Way before that. More like when I was 5 or 6 and spent every Wednesday summer mornings leaving some skin on the blue rink of Pooh’s park. Running into the carpeted wall and then eventually ditching the skates and sliding down the big slide on that tiny yellow piece of foam.
Tonight Tess had an end of the year tball party at a local skating rink and I quickly paid for 2 skate rentals before I realized that Tess would have nothing to do with those ugly yellow boots with wheels.
And was perfectly happing in her sparkly pink flops watching the rest of us bust our asses.
So I got Owen some skates and used the second pair of blades for myself. And tried to push the
debacle of 2002 that ended with my husband applying Neosporin to my crack far
out of my memory as I tightened them up and headed out onto the rink. Veterans
Which was not playing Bryan Adams. Or New Kids. Or Jodeci. Or anything else couples skate worthy. Instead Katy Perry sang about how she spent her last Friday night and I hoped and prayed that neither of my children would ask me what some of the things in that song meant. (and I might have sang along a little bit too).
Let me switch gears here a little and tell you what I know about staying up right. At least according to the laws of physics. And I’m not expert on staying on my feet, but I do have a masters degree in the science stuff. And the rule of toppling is this: as long as your center of gravity stays above your support base, you shouldn’t fall over. I know the rule. I get the science behind it. I’ve taught it. I’ve tested over it. I’ve done countless demos where I make my kids try to touch their toes while keeping their heels against the wall (it is impossible). But. watching my son tried to skate taught me lots more about falling, than any physics book ever will.
- At first hold on and go slow. There is no shame in a little support and taking your time.
- Eventually you will run out of wall. At some point we all have to let go.
- Falling hurts. A lot. But you get over it.
- Falling is a lot more exciting than watching from the sidelines. Even if you bruise your tailbone.
- My son knew he was getting the hang out of it, not when he stopped falling….but when the time between falls got longer. He didn’t expect to not fall. He just hoped to get a little further and faster each time. Grown ups are too easily discouraged. We don’t want to fall at all. He didn’t seem the slightest bit embarrassed that he was spending as much time on the ground as he was upright.
- Be careful not to take other people down with you.
- Always accept a hand from someone who is willing to help you back up.
- Sometimes you need a break before getting back out there.
- Trying to keep up with the people around you is bound to leave you on your back.
- And most importantly, you have to learn to stand on your own two feet (or two skates) before you can even think about a decent couples skate. That and you should really wait for a good song and find someone who can skate backwards with you….