Monday, June 29, 2009

My Boy, The Ace Athlete

How can it be that my five-year-old son cannot ride a bike very well? Could it be because he's just too lazy?

We took the kids' bikes to a park today so they could get better, uninhibited practice - Hannah practicing without training wheels; Seth practicing using his legs. It's a novel concept to him. Once we got to the park, he decided that two minutes of such strenuous exercise was sufficient and that he wanted to play on the park equipment. I told him that there would be no playing at all if he didn't practice riding his bike for much longer. Now, how many moms have to resort to that kind of a threat with a BOY to get him to ride a bike? He also complained about wearing a bike helmut, but I told him that he wouldn't be riding a bike at all if he didn't adjust to using a helmut. It's not that I'm overly worried about him not wearing one, but it is the law. Yes, I would prefer him to wear one once he starts doing his pop-a-wheelies and bike stunts (if he EVER does), but at this time I'm not too worried about the few inches he manages to rotate his wheels at once. I mean, talk about serious bike riding.

He would make a half dozen revolutions pedaling, and then suddenly brake, just when he was gaining momentum. He wanted me to push him, which I in no uncertain terms WOULD NOT. He huffed and puffed like he was being tortured, made a few more turns of his wheels, braked, and started the cycle all over again.

After about 15 minutes of this, with my persistent reminder that he was not playing in the park, he actually started improving. Going a dozen revolutions at once is twice as good, right? I had been trying to tell him that if he wanted to stop pedaling that he didn't need to push the pedals backwards, that he could just stop and that he would coast along on his bike. He didn't get what that meant for the first 15 minutes. It just so happened that the lightbulb went on at just the point where there was a slight dip in the pavement, causing him to gain momentum going downhill. He started to panic. I told him to just move the pedals backward to use the brakes. What do you think he did? It's amazing how he seemed to forget what the reverse motion of his pedals would do since he spent the first 15 minutes perfecting it. He did manage to stop without falling, but it was not because he used his brakes.

I tell ya. This boy of mine really tries my patience sometimes.

He is active in most other things like a normal boy is. But, I have realized that if he can get out of doing something that requires a little bit more labor, he will. It's definitely something I have to keeping pushing him to do as he gets older.

Because, unfortunately, his comedy routines and charm won't bring home the bacon.


Laura said...

I am not sure which is more funny...the picture of him on his bike or you telling the story!

Rhonda Parker said...

Good luck, Darla - my girls aren't very good at getting physical activity either.. and I need to work on it much more too... that's why we had gone on the bike trail the day that I broke my foot. I did want to encourage you though - by sharing this: my 7 year old daughter rode about 4 miles that day on the bike trail with friends from church; when the most she'd ridden at home and with me is about 1/2 a mile. I too fear my kids are just lazy! :) Have a blessed day, and thanks for stopping by my blog.