When people see Oliver (4) ride a bike, they say he’s amazing! Then, inevitably, they start asking me when he started, how he started, what brand the bike is, what model… and I’m always happy to stop and tell them about woom, because I love to support brands that I believe in 150%.
But what I also always tell them is something I have never written about: biking improved Oliver’s confidence tremendously.
Oliver has always been a sensitive boy, he’s quite reserved, he doesn’t like big crowds, he struggles to try new things if he’s not sure he’ll succeed; he was always the youngest in our little group of babies, which means he was also the last at achieving every milestone—and this might have at times affected his confidence.
Then we gave him a woom 2 bike: to our surprise, he got on the seat and biked. It literally took him one metre of Alex holding on and running by his side for him to start pedalling on his own (I promise, you can watch a video here).
And the more he pedalled, the more he wanted to pedal. The more he pedalled, the more confident he grew.
He was asking to take his bike for a spin almost every day, he wouldn’t let anybody carry his bike up and down the stairs, he would always bike in front of us, he would complain when tired, but he would never stop pedalling.
Soon, he outgrew his woom 2—not in size, but in confidence—and we upgraded him to a woom 3: he started going faster, pushing the limits, taking curves deeper, tackling big uphills, taking downhills as fast as he could, attempting jumps and tricks, biking with one hand, with no hands, standing up, sitting on the frame, balancing downhill with his feet on the frame… and he was always 100% in control of his bike.
One day, we went for a 10km bike ride on the paseo, and he did it without ever complaining once. He was three.
As I observed him pedalling silently, zigzagging nonchalantly through the crowd and the holes on the ground, watching the sea, even singing quietly at times, it struck me: his bike wasn’t just a mean of transport or a hobby for him. It was a state of flow.
Having such a light, manoeuvrable bike allowed him to ride without thinking about the pedalling aspect of it, which allowed him to zone out and reach his state of flow. Biking then became a source of confidence, meditation, self affirmation, happiness. It was what he knew, what made him feel 100% himself, his safe harbour, his comfort zone…
But there’s more. On a bike, and only on a bike, he was always the fastest—which is not always important, but it’s always and undeniably a confidence booster.
And the confidence he gained from biking, soon reflected in every aspect of his life.
He started trying new things more often “It’s just like biking, if I try it I might know it”.
He stopped being so hard on himself when he failed, “It’s just like learning a new trick on the bike, if I can’t do at first, I’ll try again”.
He started challenging himself at the playground, “If I can ride my bike, maybe I can also do this”.
His biking became his reference, and I realised something: sometimes we see our children struggle with new experiences and we try to boost their confidence by motivating and pushing them to try it—we do it with love, because we really do believe they might enjoy it and succeed.
But maybe, just maybe, we should instead silently let them gain as much confidence as possible with what they already know, let them see for themselves what they’re capable of, let them push their own limits when they’re ready, experience what it feels like to really want to succeed in something—the drive that can move mountains.
And then, maybe, just wait until that feeling snowballs in their everyday life. Because it most likely will.
Has it ever happened to you that a hobby became a source of confidence for your children in their everyday life?
Surprise for La Tela readers:
Until October 2019 (and only until then) if you use the code lateladicarlotta when purchasing your Woom bike, you’ll get a little discount. You’re welcome!
We’ve been proud ambassadors of woom for over two years. We chose Woom after extensive online research, I reached out to them and they were happy to collaborate. Thousands of km later, I still truly, deeply believe that woom makes the best kid bikes BY FAR on the market, worldwide. That’s why I keep writing about it.
🌸 The links you find in this article are affiliated: if you use them to buy your Woom bike (by the way, now they send directly to Spain, too!), you pay the same price, but I gain a small commission that helps me keep my blog alive. Thank you!
These are the woom products we’ve tried so far and that I can recommend to you: