On any given school day, our staff at Nine13sports sees anywhere between 150 – 350 students on our engaging and unique bicycle simulator program called Kids Riding Bikes. Our bread and butter programming promotes exercise and fitness for youth between the ages of 8 and 18, in addition to underlining the significance of essential life skills such as teamwork, perseverance, determination, resiliency, leadership, and stress management. Furthermore, our program is a great avenue to promote social bonding between students and engrosses them in a fun, hands-on activity.

All of that is incredibly substantial and the goal of this post is not to take anything away from those components of our programming; however, we believe the biggest takeaway the kids gather from our program is that our staff wholeheartedly and genuinely cares about them as individuals and wants them to live a happy and fulfilling life. That stimulus is something the kids pick up on relatively quickly from our staff and they respond with energy and a contagious spirit. Moreover, we want them to be a force for good in their community, to make a positive impact each and every day to mold our world into a better place, and to never settle for just, “good enough.” It would be easy for us to just set up our equipment, press a few buttons on the computer, and check social media or e-mail until our programming with the kids is over. However, we’re doing the exact opposite; our staff is showing the kids how exciting healthy living and physical activity can be; high-fives are being dished out to all the kids and words of encouragement are being shouted as they ride our bikes; we’re squashing the misconception that exercise is tedious and unrewarding; and, meaningful, lasting relationships with the kids and our staff are being created and those relationships are displayed every time they interact with us on the bikes.

Our staff knows that we’re just a small piece in terms of the overall development and maturation of the youth that we’re privileged to work with. We recognize that parents, teachers, and administrators, among others, all have a greater capacity to have a positive and notable impact on our youth.

We’re a small part, but at the end of the day, that’s all that matters. We understand our role and how important our presence with the kids is. Twenty minutes is typically the longest we see each student throughout the week, nonetheless, we still have the ability to change lives one pedal stroke at a time. And that’s something we remind ourselves of every single day.