1. First example: learning to ride a bike
Example 1. “You are seven years old. All of your school friends run across the narrow streets of your neighbourhood on their shiny bikes, and you feel the excitement to join the fun. For your birthday, last week, you were gifted a brand new red bicycle, and since then you have been wondering what it must feel like to sit on it, swipe above the asphalt and gain speed down the road.
Finally, you gather the courage to go outside and try it out. You have seen others do it, you know what it looks like, but you also remember your father warning you that it might take a while to learn. You are prepared. You sit on your vehicle, and when you finally decide to lift your feet off the ground and start pedalling, you fall. That afternoon, you fall again and again, with little improvement and, comparatively, much more frustration. But the following day you are out again, and so the day after that.
Every day you fall, but slowly you gather some small successes and build up some courage. Through trial and error, your body learns what movements and postures are needed to maintain your balance, and adjusts your muscles accordingly. In your brain, tiny electric impulses travel in new ways, sketching a light map for the neural pathways that one day will make biking a very automatic activity for you.
The first time you manage to ride the whole length of the courtyard without putting your feet down, you feel a rush of satisfaction and adrenaline through your body, and you run inside to bring the good news to your family. There are still adjustments to be made – you certainly still need to get a hold on your breaks and gears. But the most difficult part is done, and you have successfully learnt how to ride a bike.”