My husband has been trying to warm our daughters to the idea of BMX racing for the last six months. With his motocross background and love of mountain biking, his enthusiasm is easy to understand. What appeals to me, is that BMX is a sport we could all do together as a family. But, as hard as he tried, the kids responded to all BMX suggestions with a roll of the eyes and a shake of the head.
He wasn’t going to give up that easily, though. We borrowed equipment and scheduled a family night at the BMX track during open practice. When our six-year-old daughter took a hard crash on her first time around the track, I thought that might be the end of the night. Though shaken and scared, she got back on her bike and finished her first lap with new found confidence. When I took my first lap around the course, I had a new appreciation for what my girls had accomplished. It was scary and tiring!
By the end of the night, we were all having so much fun we had to pry ourselves away from the track. Even if we never ride BMX again, we made some great memories on the track that night. Riding side by side, we also learned some valuable life lessons:
- Don’t knock it until you try it. We’ve already had a few conversations with the kids about trying new things that start with, “remember how much you thought you were going to hate BMX…”
- Accomplishing something hard and scary feels great in the end. As much as my daughter may have wanted to quit riding right after that first crash, she was even more proud of herself at the end of the night for conquering her fear (and the hill/jump she crashed on).
- You don’t always have to be the best. Who knows if any of our kids will actually be great at BMX? Their first BMX experience didn’t include competition or pressure to perform so it was easy for everyone to just have huge amounts of fun despite our lack of skills.
I encourage you to try something new as a family. Discuss your options together and make a decision knowing that, in the end, “the what” is far less important as “the how” which is, together.
What’s your fun and unusual family activity you never thought you’d enjoy?
Before Carrie Lundell was a mountain biking, minivan driving, wardrobe refashioning, public school advocating, church going, race running mother of four living in the OC, she designed children’s clothes in NYC for a little company that rhymes with Cold Gravy.