The Sue Atkins Wednesday Parenting Story To Ponder

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Crossing the finish line

Today’s story from my never ending notebook and everlasting pencil is all about  doing your best.

Personal Best

“As John rode his sleek new bike along the winding country lanes, he was aware only of the hedgerows flashing by on either side of him…a ribbon of ever-changing green.

He could hear the whirr of the pedals and the sound of the air rushing past. He felt his hands tighten on the handlebars and his feet pushing round the pedals to the rhythm of his heartbeat.

His journey was both uphill and downhill. He afforded himself the luxury of coasting on the downward slopes. He let his feet rest on the pedals, relaxed his grip on the handlebars enjoyed the wind in his hair. Even as he gathered speed, he knew he was in control.

John focused on the road ahead for he had set himself a target distance to travel this day. As he cycled calmly and with purpose he turned his thoughts to memories of previous journeys, less pressured that he’d shared with friends.

They had chatted as they walked alongside their bikes, pushing them up the steepest hills. They’d laughed joyously as they sped down the other side, embracing the moment for they knew they were fully in control and could stop at any moment.

This was a new road for John and though he had checked the route before leaving home, he hadn’t taken account of the lie of the land. He wondered how many more hills might lie ahead of him.

He could not yet see his destination, but he knew it must be close now, for he had travelled some considerable distance this day.

As he listened to the rhythm of the pedals and watched the blur of the spokes dissolve into a mesmerising pattern of light, the road beneath him passed quickly. Once more John became lost in his own thoughts.

Then suddenly he became aware of a rider at his side and a renewed vigour coursed through his veins, fuelling his desire to complete the task he had set himself. The other rider seemed to be travelling effortlessly still, at this late stage in the race.

John adjusted his posture, pace and rhythm to mirror that of his new travelling companion. They crossed the finishing line almost together. John was very pleased that he achieved his personal best and satisfied that he had competed on his own terms.

As he watched the other riders cross the line, he saw them punch the air in celebration. In that moment, he recognised himself in them. 

~ Taken from the Happiness Pages Stories for Change

  • So what  does this story say to you ?
  • What did you learn from those moments when you lost sight of where you were going?
  • What inspired you to keep going?
  • How can you teach this characteristic to your children?
  • How can you build tenacity and belief in them?
  • How can you stay positive in adversity?
  • In what ways do you celebrate your small successes as well as your big ones?
  • What does celebrating give you?
  • How does it motivate you?
  • How can you encourage your children to always focus on what they get right  – not what they get wrong?
  • How will that simple thing build their confidence for life?

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