By Jamie Loiselle
Many of us take the ability to ride a bicycle for granted.
They were our favourite two-wheeled toys as kids, and many of us relied on them to get around. However, for teenager Vanessa Scripnick, the bicycle was a source of anxiety, one which presented a barrier begging to be overcome.
That is, until she was almost 15 years-old. Determined to train as a triathlete, there was one hitch in Scripnick’s plan - she had never learned to ride a bike.
“It was scary and exciting at the same time. I wasn’t sure how I was going to stop and turn a corner. I kept pedalling and every time I practiced, it got easier,” said Scripnick.
Always afraid she would get hurt, or worse laughed at, Scripnick broke up the task into small steps, first training with adult training wheels before breaking free and riding a two-wheeler.
The video below shows the very first time Scripnick rode her bike on her own, an accomplishment celebrated by her mom and teammates, who watched on proudly.
Over the course of a winter, she also trained on stationary bikes to build strength, and found support among her peers in the Tornado Triathlon Club, in Milton, Ontario.
“I worried whether the group would be able to accommodate her needs,” said Scripnick's mom, Sheila.
“At every practice they adapted [...] so she could participate as much as possible. The Tornado group have been so supportive and helpful,” Sheila added.
Scripnick’s determination proves once and for all it’s never too late to learn something new.
“I really wanted to try again ‘cause all the other kids were riding their bikes and I really wanted to join them,” said Scipnick.
Today, Scripnick can call herself a triathlete, having bravely completed the Barrie Triathlon on her own in the summer of 2015.
See the video below.
Tornado Triathlon formed in August of 2013 by three mothers of athletic children looking for a place parents and their kids could all train together. Located in Milton, Ontario (Canada).
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