I rode a bicycle when I was younger. It was a Huffy, and I remember struggling to get it out of the box. I remember my uncle helping me set it up so that it looked like a real bike, and putting me upright on it. I remember sitting on the seat and imagining I was James Dean. Then I slid up the kickstand and I pushed off from the curb.
I crashed to the ground within seconds, skinning my knees. But my uncle didn’t give up on me, even though I was crying and determined not to get back on the bike. He told me he knew I could do it, and fifteen falls later, and a few other skinned body parts aching, he was proven right. I rode that bike like a champion and I never looked back.
During those fifteen falls I was cursing him though. I didn’t know why he was so adamant that I needed to learn it. I hated that I couldn’t just do something else. But the feeling of satisfaction I got from mastering the art of bike riding was well worth all the pain and all the bad thoughts along the way.
Now, nearly 30 years later, I think back on that moment, when I finally conquered the two-wheeled behemoth, as the time when I realized failing was essential to success. I realized that there is no better feeling than getting over some obstacle I think will always be in my way. Because obstacles move, and they become building blocks along the way to something more.