This is the year to conquer fear. In keeping with my 2013 New Year’s resolution, I plan to do at least one thing that I’m afraid to do each month this year. January’s scary thing was asking for a job. February’s was a tongue biopsy, (which is every bit as gruesome as it sounds). And March’s scary thing was getting back up.
My family urged me to stop. My skating days are over, they said. It’s too risky at my age, considering what happened. I could get seriously injured. I knew they were right. My muscles were weak and my weight high, throwing off my balance. I’m a slow healer. And a million other reasons. Sadly, I pushed my pretty skates to the back of the closet, not quite ready to give them up. I don’t even know how long they’ve been sitting there.
As a child, roller skating came as easily as walking to me, and just about as soon. Mom used to hold my hands over my head, pulling me across the wooden floor of our front porch in those adjustable metal clip-ons that tighten with a little wrench key. As soon as my feet grew long enough, Dad took me to get custom skates. My feet and my love for skating grew, and my parents always made sure that I wore a good pair of properly-fitting skates with pretty pom-poms and fancy laces. By the time I reached adulthood, I skated for hours every week, indoors and out.
On the advice of doctors, I took time off during pregnancies. After my babies were born, though, I’d tie on my wheels and get moving again. That is, until I got sick. I got really sick. I could barely walk. For four years, I spent most of my time in bed. My muscles grew flabby and my weight soared. Then I got better! I started skating again. Slowly at first, I skated up and down the street in front of my house. In time, I ventured farther. One day when my hopes were high, I fell and couldn’t get up. I stayed on the sidewalk, stuck until my teenage son came looking for me. I took off my skates, leaned on him all the way home, and did not put them back on again.
But this is the year to conquer fear. So in March 2013, while my family was away, I tied those babies back on my feet. It felt strange, wobbling and losing my balance. Instead of speeding—flying!–with the wind in my face, jumping obstacles and turning on a dime, I inched ahead slowly, carefully. I didn’t fall this time, but my legs had had enough after about ten minutes. I don’t think I’ll be doing tricks any time soon. I’m still weak and I’m still fat. But that’s nothing that skating can’t cure, right? I’ll either break a hip and fall down for the count, or I’ll get stronger and burn some calories. Either way, now I’m all in.
What about you? What childhood love do you regret giving up? If you could conquer your fear, what would you do today to regain that love?
Enjoy this sweet and hilarious commercial with skating babies.