There was a hand.
Sounds a bit like the start of a horror story doesn't it? Actually though, this hand helped me up when I was feeling down and worthless; it helped me conquer my troubles and fears. This hand was my saviour, and would always be there when I needed it. Little did I know how dependant I had become.
Of course, I am not going to give you some demented episode of the Adams family. No, this hand was in fact connected to an arm, which was in fact connected to a head and a body. This was my Dad, patiently pulling me up the hill on my excuse for a bike. I'll admit that it must have been a hard thing for him to do, to go out of his way to help his poor child not wanting to work up the slope facing her. Nevertheless, he would pull me up as patiently as he could; always trying to encourage me that I was capable of going up on my own. But no, he had already acted; he had already put his hand on the handlebars and pulled me up halfway. If he broke his promise, if he took his hand (that I was totally reliant of) off the handlebars, I would refuse to even look at my bike. I would throw it away whilst screaming the poor head off me.
That right there is a short story of on and off relationship with my bike. Actually, it probably wasn't even on-we were enemies from the start. I hated it, and if the bike could think and feel the pain every time I threw it away I'd be certain that it wouldn't even hate me. It would have a deep repulsive loathing growing inside of it until it would eventually get the courage to kill me.
However, it wasn't like there was even much use for it anyway. The tires would always go flat and I was still at that trainer wheel stage-It was just as efficient as walking.
This all changed on my sixth birthday, the day I got my "proper" bike. Like a fair number of other six year old girls, it was bright pink and purple, gleaming tires and colourful streamers coming down the sides. However, I was not in heaven and did not love the look of that bike. One big step up, it only had two wheels.
To get used to it, I rode it around on the park opposite my house. My Dad's hand was pulling me along obviously, but as soon as he would let go-BANG! I would fall over (that BANG, indicated the sound of my head if I was riding on the pavement). I'd not owned this new bike for long, but I was starting to feel that repulsive loathing that my old bike would have thought of me.
This bike though, had great tires so it was a lot quicker than walking. Especially down hills. This was probably the biggest problem, as my dad would not be able to keep a hand on my bike downhill as much as going up. I couldn't even refuse, as it was the time of year where we would have the family holiday in Rottnest.
Rottnest, is the land of holidayers. There are about 5 people who
live there, and they would come and go in 6 month shifts. Then,
there is about 20, 000 people on holiday, whether they come from
Perth, Brisbane or Japan. Personally, I loved to go to Rottnest.
It was a tiny island on the banks of the west coast, surrounded
by white sand beaches and quokkas and peacocks all over the
place. The only problem was, that no-one is allowed to drive
cars. So guess how the holidayers would transport?
On the first day of our holiday, my Dad decided to rent me a smaller bike, as the one he had got me was miles too big. It still had only two wheels, but I was feeling pretty confident that with this Bike. I would be invincible and no-one could bring me down (With my dad beside me of course.)
I'd say my confidence lasted about an hour. During this hour I hadn't even ridden the bike, just looked at it from a distance. Though the second I got on, I knew that something bad was going to happen.
And… I was right. That day, we decided to go riding to by far, the best beach on the island- the Basin. The pathway there was all downhill.
I will admit that I did throw a bit of a tantrum. But whinge all I wanted, I would still have to go down myself. I was such a stubborn and stuck up kid, I didn't bother walking my bike all the way down. I walked it down halfway to the Police station and cried until someone came to ask what was wrong. Since this was a small place, and since the police probably had nothing better to do, they went along and called up my Dad. He had to go and collect me from the station, where they lectured him about child neglect and keeping responsibility for your child. To this day, I can't help but smile. Parents will get all the blame, when really; I think it is Parent neglect that the Police should be worried about.
The next day however, was even worse.
So, I was riding to the shops with my Dad. He was over-protective now, as he had to keep an eye on me at all times. I find that hilarious nowadays, as that was exactly what I thought my hissy-fit would have achieved. Guess what Daddy? You have raised such a spoilt, bratty Daddies girl.
Do you remember how I said no one drives cars? That was a partial lie. What I meant was, no-one drives a car except for the Garbage men and the ambulance. I'm sure there are police and firemen and rangers too, but these will have no impact on the story so don't worry your little noggin about it.
So, I was riding to the shop with my Dad beside me and the Garbage truck came. My Dad had evidently noticed this, as he frantically tried to steer me away, but I was looking at the dreaded ground and paying my full attention onto not falling face-first on the floor.
As you may have guessed, it was not the ground I should have been paying attention to, but the truck coming up next to me. As soon as I had just begun to notice it, I heavily scraped myself along the cold, stony walls of that monster of a garbage truck.
The man stopped and apologized-even though it was plainly my fault-before continuing on his way. He was very nice, and I was barely injured, but my confidence on this bike had creeped down even further.
The next day I was in a pure refusal of even going near that dreaded bike. This time it took my mum, to spend hours convincing me to give it another go. She had to bribe me an ice-cream, some lollies and a hot chocolate for me to ride over to just the Delhi!
It wasn't very far to go, partly the reason as to why I agreed to the bribe my mum set. But to get there, there is quite a steep hill leading there. I was as scared as any human could possibly be, facing that slope. My mum though, was as encouraging as she could as I went down. I had learned my lesson not to look at the ground, but I don't think I had grasped the concept that I had to look in the direction I was going. I was instead, looking at my Mums encouraging face when I hit a brick wall.
Now my mum was in total panic mode. My helmet had lifted off my head on the impact and I was left with two Black eyes, one giant bruise or an "egg" on my head, and one bleeding nose, that ruined my poor new shirt. The ambulance arrived seconds after the incident (the hospital was right next door), but my Mum was in such shock, that I had to tell the people my contact details. She still shows off about how brave her daughter is now.
I only spent a night in hospital before they said I was good to go. I remember throwing up a lot after the incident, but other than that I seemed to be doing okay. One thing was for certain though; I would not be riding my bike again this holiday.
It was until months later, when the Rottnest trip seemed like long ago, when my Dad convinced me to try to start riding my bike again. This time I had no confidence, but I didn't need to. He pulled me along and let go, and for the first time in my life, I was actually riding on my own. I confess that I was quite wobbly, and did fall down and get grazed knees. I'll confess that I cried a bit, but each time I fell, the more capable I was of picking myself up again. If I hadn't of fallen down all those times, I would have never be the rider I was today.
How much of a rider am I? You might ask. Well, to answer that question is that I'm terrible. I still am afraid of steep hills, and am still wobbly when I start. However, I am not dependant any more, and even if I ride like a maniac, I can manically ride myself.
I don't even want to be a perfect rider. If I was perfect, If I didn't have all these flaws and bruises, what would I do? What would I have left to improve? What would I do with myself?
The world is certainly very complex and mysterious, but one thing I know for sure is that we can always improve.