It was a beautiful morning in May, and today was the day, Chloe decided, that she would ride her bike for the first time—with no training wheels.
She had been trying for this day for a long time, and now, she finally felt ready. Last night she had practiced with her dad for a long time in the driveway, and she felt that she was finally balanced enough to take the training wheels off.
She bounded out of bed and down to the kitchen, where her father was sipping coffee and watching the news.
“Good morning, sweetheart,” he said when he saw her. Did you sleep well?”
“Dad, today I want to try something,” Chloe said.
“Oh, ok, what is it?” her father asked.
“I want to ride my bike…without the training wheels.
Her dad turned off the TV. “Well, that’s a big step, sweetheart. Are you sure you’re ready?”
“Yes, I’m sure!” Chloe said, excitedly.
“You need to make sure you have the proper balance, and all,” her dad continued.
“I know,” Chloe said, “and I think I do. Dad, I’m ready.” She was confident, brave, and ready to try.
“Ok,” her dad said, putting down his mug of coffee. “Let’s go try.”
Out in the driveway, Chloe did a few warmup laps on her bike with the training wheels on. She wanted to make sure she was fully prepared for her big moment. When she felt comfortable, she parked her bike next to her dad.
“Ok,” she said, “I’m ready.”
Taking the wheels off was an easy process, and soon her dad was finished. There stood her bike, shiny and blue, with no training wheels.
Though she wanted this more than anything, Chloe couldn’t help but feel a little nervous. She had butterflies in her stomach, and she double checked her helmet to make sure it was on properly.
“Ok, sweetheart, you ready?” her dad asked. “Training wheels are off. Want to give it a go?”
Chloe took a deep breath. “Yeah,” she said, though she felt less sure about it now. “Dad, are you sure I can do this?”
“Of course I am,” her dad said. And it’s totally normal to be nervous. This is a big, new thing you’re trying!”
“I don’t want to get hurt,” Chloe said.
“I won’t let that happen,” her dad said. “I’ll be right next to you until you feel ready.”
Chloe smiled and wheeled her bike to the middle of the driveway. Even walking it without the training wheels felt different.
“Wow,” she said, “it’s really wobbly.”
“Only because you aren’t on there to balance it,” her father said, soothing her. “Once you get going, you’ll get the hang of it.”
She swung her leg over and balanced it, still standing.
“Will you hold on to the handlebars for me?” she asked. “I’m not feeling so brave anymore.”
“Chloe,” her father began. “One day you’ll realize that asking for help is one of the bravest things you can do.”
“Really?” she asked.
“Oh, yes,” her father reassured. “Now, let’s try this, shall we?”
He leaned over and gripped her handlebars, holding the bike steady.
“Go ahead and put your feet on the petals, just like you’ve been doing before,” he instructed.
Chloe did so. She felt the bike wobble a bit without her feet holding it on the ground.
“Whoa,” she said nervously.
“Don’t worry, I’ve got you,” her father said. “Now, I’m going to walk with you, and you pedal with your feet, ok?”
Chloe did so, and the bike wobbled a bit as she got started.
“Don’t worry about that—that happens when you first start out,” her father said, sensing her worry. “But once you get your momentum, that won’t happen anymore.”
She kept pedaling, and the bike smoothed out. She was actually doing it now—riding a bike with no training wheels!
“You got it, Chloe!” her father exclaimed. “You’re doing great! Now, want me to let go?”
“Yeah!” Chloe exclaimed. “You can let go!”
And he did. And there she was, biking on her own, no training wheels. Just her and the bike, taking the curve of the driveway slowly, then pulling back up and parking next to her dad.
“You did it, Chloe!” her father exclaimed. “I’m so proud of you!”
“Thanks for your help, Dad,” Chloe said. “I couldn’t have done it without you.”
Her father smiled. “You’re welcome, Chloe. Always ask for help when you need it, and you’ll find that you are surrounded by people willing to lend a hand.”