A Story About Cycling

[anti-rclick]中文版: 一個騎單車的故事

June 26, 2011

I have told this story to a couple adult students before, and now I want to share it with you all here:

I did not really know how to ride a bike until early this year.

For me in the past, it was quite shameful to admit this fact. I thought, “everyone knows how to bike, even a child, but I can’t, because I have never learnt to.” Although it was not my fault that I was never taught to ride a bicycle when I was young, I felt it was. And after all, it was not a useful thing to learn anyway, so it was okay not to know how to bike. But last year, I thought, why not learn it? Then I decided to learn how to ride a bike.

I asked my friend to teach me how. He said, you just had to try and fail, get the balance and feel of it, and eventually you could get it. What? That’s it? Okay then, let’s try it out.

I felt embarrassed to learn how to ride a bike in a public area, so my friend found a more secluded place for me to learn and try (it’s still a public area only with less dwellers). We rented a bike there and I started to cycle. Of course it was still quite embarrassing to try to cycle in front of others (you know the feeling when you just kept thinking that someone would be watching over you, even the fact was no one cared what and how you were doing?), and for me it was hard to keep the balance on the bike, so one of my feet was up on the pedal for one second and then quickly down on the ground for another, and I could not even move forward each time more than a few inches. And if there were people cycling on the same path, I would be very frightened to avoid crashing into them – indeed I felt fine if I fell, but I did not want to hurt the innocent people out there!

The first few times of my trying to learn cycling were absolute disaster and mess, and every time after each biking “lesson” I felt very frustrated. But every time I told myself if I ever wanted to know how to cycle I had to go again to try and bike it out, it was only a matter of trial and error, that I had to fail until I succeeded. So no matter how embarrassing and frustrating I felt after each lesson, I urged myself to go try it again, again and again (although I really rather not go!). I tried to concentrate on the fact that “I WANT TO KNOW HOW TO BIKE”. Period. Other things -embarrassment, frustration, failure – did not matter. And who cared who was watching me to fail? I just needed to focus on what I wanted to achieve, that’s all.

After a few more times of cycling lessons I started to get a better grip of the biking skill. I could keep a better balance on the bike and could go for a longer ride with my feet on both pedals. Then I gained more confidence and focused even more on sharpening my cycling skills. Even when I saw others go faster and smoother than me, I did not care. I just let them pass me, because what I wanted was to bike better than myself, not others. I knew I was improving, and that was all that mattered.

The real challenge was biking in my last trip in Taiwan, where I biked on quite a long journey (a few hours back and forth). There were slopes and stairs on a cycle path for both ways and many fellow cyclists biking on the same narrow path, and I even fell once (because of stopping too suddenly at a fast speed). During the ride I just focused on my own cycling, how to face and tackle each problem calmly without being emotional about it. It was a very challenging ride for me, but I was very happy to meet all those new challenges and overcome them one by one. It was a satisfying ride all in all.
***

So what does my cycling experience have to do with playing the piano?

The moral here is, sometimes we take playing the piano for granted. It is not an absolute thing for everyone to be able to play the piano. If you have never learnt it when you were young, fine, go start learning it now! It is not your fault that you have never done it before, and it is never too late to start right here right now. The same goes when you did not spend more time learning to play it better or more correctly. You can start improving it NOW. You do not have to compare with others’ progress, because everyone starts at different time of her/his life and everyone’s progress is different. Find a knowledgable and encouraging teacher to help you. Listen to her/his instruction. Try and fail and you will succeed. If you are afraid of making mistakes and have no patience to learn, then you will never improve. If you stop before the challenges, you will never see what is ahead. If you have tried it 999 times and stop, you will never know if it is the 1000th time that you will succeed. So instead, whenever you face some difficulties, just deal with it and tackle it. Be courageous to take up the challenges, go ahead to make some mistakes and learn from them, because no one can ever progress without making any mistakes.

Faith + Time + Patience + Listening (To Teacher) + Effort + Positive Thinking + Trial & Error (Making Mistakes) = Success!



My Ride in Taiwan: Beautiful Scenery Ahead When One Lets Go and Enjoys the Ride!



Teresa Wong


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3 thoughts on “A Story About Cycling

  1. Annie and Klaire,

    其實, 我做這些東西 (騎單車, 寫網站等電腦事兒), 除了是想要自己做到之外,亦是為了學生。我常常跟學生說不要放棄,勇敢面對困難,身為老師,我自己認為是要身教,不能說一套做一套,不但在鋼琴方面,其他學習方面也一樣。所以再「瘀」再挫敗也不能放棄,要不斷嘗試,然後就可以和學生分享自己的經驗 :)

    不過,想補充一點: 很多學習的事兒,要有突破,真的要靠自己的,當然還要聽取老師的意見才會進步,所以大家努力吧!

    Teresa Wong

  2. 謝謝你的分享~~
    我也是不曉得踏單車的, 去年朋友敎過我一次, 一整天練習都不成功, 但慶幸最後再次嘗試之後掌握了些微技巧便順利地圍繞場地繞了兩個圈~ 之後直到今年都還未再次練習踏單車了, 恐怕都巳忘記那些技巧….
    十分欣賞你的耐力, 因為無論在任何一個學習過程中, 都必須會面對不同的考驗, 然而考驗往往是會令人卻步.
    最近我的大提琴老師鼓勵我多參與公開的表演,但礙於自己的心理障礙, 每次都會推辭, 心裡面自我安慰地說總會有下次, 人大了總不能容忍自己的錯失,怎樣也要表現再好一點才算吧~ 就如你所說的” it is never too late to start right here right now.”.
    我想我大概需要知道那一份面對困難的勇氣, 在過程的跌蕩中攀上一個更高的層次, 謝謝你再次分享人生的經驗, 我能想像到相片中的你的快樂~ 很美的藍天~ :)

  3. Miss Wong, 十分感謝你的分享, 閱過文章后的照片, 更能體會箇中感受…

    我發覺生活中遇到很多的情況都是同出一轍, 就是自己用甚麼心態去面對。有時只去著眼別人的看法,不但為自己增加了無謂的負擔, 更沒有了自我,也錯過了享受,最后更可能因動搖而放棄,成功就更談不上了。雖然艱苦的過程又會令人氣餒、沮喪,但過后成功的滿足感卻是來得比甚麼都實在…. 就看你那張照片,就知道有多值得了~

    我同意學習和交流都應該是坦蕩蕩的,收藏、掩飾、自以為是,到最后損失的都是自己。

    我都希望自己能做得到,能做得好,好多謝老師的分享:)

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