Since summer swim team was such a big hit, Sarah Kate is doing year round swim team. I spoke with her coach several days ago about how she was doing and he asked if she had a bike, because he thought that biking would help with her kick. Sigh. Yes, she has a bike (a very nice Specialized, in fact), but we’ve been struggling for years to get her to the point where she could ride it, and she hasn’t been on it at all since well before Nathan was born. Someone has always had to walk/run alongside her because it’s been very hard for her to keep her feet on the pedals. We’ve tried toe clips, but even those weren’t enough, forcing us to attach bungees to the toe clips and wrap them around the back of her heels. Of course, that meant she couldn’t get her foot out if she turned the bike over, so like I said, someone had to walk/run alongside her, and that’s a little tougher with a baby in tow (or with a gigantic pregnant belly).
In the interest of improving her swim kick, this weekend I decided it was time to try the bike again. I got Mr. Andi to raise the seat up, as her PT had recommended this summer that we place it as high as possible – I don’t remember why. We adjusted the helmet straps, which seemed to have shrunk by half since the last time she wore it, and she climbed on (with help – it’s hard for her to get that leg over).
Initially, I held onto the bike while she pedaled. After a couple of minutes I realized how awkward that was going to be and held onto the back of her shirt instead. After a few more minutes we were at the end of the street turning around and I wasn’t holding on to her at all. More importantly, she was confident and was actually enjoying the ride. She probably only rode about three quarters of a mile all total, but it was fun for her and mercifully uneventful for me. As we headed back home I started to tell her about my friend Gordon who is a runner and has a podcast and how I was listening to him talking the other day about how swimming and biking while he was injured made him a better runner. He was motivated to try (pun intended) and he just finished a triathlon. I told her we should work on a training plan for her that incorporates all three activities (she is all about plans and working out). It made me wonder…if she can start biking, and continues to swim, could running be in her future? I don’t care how slow she is, I’d just like for her to someday be able to run – real running, not the high-stepping fast walk that she does now.
Maybe. One day. For now, I’m just thrilled that she can ride the bike with minimal assistance. The weather is beautiful here today, and Mr. Andi has a meeting this evening. I’m envisioning a nice walk through the neighborhood tonight with Nathan in the sling and Sarah Kate on the bike. Nice.