What Have We Become?

Is anyone out there old enough or mature enough to remember the tricycle? With the spokes in the wheels and the metal handle bars? Well yesterday those days flashed back in my mind as I packed on bags of ice on my knees, and hip (the one that I have had replaced after years of professional basketball in the NBL in Australia).

I remember pedaling down the driveway to try and hurdle myself over a flowerbed and onto the nice grass surface. The only thing that would stop me was if I didn’t get enough speed up before the jump or if my feet slipped off the pedals and landed into the spokes of the wheel.

Well speed was not a problem on this day, but my big feet were! As my feet raced off the pedals and got twisted into the wheel, I flew in the air and landed into the roughest part of the driveway. Cut and bruised, I laid there thinking how I would improve on the effort next time. There was no thought of giving up or self doubt.

Just as I began to try and get up I glanced up and there were hands and smiles greeting me with the sounds of “you almost made it”, “you looked great in the air”, “are you OK?”, “let me give you a hand up”, and “we are proud of you for being such a strong boy”.

Wow what a feeling it was to know that there were people who could and would support me through challenging times.

So what has led to this reflection of over 44 years of a past experience? Because yesterday as I built up speed on my ultra modern stationary cycling bike at my local health resort to which I pay a hefty premium to keep up my fitness. I once again got my big feet (size16) caught in the pedals and was thrown from the bike just as I did 44 years ago.

I lay on the carpet in pain, agony, embarrassment, and astonishment. But this time the support, compassion, assistance, and human care factor was absent. I watched as 3 members of the gym and 1 personal trainer on staff observed my plight and simply turned and continued their own work out.

Have we forgotten what it was like to fall down and have a helping hand waiting? If you look around the world, ask yourself what is it that is keeping most people from climbing off, getting up off their back and trying again.

The answer is not really that hard. Because the world has increasingly taught us that being on your back is better than getting up and falling down all over again.

Oh I am so glad that I love the pain of falling, because at least I know that I am not settling for just being average!