I do a lot of different things here in the Harbor. And actually, so do most people who live here. It's just what we do!
Two main things I do are raise Brady P. and coach mounting biking.
Those things may seem quite different from each other, but today, while traversing the trail to Hunter's Point beach with him, I saw how much they are the same.
Imagine you are in the Hunter's Point parking lot. There are a couple ways to get to the beach, right? You can take that boardwalk close to the shore, which is what we (and most people) usually do, or you can go in at that little trail just west of the boardwalk.
Since Brady P. was already hoofing it west, we decided to take that trail.
As a woman with strong, nimble legs, that trail is exciting and fun to hike. For a more delicate person or, say, a tiny boy who is still learning balance and building strength, that trail is quite challenging -- even impossible in spots.
That totally translates to learning to mountain bike.
I imagined that walking those conglomerate rock drops for him would look riding some of those big conglomerate drops on the mountain bike trails for me. It's a paralleled situation.
So many times I have ridden to a rock or obstacle on my bike only to stop and get off, saying, "Nope. Not today!" and walked my bike down.
Whether it was fear of falling or the realization that I didn't have the skills, coordination, strength or balance to traverse that obstacle that day, I decided to walk.
I watched Brady P. do that same mental evaluation today.
In some spots, he looked down and lifted his little feet over the roots and rocks either slowly and carefully or with quick confidence. He knew he could do it somehow. Some spots, however, were too steep for him, so he sat down and slid on his bum to a safer spot.
As I watched him, I didn't give encouragement. Nor I didn't say, "Oh, be careful!" I just let him do what he thought was best, and observed his strengths and the areas he needs to improve on. Some are mental, and some are physical. But he did it all safely.
It seems to me that he knows what he can do and what he's not ready for. But I can guarantee that it won't be long before he will do that whole trail without sitting down. He is determined.