that’s one day I might be able to have a similar impact on someone else.
♥️ Thanks Mom and Dad.