I wrote a narrative essay about how my falls and failures from learning how to ride my bike taught me perseverance and hard work. Some feedback on it would be really helpful.
The Beast and the Girl Who Learnt Perseverance
Hopelessness, frustration, and failure, the weight of all of these things mix into a concoction much too heavy to carry on anyone's shoulders-especially for a weak seven year-old whose dreams and desires crush easily with a bruised elbow and a hard fall. Perseverance, a much too big and scary word for a child to pronounce, illuminates over my head as I attempt to tame the unruly beast once more. This weight of failure gets left behind as I, on my blue and white new bike that I just got for Easter the weekend before, speed off unsteadily down the street, meeting success at the end, ultimately slaying the beast and achieving my goal. It's evident through my various bruises and scrapes that failure had hit me hard, and that an onlooker would comment that my attempts are just too numerous to show any real progress. However, in the end, my failures ultimately teach me that only through perseverance and hard work will I then achieve success.
On Sunday, April the 16th, 2006 I awake to little chocolate eggs scattered around my room, and birds singing a light tune, perhaps an omen that today will be the start of a new adventure. My body oddly tingles with feelings of fear, nervousness, and excitement; the crucial components of a battle, although I had yet to admit to this. I enter the kitchen; the tension now like building blocks rising within me. My eyes still encrusted with tiredness and sleep spring wide open as they land on a strange, shiny, blue beast. "Are you up for the challenge?" My mother asks me. It had been one of my very first dreams as a child; to learn how to ride a bike and show off to others my success in it. But still, the word "challenge" did not affect my excitement or joy, for it was something that a seven-year-old child could easily disregard.
My expectation and excitement the days leading up to the day of the bike lessons grows enormously within my small body, like a pot of water boiling, only two seconds away from spilling over and causing a disaster for anyone around. A vision of me racing down the street on my new bike like a tiger going after its prey plays in my head during the hours leading up to the last school bell of the day, when finally there is only so little time between me and this new equipment. This vision of mine is brimming with joy and ease, no hint of hard work or failure.
I stand stiffly in all my armour in the early sunny morning of a Saturday, the birds singing an ominous song that suggests of the brutal day ahead. I mount the bike with little confidence, oblivious to my incoming introduction to the world of effort. My mother holds me steady, my hands foreign-looking on the crisp white handlebars, my rear in an uncomfortable new position; this is a challenge in itself. My mother starts to push, and off I go. My body having no prior skill or strength to tame the beast allows for my fall to be easily predictable-I gain my first bruise, the beast has fought back. Confusion wracks my body, my perfect vision now vanishing like fog on an early morning. Countless attempts after attempt only add to the growing realisation that my dreams are just too far to reach-hopelessness builds up inside me after every passing scrape and bruise, suffocating me with its weight. I push through my damaged ego, and try again, but I once again meet with icy unforgiving road, the road of hard work. The tears finally pour out like a dam exploding open to give way to the powerfully gushing water that washes away any last hope of saviour. This task that appears impossible to achieve causes me to surrender, and retreat into my bedroom to nurse my wounds.
Alone in my room, I fight with the idea that turning this dream into reality is just not plausible when Justina strolls in. I hide my tear-stained face, ashamed that I had failed to reach my seemingly easy expectations and possibly her own. The beast had won the battle; I have waved my little white flag and uttered my defeat. "Don't cry sister; it's okay". The gashes left by the beast's strong and unforgiving claws increasingly ache with pain and oddly some fear. She tries again, "look, I got a bruise from falling off my bike yesterday." Curiosity causes me to look up, big eyes taking in the injury. "But you already know how to ride your bike" I whisper out, my body still drained of some unknown supply. "Exactly, I know how to ride my bike, but I still fall, all the time. Everyone does, even if you're such a good rider that you can ride hands-free. All you got to do is get back up and try again, even harder though. You can do that, can't you?"
The next day dawns a day full of newfound strength and motivation; the battle will begin again, and failure and defeat is not an option. Justina stands by my side, aiding me with her strength and determination as well. I arrange myself comfortably on the bike once more; now familiar with the feel and structure of it. She lets go, and I fall, yet this time I expect it. Without this keeping me down for long and her belief in providing me with the drive I need, I get right back up. I am determined to tame this beast, even if it's the last thing I do. Yet, the beast is angry. It struggles back with strength and power, not giving into an easy defeat. She lets go once more, and I pedal; I put forth my effort and determination and the beast cowers. I feel the grooves of the bike working, discovering a newfound series of movements that supplies the foundation of the ride. I am finally riding the bike, be it 6 seconds, yet this little success unveils a grander more promising future of achievement for me.
I try again, harder though and I reach my peak once more, yes, apparently I can do that. I pump my legs; the intensity burning my small calves, the beast is losing its strength, finally giving way to defeat and my long overdue victory. I preserved through the pain, the scrapes, and the bruised ego. I encountered effort, and I am finally full of hope and possibility once more.
With wind rushing through my hair, and my small hands gripping the bars, I ride the bike to the end of the road, feeling liberated with success. I race past my falls, failures, fears, and lost hopes and I am suddenly exploring a world full of pride and achievement. I did it; I learned how to ride my bike, and I now stand alone, basking in the glory of it. I reach the end of the street, a gushing smile on my perfectly round face. "See, that wasn't so hard, was it?" Justina hollers down. No, it wasn't. My small failures and falls have merely been stepping stones to something greater, something that I wasn't able to see when I was lying on the cold hard ground of frustration and hopelessness, something that I had to work for and preserve through hard times to reach.
I return to Justina, now riding the bike with more confidence. I feel lighter and giddy, like a child experiencing their first Christmas morning. What I first perceived as impossible and just too far out of reach, is now a medallion that I wear proudly on my chest. My scrapes and bruises showcase my determination and success required in this long, hard battle.
With the beast successfully slain I retire my weapons and armoury as I lie in bed later that night recalling the day's events. Was it easy? No. Did I fail? Numerous times. However, did I ever give up? No. My countless attempts and newfound effort cleared the way for a new realisation to grow; if I try hard enough, and keep pushing, I will reach my goal. This new awareness has now produced a new concoction, one full of ambition, hope, and success, and the weight of this invaluable gift is like air, weightless. This gift awards me the pleasure to say "I beat the beast. I fought through the war of failure and pity. I've reached success through my own hard work, and perseverance was the weapon I wielded to win it." It's evident now that getting up once I've fallen, and that preserving and showing hard work through the tiring journey, allowed failure to create a sweet ending, one called success.