Second Draft: Focus on the Internal Story
In this second draft of “Training Wheels” I focused on the internal story and tried to show the thoughts and feelings I had in that moment in addition to what actually happened. Please scroll to the last post to see the first draft. Also, please forgive the maddening formatting errors that happen when I paste from Word into the blog. (!!!)
It was a typical overcast summer day in Petersburg, Alaska when I was sitting on my front porch sulking. I wanted to learn to ride my bike without training wheels. I was angry.
I had tried and tried to ride my bike without training wheels. I just couldn’t do it. Even my little brother seemed to know more about riding bikes than I did. He could only ride a trike!
As I sat on the porch my dad drove up. He walked over and said, “Whatsamatter, Lat?”
“I can’t ride my bike without training wheels and training wheels are for babies.” I was so mad.
“Hmmm. Well, let’s see if I can help with that.” He walked to the garage and got a screwdriver. He took off the training wheels and picked the bike up off the ground. “Ok, get on,” he said.
“Dad, I can’t. It’s too hard. I can’t do it without training wheels,” I said.
“Lat, I’m gonna help you. Come on, get on the bike,” he said.
My dad started to push me and help me balance at the same time. The pedals started to turn. I barely pushed them at all. He pushed me one last time and stopped running, the bike toppled over and I fell. “See! I can’t do it!” I screamed at him.
“Get up. You can do it. Get up,” my dad said. “You’ve got to try.” The same scene played out a few more times. I fell and fell and fell.
Finally, I got on the bike and he pushed me. “See Dad, look how wobbly I am! See! I can’t do it! I told you! I can’t do it by myself!”
At that moment, he said, “You are! You are doing it! You’re riding, Lat!” He had let go! I turned my head to look back and see how far away he was and instantly lost control of the bike and crashed.
“Come on Dad, help me again!” I cried.
After a few more pushes and a few more crashes, I got to the point that day where I could ride to the end of the street without crashing. I was really happy and thankful that my dad had helped me finally ride without training wheels.