What learning to roller skate taught me about life!

Last Saturday evening I was invited to a roller disco with some of the other school mums.

Disco = YES! (I’m all over that!) Roller = not so much.

You see, at 42 years old I am going to confess that I have never roller skated. Truth be told, I have WORN roller skates at various points in my life, but not actually ever succeeded standing up in them.

A couple of weeks ago, and my daughter was also struggling to stay upright on skates at a birthday party at the same rink. She felt a whole mix of emotions watching her friends zoom around the rink, while she (just like her mum, who was zero help) clung to the side bar like her life depended on it.

So when that invite came in, I decided to show her that there was no shame in not being great at something. After all, I am a coach right?

As I sat there in the wings, padded up to the nines in a room full of sequin-clad pro’s who did this for fun every weekend, I was terrified. All the what-ifs were going through my head.

What if I fell over?

What if I broke a bone?

What if It really hurts?

I stood up, wobbled, sat back down, stood up again, tried to walk, made my way like a cat wearing socks to the rink entrance and stepped onto the smooth surface.

Predictably, I fell over.

I clung to the bar.

I swore more than anyone else on the rink (thank goodness for the ‘disco’ element)

But I did it.

Not only did I do it, I did it for THREE HOURS! (This video beautifully highlights my peak performance!)

As I slowly circled the rink, I made mental notes that I could share with my daughter to help her. They seem quite relevant to most other things in life, so I wanted to share with you too.

👉🏼 Don’t overthink it. As soon as I got too much in my own head, I lost the rhythm and stopped moving.

👉🏼 Feel it. I realised that it was about what FELT right rather than what was technically right.

👉🏼 Hold on if you need to! There is no shame in grabbing the bar to steady yourself now and again. No one actually cared.

👉🏼 Starting is the hardest part. As soon as I stopped, I struggled to get going again. Momentum is everything!

👉🏼 There were new skaters coming and going all evening. Some were exceptional, others came on wobbly and slowly improved. Everyone was different.

👉🏼 Lean into the fear. I was frightened of the ‘what ifs’, NOT the skating. As soon as remembered that, I started enjoying the skating.

👉🏼 Work on your weakness. After a few laps, I could feel and see what I was struggling with. Rather than calling myself a failure, I spent time working on those bits and it helped me stay on the rink longer.

👉🏼 Celebrate your achievements. Ok, I am not going to be competing as a skater anytime soon, but my endurance and perseverance is to absolutely be applauded (and surprised everyone!).

👉🏼 If in doubt, DANCE and SING, and everything feels better!

What have you challenged yourself with recently?

What did you learn from it?


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