I love this quote. It is one I had forgotten about until my husband and I found ourselves on a small island in Denmark called Aero. On this trip, we rented bikes to ride in two different places – some tulip fields just outside of Amsterdam, and in Aero. It had been a really long time since I had ridden a bike.
Here’s one funny/weird/slightly embarrassing fact about me: I did not learn to ride a bike until I was 12 years old. Not because my parents didn’t try to teach me when you should learn to ride a bike (because they did), but because my 4-5-year-old self didn’t like getting on the bike, feeling out of balance, getting scared, and then falling over. So I didn’t attempt to ride a bike again for a long, long time. At the age of 12, I realized that I really needed to learn and so I did (with the help of my dad). My parents were so proud and probably a little relieved.
Anyway, fast forward 15+ years to where I find myself re-learning to ride a bike. Fortunately, I was able to pick that skill up again, and a lot more quickly than before.
Upon getting on the bike, I had a short wave of panic/fear while finding myself pushing the pedals, starting to move, then feeling the bike wobble. “Oh no, I’m going to fall over,” I thought. I felt scared at that moment, but I then remembered, “I just needed to keep pedaling. Just keep moving.”
And so I did, and I was okay. And then I got to experience the best bike rides of my life. If riding along the tulip fields in the Netherlands isn’t on your bucket list, I would recommend adding it. And if you ever find yourself in Aero, riding a bike around the island is an amazing experience.
After that bike ride in Aero, I saw this quote again in the window of a shop, “Life is like riding a bicycle. In order to keep your balance, you must keep moving.” The truth of that statement made itself more clear than it ever had.
In life, you really do just have to keep moving no matter what. What does it mean to keep moving? To me, it means that when you feel scared to do something, don’t stop or hide – just do it. You may just be able to take one step at a time, and maybe even stop to rest, but holding the intention to keep moving.
When you’re sad or angry about something going on in your life, carry on with doing something even if it doesn’t resolve the issue you’re facing. The solution will present itself. Want to know why? Because if you stop, you get lost in the negative emotions and memories of what caused those emotions. If you move, your ability to sift through your thoughts and find loving solutions flows easily.
When you stop, you find yourself focusing on the problem, and that doesn’t ever seem to help. You just feel worse. BUT when you keep moving, you focus your attention on movement and progress and then solutions come. In a way, you distract yourself from the problem, which eventually leads you to the solution. If you stop, you lose balance, get scared (or sad or angry), and fall over. If you move, you keep going and all parts of you keep going, too.
When life makes you scared, just pedal through it.
Easier said than done, but it’s better than falling over. And don’t worry, if you don’t figure it out now, you’ll find a way to figure it out when you’re 12.