Ice Skating is a sport where the naturally athletic, graceful, and charming people excel. If they are the swans, then I am the three-legged elephant. Grace has never come naturally to me, and yet I always forget this crucial fact whenever ice-skating and other graceful things are mentioned. “Ice skating,” I think to myself, “I love ice skating. I need to go!”
I don’t stop there. I start to convince the people around me they have to go too. Usually people who suggest these kind of outings are good at their suggestion, because, who’s going to suggest doing something they are terrible at? Apparently, that person would be me.
We got to the ice rink and I faced three horrible realizations: 1. The siding was wobbly and not very supportive of my usual ‘skating’ (involving me desperately holding onto the siding as I pull myself around the rink) 2. I couldn’t find the little walkers that let you skate and hold on to something 3. I most certainly could not skate.
If points were awarded for number of falls, I would sweep the floor (quite literally, because I fell eight times and the fallen snow clung to me instead of the floor). However, in falling and getting back up so many times, I came across a couple realizations. Here are six life lessons from ice-skating for the first (actually fifth time but I was little okay?) time.
- You Need to Let Go.
There comes a point when you no longer have the guardrails, walkers, or hands to hold onto. You need to let go of all the support and trust yourself. This independence is an important characteristic to develop. You can’t stay in the same place forever, and you shouldn’t. You miss so many new adventures by staying put and going with the known. Embrace the scariness of the unknown, and trust yourself to get you through it.
- You Can’t Look at the Ground Forever.
It’s natural when you’re unsure of your footing to fixate your gaze at your feet. However, looking down actually makes you unstable. The key to falling less is to focus your gaze out in front of you. In life too, you need to stop looking down and not facing the current situations. You must look forward to the future and make decisions that positively affect your future.
- When you Fall, you Need to Get Back Up.
The worst part of ice-skating is falling on your back. It’s painful, embarrassing, and discouraging. We as humans like to be good at all that we do. However, it’s hard to be good at something without practice. The only way to get better is to keep getting right back up. Each time you fall, you know a little bit more. You can prepare yourself so you don’t make the same mistakes you made in the past, allowing yourself to slowly get better and better.
- Positivity is the Only Way to Keep Going
A positive mind can make or break a situation. If you go into ice-skating, or any other event, with a negative attitude, you won’t enjoy it. Instead, you need to tell yourself that every fall is just a little more you know, and every shaky step is one less shaky step until you can skate like a pro. I find that the best way to be positive is to joke about the situation. By convincing myself I was an undercover ice-skating princess who is simply pretending to be a klutz, I was able to psych myself up enough to keep going. Even though I knew in mind head that wasn’t true, and so did everyone else, it still helped me to keep pushing forward.
- You Need to Not Care what Everyone Else Thinks.
The more self-conscious you are about how you look, the more likely you are to mess up. From your perspective, all eyes are on you and people are just waiting to watch you mess up. In reality, the only person who really notices all your mess-ups is you. It’s okay to mess up. In fact, it’s healthy. Stop worrying about what other people think, and be freely and truly you.
- There Will Always be Someone There to Help you Up.
I think my favorite part about ice-skating was right after I fell. A weird time to enjoy, right? I promise you I didn’t hit my head and I’m not crazy. It’s because every time I fell down, one of my friends would immediately skate over to help me back up. In life, it’s hard to fall down. However, the lower you go, the more you realize the people who are there for you. An extended hand makes all the difference, and can keep you going through all trials and tribulations.