September 14, 2008

Overcoming Fears

As most of you already know, Cody has been terrified to ride his bike. It started in the fall of 2004, when i was pregnant with Zackary. Josh and i were out walking while Cody rode along with us on his bike. Everything was going fine until we hit a hill a little before our house.

When Cody got to the hill he panicked-and instead of stepping back on his pedals to slow down, he freaked out and started pedaling even faster. Josh took off running to try to stop him, as i followed as fast as my belly would let me. We were unable to get to Cody in time. He crashed into the middle of the road. He was cut up and bleeding, his face was bruised and his mouth was so swollen he had the profile of Homer Simpson. Luckily, he had his helmet on, or it would have been much worse. His bike suffered a similar fate. It was dented and bent out of whack and had to be carried home.

After that, Cody never wanted to ride his bike again. Josh and i spent countless hours running along side him up and down our street. We let him pick out a new bike. We promised him we wouldn't let him fall. Nothing worked. I even tried bribing him with some trading cards he had been wanting. Still, nothing.

A couple of months ago it was his cousin Dain's 4th birthday. We went to the party and had a really great time. Dain got a new bike for his birthday which he immediately rode off on. He was going up and down on his ramp, and even gave his dad, Troy, a ride on his pegs. Cody was amazed. Some other kids and Dain's uncles started riding their bikes. Cody just watched. Then Troy asked Cody if he wanted to ride a bike. Cody said "No," but you could tell he wanted to. Troy asked again and promised he wouldn't let him fall. Cody was still unsure and Troy coaxed a little more. Within a couple of minutes Cody was going back and forth on their street with Troy running alongside him.

It was one of those nerve-racking, heart pounding parent moments. I was just so excited Cody was riding a bike, and yet so nervous that something would go wrong and he'd never want to ride again. I was so happy for Cody i couldn't help but feel an urge to cry with joy for his accomplishment.

I went to the store a couple days later and bought Cody the trading cards i had tried to bribe him with 4 years ago. Once again, i ran up and down the street along Cody as he rode his bike. He wanted me there "just in case" he fell. A week later a miracle happened. Cody and i went on a bike ride around our neighborhood before dinner, just the two of us.

Since then Cody hasn't left his bike alone. He's discovered the freedom that riding a bike can bring. He's discovered how much fun it is to go on bike rides with his friends. He invites me to ride with him to see a path he found. On one of our rides we were headed for the hill that Cody crashed on. I offered an alternate route and he said to me "It's okay Mom, i can do it!" He even called me at work a couple days ago to tell me he rode all the way down to our gas station, bought some snacks, and rode back home. All By Himself!

I am so proud of Cody. He overcame a fear he has held on to for 4 years. Overcoming his fear has left with with a huge feeling of accomplishment and freedom. I have learned a great deal from Cody as i have watched him work through this. Cody . . . you are AMAZING!

3 comments from people we love:

Meredith said...

Congrats to Cody!!! I took a major spill when I was learning to ride my bike, too, so I know the feeling. Its hard to get yourself back up and going again!

MoM K said...

Yea for Cody! I don't even remember that happening. sorry! I'm very proud of him for getting over it. Annette and Kimi both went so fast down a hill that they crashed because they were afraid that using the breaks would make them crash. wierd. they both got pretty banged up. So congratulations Cody! You are brave again!!!

Cherise Davies said...

haha i did the same thing as net and kimi. (all different times, no less)
That's so awesome that he overcame it! Thats definately one of the hardest things-is to overcome a fear. :) You should post some pics of him on his bike!!