In the early 1980s, roller rinks were the totally rad hangout spots. I did twirls, spins and even attempted a few jumps occasionally. It was so freeing to skate hard and fast, with arms wide open and hair blowing straight back to the tunes of Donna Summer and Cyndi Lauper. Girls just want to have fun, indeed!
But I also fell a lot. I was learning and taking risks on my skates. I had a few scuffed knees, but luckily I never broke anything. When I did fall off my roller skates, I got back up and never missed a beat. Sure it hurt, but the hurt didn’t last long. It sure as heck didn’t stop me from attempting that killer spin-jump stunt I was working on.
A few years ago I attempted roller skating again. It’s like riding a bike; it comes back to you, sort of. I started out very scared, hanging on to the wall and eventually willed myself to step away from the wall and get out there all on my own. I was slow at first, and then I picked up a little bit of momentum. But as soon as I started to feel like I was slipping and going to fall, I abandoned the possibility of experiencing some excitement and went back to the safety of the wall, which was carpeted. Yeah, rug burn on my elbows from hitting the wall. Go figure.
I’m older now and when I fall it hurts like hell! I know the risk I’m taking stepping out onto that slick roller rink. I know there’s a real possibility I could break something, and the healing time will take longer. I also bruise a lot easier now, and if I get hurt I may never risk the fun of skating again.
“Change begins at the end of your comfort zone.” I saw that on a billboard recently. Just because I know the risks now that I’m older, does that give me an excuse to wuss out and never try? Because even though there is a potential for failure, there’s also the possibility of great reward. So they say.
I have gotten more comfortable lately with risk. I’ve allowed myself to surrender somewhat to taking a chance on big things in life. Allowing yourself to jump in without uncertainty means quite possibly risking your sanity, your sense of security. Because when it’s good, man it’s like soaring on your roller skates, twirling and jumping. But if it crashes and burns, it can break you Downtown Julie Brown. (Yeah, only a certain age of MTV viewers will get that reference.)
But why let it stop you? Surrender. Let yourself feel that passion that you’re younger self did. Just know that now your age and experience has hopefully given you a better head on your shoulders so you know how to survive the fall and hopefully avoid those bad pitfalls along the way.
Failure can inform and teach us. After all failure is just an answer to a question we dared to ask!
Shoulda, coulda, woulda….just put on those damn skates and do it! Be a bad girl, like Donna sang about. Wait….that’s prostitution. Don’t do that.
This was totes my jam out on the roller rink!
Post by Dawn