When I was a four year old boy and still riding a tricycle, I found myself in a predicament one day. After riding my trike down a neighbor’s rather steeply sloped driveway (or so it seemed back then) I then began pedaling back up the driveway, to get back to the sidewalk that led to our house.
But halfway up the incline of the driveway, my little legs didn’t have the strength to pedal my trike any further up the slope, so I stopped with my legs and feet holding the pedals in place and not moving. But now my little four year old mind was afraid that I had a problem… I couldn’t push the pedals to move any higher up the driveway, and without any brakes, if I took my feet off the pedals, I was afraid that I would roll backwards down the driveway before I could stop by putting my feet down on the pavement. I was just a little kid, and I was afraid that my legs were too short for my feet to be able get down on the pavement in time, and stop me before it was too late!
Not really me, but close enough…
My imagination fearfully pictured me on my trike as it rolled backwards really fast down the driveway and out of control, then falling over at the bottom, and banging my head hard on the pavement, giving me a really big ouchie that would hurt real bad! So I was afraid to take my feet off the pedals and I was convinced that I was stuck there where I was halfway up the driveway, and I couldn’t move!
“HELP! HELP!! HELP!!!” my little boy voice yelled, hoping that a grownup would see me and come to my rescue. If someone had seen me, I would have seemed like a peculiar sight, stopped there on my tricycle on the driveway, and yelling for help! If someone had seen me, they probably would have wondered why I needed any help, when I was just sitting there stopped on my tricycle, and to their eyes, in no real distress or danger. (which may have been true)
This may be why no one came to help me for what seemed like forever! So my little legs continued to use all my little boy strength to keep those pedals stopped in place, so I wouldn’t race backwards down that hill, fall off my trike and fall on my head, and get that big ouchie, which would hurt a real lot and make me cry, and make me cry for my “Mommy!!!”.
“HELP! HELP!! HELP!!!” my little voice yelled again. And again… and again… and then again some more. But nobody came to save me.
Until finally someone did, a lady who asked me “What’s wrong, child?” My fearful and distressed little voice told her “I can’t go up this hill anymore and I don’t wanna go back down the wrong way real fast and fall off and bump my head! It’s gonna hurt and I’ll cry and I don’t want to!”
“But can’t you just put your feet down on the driveway and then get off your tricycle?” the lady asked me. “Noooo!!!” I wailed back at her! “I can’t do it! I can’t stop and I’ll go back down real fast and bang my head and I don’t wanna!!!”
The lady shook her head, but then she was nice to me, and she picked me up off my tricycle, put me back down and stood me up on my feet, and I was saved! I was so happy that I hugged her! She stayed with me while I pushed my trike up the driveway, and then she walked me home while I pedaled on the sidewalk. She rang our doorbell and gave me back to my Mom, then she and my Mom were talking, and also laughing too. I didn’t care, cause I was OK now – I didn’t bang my head real hard and get a big ouchie, and start crying cause it hurt real bad!
One week later, my Dad got me a brand new two wheeled bike with a coaster brake that I could use to stop by pushing the pedals backward. Dad also put a set of training wheels on the back of my bike, so I wouldn’t fall over, and it would be a while longer before I fell off my bike, when it was time for those training wheels to come off.
But best of all, never again did I ever get stuck halfway up a hill and unable to move, because I was afraid to take my feet off the pedals! :-) It wouldn’t be until around ten years later that I would start to move on to much worse and far more dangerous situations, that I eagerly looked for, and willingly got myself involved in. But those are stories for another time, and I’ve got more of them than you could ever imagine.