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On giving yourself space to learn

On giving yourself space to learn

by Meg Dedolph

My kid shoved me right out of my comfort zone the other day, on a pair of roller skates. They learned how to skate in PE class, and have been pestering me to take them to a roller rink so they could practice their newly acquired skills.

It has been, as they say, a hot minute since I’ve been on skates, and I’d like to tell you it’s like riding a bike and that it all comes back to you and that after a lap I was speeding around the polished wood just like I was 12 again.

But it was not like riding a bike.

It did not come back to me after one lap. Or even two.

I wobbled along with the little kids, arms flailing, as hoodie-wearing tweens on inline skates with flashing wheels sped past us.

I didn’t want to be a wet blanket, though, so I kept trying. I thought a lot about my balance, and where my center of gravity was - it was not where I remember it being when I was 12 - and as song after song blasted over the speakers, I kept circling the rink, lap after lap.

My kid rolled up and asked me how I was doing. I said I was concentrating and I couldn’t talk. They whizzed off, another tween in a hoodie.

But then a miracle happened. I relaxed! I could feel it getting a little easier. I didn’t flail my arms as much. I didn’t worry about plowing into the kids zipping around. I noticed how my thighs felt as they seized up, unused muscles getting an unexpected afternoon workout. 

By the end of the day, when my kid asked me if I would take them skating again, I said yes. 

What I learned (again) that afternoon under the spinning disco ball is that I should say “yes,” more and not be afraid of trying something new, even if I am certain I’m going to stink at it. 

I’m going to give myself time and space to really work on a new thing. If I had stopped after that first wobbly lap, I wouldn’t have - a dozen laps later - glided along in a way that reminded me happily of the kid at a roller rink I had once been.

And when I fall down, I should get up and get moving again as fast as I can, because the tweens on inline skates are coming right at me. 

If you are looking to take a step outside your comfort zone, consider signing up for one of our classes.

📸 Lukas Schroeder on Unsplash

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