Years ago, my husband I took a bike tour of Ireland. It was self-guided, for the experienced rider. The problem was, I was not experienced, and while I had plans to become experienced prior to the trip, I still had not mastered procrastination.
We arrived in Ireland with the sun shining. We hiked up green hills and saw wild ponies. It was the most beautiful and exciting start to our journey.
The next morning we stepped outside to hop on our bikes; A forty mile ride was ahead of us. We opened the door and were smacked in the face with gusts of wind, gray skies and rain. We had no choice but to carry forth.
I heard of the hills in Ireland, but I didn’t believe how hard they would be to bike. I also learned I didn’t know how to use bike gears properly. We would hit the top of one hill, dip and reach the top of another. After 5 of these I started to fear it would never end. At the top of one hill, I could see the peak of another. We were riding against the wind and rain. Fifteen minutes in, a huge gust of wind knocked me off my bike into something resembling tumble weeds, and I started to cry. I was going to die on the side of the road in Ireland, because I couldn’t conquer these hills.
My amazing husband picked me up and told me we had to do this. He said that we would tackle it one hill at a time. I picked myself up and got back on that hated bike. We finally came to a fork in the road (I know…how cliche). If we went right we would have to complete the tour’s 40 mile loop. If we went left, we could shorten our ride to the hotel by half.
I grinned as I realized I could do it a new way. No longer was the trip a burden. Instead, I attacked it with new energy because it was a trip suited to this inexperienced rider.
The rest of the trip was a blast. I even tackled bigger hills then I faced on the first day. I wouldn’t have survived it without my support, finding a new way, and pushing through my struggles.
Education is like a bike ride in Ireland during a windstorm. You face challenges, you fall, your team picks you up, you might have to switch gears, and you find joy by making your own path.