It is holiday season time and in Florida it is really hard to feel that season when it is in the 80’s and there is no snow anywhere to be found! But the skating rink? Well, there is the solution. As we drive past the palm trees in our tanks and flip flops on the way to the rink, we get to our little piece of winter and then get dressed up for the ice. You see people dressing up in warm socks, gloves, scarves, hats and coats. Seeing everyone dressed for the cold brings back that nostalgia of home (my home being Oklahoma) in the winter time. . .
I went ice-skating for the first time in years a few days ago and I had a blast feeling like a kid. And afterwards I felt alive as one should when doing something different than is usually done on a day to day basis. Then my nerdy self got to thinking of how symbolic of life ice skating can be. I think this way because I am an English nerd with the curse of the need to always analyze and find deeper meaning in everything!
I came up with 5 lessons on life that ice skating taught me:
Bumpers – What you think protects you can actually hinder you
You won’t get any progress in anything unless you jump in and just do it. Why have the bumpers? Is it because you are afraid to fall? Is it because you want to go fast and because you aren’t ready to go fast yet, the bumper helps you to do it without falling? You have to just do what it is you want to do without any “cheating” and you can’t make yourself be at a certain level of something without having earned it, worked for it, learned from the journey of attaining it.
Falling – Fall ten times and get back up eleven.
Every time I have ice-skated in the past it probably took me over an hour to get the hang of it and then I would be on my way. This was because I was so scared of falling and I refused to fall. I would see others fall and think how silly they looked. I don’t want anyone to see me look that silly falling! But this time, I fell! I fell quite a few times and I even fell with a bumper! LOL! I realized that while it hurt or that my clothes got all wet from the ice all over me that I actually had FUN falling! It was fun to not care. It was fun to not be afraid because I’d just get back up and start again. I wasn’t going to leave the rink! Who cares what I look like, everyone is looking like that. The ones who are falling are actually doing. The ones who aren’t are stuck not getting any better because of being hindered by fear.
Crashing – Accepting what is out of our control will just happen
There are so many people everywhere and kids with no direction at all, it is inevitable that there are going to be crashes with people into people. I was on a bumper going fast and a kid got all wobbly near me and then got way too close that I moved to avoid running into the kid, but just as I did that I plowed my bumper into this lady like I was in a bumper car trying to get to first place! I felt so bad and embarrassed but then realized that it is the nature of the beast when you go to a rink with skaters of all levels. We all had to be aware that someone might crash into us. We take that risk going in. Things in life are just a part of the process and we have to accept that they will happen. We can do our best but when something that is out of our control is to happen, we have to embrace it as a learning experience.
Going Slow - No need to rush to the finish line when you have so much to learn from the process.
When I skate, I go slow until I can get my confidence to go a bit faster. It may take me all day. I remember skating for 3 hours in the past and right when everyone was ready to go, that was when I finally had the hang of it and wanted to keep going. I didn’t have 3 hours this time, but I had more fun when I let go of the bumper and just skated. Maybe I wasn’t twirling and turning but I was moving forward. I know with time and direction that I too could be moving smoothly but it was nice to let go and know I didn’t have to be a pro. I only needed to have fun. Just like with life. The joy is in the journey and it may be a slow process but that only teaches you to slow down and enjoy your life. It will pass by anyway. Make the decision in your mind that you KNOW you will get to where you want to be, so go at the pace that you have peace with and are comfortable with moving at and go enjoy the journey!
Let it Go - Forget about what brings you down and just take in the momentWe are on the ice and it is cold and that Frozen song came on and all of a sudden there was a different air in the room. The kids where singing, the skaters in the middle of the rink were “performing” . . I felt like I was surrounded by joyous little Disney princesses! How simple life can be in moments like that. And the message of the song to let it go is a powerful one indeed. Let it go and be unapologetically YOU!
So there is my mini-essay and now I want to know which of these lessons you feel most drawn to on how it applies to your life?
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