Yes, I am guilty as charged. I fell into the pandemic roller skating trap, and now I just can’t stop!
In all seriousness, 2020 had us all trying out new hobbies and interests due to our sudden isolation. What a scary, liberating, anxiety-inducing, “OMG the world is about to end” time to be alive. And here I was turning 30 in the middle of it all.Talk about the perfect recipe for an early mid-life crisis. However, in a strange twist of events I found an obsession that would change my life forever. Dancing on 8 wheels.
I knew it was time for me to break down and buy my first pair when I started to have dreams of me cutting up on skates. And just like that without any real prior experience, I started my skating journey at the ripe age of 30 baby. I didn’t know it at the time, but I would come to find skating to be one of my greatest teachers thus far. Although I have learned a lot of things during this whole process, here are the 5 lessons that made the biggest impact on my life.
1. The most important relationship you have in this life is the one you have with yourself.
Now believe me when I say that it has been a JOURNEY! Do you hear me? Before convincing myself I could somehow become this roller skating goddess, I had already begun to get back into fitness. Up until now I had spent my entire life battling the bulge, but nothing ever really stuck. I believe that this was because of 2 main reasons: I never found something physically challenging that I loved doing and I was only working out as a means to stop hating my body, which put me on this diet/exercise hamster wheel. Sound familiar?
Roller skating became the perfect outlet that was challenging, but also therapeutic enough for me to want to do it everyday. I spent hours having fun with me, myself, and I. I stopped focusing on losing weight or looking a certain way, instead I focused on getting stronger and improving my skills. For anyone who has ever been brave enough to get on 8 wheels, you know just how much balance and strength it takes to even stay up right. At first I didn’t know just how capable I was to not only stay on my feet, but build a smooth skating style that I would come to love. Which leads me to my next big lesson.
2. You can do more than you give myself credit for.
I think we all deal with self esteem issues every now and again. If you don’t, then
congratulations. How does it feel to be Jesus? As for the rest of us, seeing yourself being able to excel at new things can be difficult. We tend to think about the end result that we desire, and sike ourselves out into believing that we can’t achieve it. When all we really need to do is take it one step at a time.
Being that I’m no longer a spring chicken, safety was very important to me. At least as safe as I could be on a rolling object. So to make sure I kept my bones intact, I took everything slowly. I would break down any move that I wanted to learn to the simplest and most doable form. Then I just repeated those simple moves until I gained enough muscle memory to attempt the larger ones. This really taught me that all the big things in life are only made possible by all the little steps. Very elementary concept, I know. But somewhere along this journey we call life, we tend to forget that. We forget the crawling before the walking, the baby babble before the words, the stumbling before the running. We forget that we are always forging forward and growing, and what isn’t growing is already dead.
3. You should always be learning from life.
Many of us grow older and get comfortable in our own little routines. After we accomplish the major goals society has set for us like finishing school, getting a job, having a family, etc, the rest of our lives tend to turn into a rinse and repeat cycle. While this can give us a sense of comfort in a chaotic world, it also hinders us from moving forward and progressing as a whole. My granddaddy used to say, “ You know you learn something new everyday,” and that’s really what life is about. Finding a purpose is nice and all, but what if the purpose is to learn and evolve with each present moment. Each one of us is given such unique lives with unique problems and unique ways of solving them.
It doesn’t have to be roller skating, but trying and learning new things will always open your eyes to a different perspective of your world. Skating got me to look at fitness completely different, and I am so much better for it. Now instead of spending my time trying not to hate my body, I appreciate it for all that it can do.
4. Age is not a limitation. Just start.
How many times have you told yourself that you were too old for something that doesn’t have an actual age limit? Don’t lie and say never, because we are all guilty of it. I mean, a 30 year old learning how to skate sounds like a recipe for disaster. Luckily for me, I still listen to that little girl on the inside who remembers how mesmerizing it was watching figure skaters float on ice. And even though I picked up 8 wheels instead of blades, I’ve been able to float in my own unique way.
I know the saying that when you become an adult, you are to put away childish things. However, some of your greatest adventures start by listening to the kid within because they know alot more than we give them credit for. So don’t be afraid to throw away that old rule book, and start creating your own.
5. When you are true to yourself, everything else falls in line.
“Unique! That’s what you are.”
As I’ve stated before, everyone of us has our own distinct journey through this life. Although we go through similar experiences, no two paths are the exact same. Imagine if we all leaned into our truest self, how different the world would be. This is where innovation is born, and I didn’t really grasp this concept until I found something that showed me my own sense of flow. Skating gave an outlet that not only allowed me to learn about my body, but also freed my mind. Freed it from the mundane, the doubt, and the fear of getting it wrong. And it is my hope for everyone to find that for themselves. It may not be skating that does it for you, but I hope you keep trying to find what does. And when it reaches you, let it be your greatest teacher.