The Forgotten Present
Steven, Age 12, Easton, CT

On the celebration of my fifth birthday I was showered with love, cake and presents when I noticed one big box just staring at me in the face. I was having so much fun that I overlooked the unwrapped gift over in the corner. After the celebration was over, I curiously looked to see what was inside this enormous gift. Much to my surprise, my eyes were fixated on a big shiny red bicycle. “ Wow!” I said, this was exactly what I wished for.

A few hours later I took it for a spin around my driveway. The sun was very deep red with a yellow glow, which gave a glare to the leaves of the trees. As I rode on the uphill driveway, I could hear my sister’s radio playing an alternative rock band. The music motivated me and lifted my spirits. The wind was brisk and I felt a wave of energy flowing through me. I started making imaginary races where I’m on a motorcycle racing time itself.

After a while, my training wheels looked pretty lame so I removed them. I thought training wheels were childish looking. I attempted to ride without the training wheels, thinking I was cool, but accidentally fell off the bike bruising my knee. The pain ripped through my knee and muscles. I screamed out with pain and cried for my mom.

After twenty minutes of weeping, I was too afraid to ride my own bike. I did not want to be afraid of my own bike, so I mustered up my courage and tried again. I felt tense that I would fall again so I drove more cautiously. I soon fell again and hurt my elbow. I remember feeling a sense of frustration, thinking that I could ride this bike without the silly training wheels. I persisted to ride the bike and got better every time. By the time I reached first grade, I was a master at riding bikes.

What I have learned from this experience is that fear can be a barrier that can prevent you from learning and achieving your goals.

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