We asked some of our staff what their favorite childhood memory on a bicycle was–here’s what Chris Harris, our new Program Specialist, wrote:

Whenever I reminisce about my childhood, countless memories soar through my head. Memories such as; 1) Waiting at the end of the driveway for the bus with my little sister; 2) Playing basketball, or any type of sport for that matter, with my little brother; and 3) Playing two-hand tap football in the parking lot of my elementary school during recess. These are just a few of the memories that come to mind, however, the one memory that I always reflect upon initially is the day I made it to the top.

it’s always about the bike

When I was in Kindergarten, my stepfather, was always waiting for me after school with my bicycle. I’ll tell you what, there’s nothing more captivating for a six-year-old than knowing your bike is waiting for you after the conclusion of school. This might have been the primary rational for why my Kindergarten teacher constantly complained to my parents that I was always looking out the window. When you’re that young and the weather is nice outside, it’s challenging to not daydream of the wind blowing in your face as you pedal down a hill, relaxed and without a care in the world.

A perk to the elementary school I attended, is that we lived right behind the school. Therefore, he could just walk my bike to the school and wait for me as I ran out of the classroom into the fresh air and the vigor that surrounds childhood. Now, onto my favorite childhood memory, which was the day I finally conquered the hill that I had endured several failures attempting to ride over on my way home from school. Each and every day, I would pedal as fast and hard as I could, yet, I was never able to generate enough speed to get over it. However, one day, I remember running out of the classroom and feeling transformed about the challenge. Thoughts of, “you can do this Chris” and “today is the day”, floated through my head. When I reached the hill, I looked at it knowing this time was going to be different. I began pedaling up the hill and reached the area of the hill in which I regularly failed to climb. However, this time I didn’t stop pedaling. This time, I fought through the resistance and made it all the way to the top. Looking down, I sensed the excitement he had in my resiliency to climb the hill, in addition to how proud he was of me for never giving up. That’s a moment I’ll never forget.

That moment demonstrated to me that just because you failed a few times doesn’t mean that you’re not destined for success. The great Michael Jordan put it best when he said, “I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. 26 times I’ve been entrusted to take the winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Furthermore, being a father-to-be, this is a memory I’ll be able to tell my children one day and, enthusiastically, I’ll watch as they climb their own hill.