There’s nothing like roller skating to remind you that you aren’t as young as you used to be.
We thought it would be “fun” to take the kids skating for their first time a few weeks ago. Needless to say, the “fun” lingered in my muscles for days.
As I watched the kids learn to skate I realized there are two general reactions to trying something new. Some people jump in, filled with enthusiasm and the thrill of a new adventure. Other people prefer to research and calculate the risks first and try to figure out how to do something before actually doing it.
Our family is made up of both types.
T-Rex lunged onto the roller rink at top speed. Kedron held his hand as he stumbled around the rink looking much like an adorable Bambi on ice. T’s legs and arms went every which way, but one thing stayed constant – an ear-to-ear grin that lit his face.
When the DJ announced, “We have some older skaters who haven’t been here in awhile, so let’s let them have the rink. 18 and only on the floor now!” I was quite certain she was looking directly at us. Although I didn’t like being called “older” no matter how much my muscles agreed.
Little Miss squeezed my hand as we first approached the rink. As the skaters whizzed by, her back stiffened and her eyes widened. “But, Mama… I don’t know how to skate!” she said.
I looked down at her and with a smile replied, “Skating is one of those things you learn as you go. We’ve just got to roll out onto the rink and start trying. I’ll hold your hand, and you can hold the wall. You’ll get it.”
She took a deep breath and we wobbled onto the rink.
Then the worries hit. “But what if I fall?”
“Everyone falls, sweetie. Just get back up as quickly as you can. I’ll help you,” I said.
“But what if people look at me and laugh?” she asked.
“Then, honey, they’ve either never tried to skate before, or they’ve forgotten what it’s like to learn. And they don’t matter.”
And so we circled the rink, and after an hour she started to let go of my hand. Our skates tangled and we both fell, but we laughed and scrambled back to our feet.
By the time we left, both kids were well on their way to skating independently.
I’m much like Little Miss. I prefer to know what I’m doing and how to do something before I get started. There have been many times over the past few years that I’ve looked up at God and said, “But I don’t know how to (raise children, write an article let alone a book, speak to a group of women…..).”
And He takes my hand and says, “It’s o.k. I’m going to walk this with you.”
I look at Him and ask again, “But what if other people…”
He reminds me and says, “Keep your eyes on me.”
I stumble. I fall. I make a lot of mistakes. But I keep getting back up. And learning, slowly.
Don’t let fear paralyze you from stepping onto the rink of a new adventure. You won’t be learning on your own. Turn to your Heavenly Father and hold his hand.
Which type are you? A jump in right away person? Or a figure it out first and hang back type?