I’ve been a bad blogger lately… and for that I apologize. I’ve been busy taking some much needed time off, getting ready for the holidays, and thinking a lot about what I want 2011 to be for me. I know…the person who is morally averse to making any sort of New Year’s resolutions because she thinks it sets you up for failure…is contemplating making 2011 resolutions. I wonder if that’s mentioned in the book of Revelations.
Anyways, I am also proud to say that I have been trying my hardest to not hate Christmas like I usually do AND have also conquered two of my bigger fears this week: ice skating (ie falling) and parallel parking.
I do not have any clue how I missed it last year but Charlotte has this nifty tradition every December of hosting OUTDOOR ice skating. For a meager $10, you can rent smelly hockey skates that are still warm from the last person and skate in a very small circle on badly maintained ice with a lot of other people who are thinking the same thing: DUDE, I’m a SOUTHERNER, we can’t drive on ice but let’s strap some shoes with blades on and fling my body as fast and hard as I can WITH ABSOLUTELY NO REGARD for the safety of all the other people here who also don’t know what they’re doing!
Sounds like fun, right?
My first two laps took me approximately 15 minutes apiece. I clung to that wall like I was tiptoeing the top of a skyscraper and timed my moves to be as far away from a large group of kamikaze high school kids as possible. (By the way, high school boys of Charlotte…skinny jeans…bad choice. Just saying.) One of my friends lived in Boston for five years and she literally had to hold my hand and lead me through a couple of places because I was so nervous.
What if I fall? I could really hurt my hands. And what if I fell, hurt my hands, and then some high school kid skates over my fingers and cuts one off? A very rational fear followed by…not so much.
The crowd eased up a bit and I was able to convert my 15 minute laps to 5 minute laps, letting go of the wall briefly in places. I realized at some point that my anxiety was more of the cause of my stability issues than any sort of body/joint problem. Actually, my feet felt fine! It WAS beautiful, as clichéd as you can get, but how many times have I ever been able to ice skate outdoors underneath a canopy of Christmas lights surrounded by skyscrapers? Never! It was very festive.
And finally I felt ready to do a lap unassisted. I was slow as can be, but my friend skated with me and coached me. Push left, push right, it’s just like skiing. It was great. But then I was faced with the decision that I had been dreading since I strapped the shoes on. Do I run over the poor little kid who fell immediately in front of me…or do I cut sharply to the right to avoid her? Obviously, as soon as I saw the hurt child in front of me, I knew I was going to cut sharply to the right and I also knew that I was going to fall.
I cut to the right and immediately started bending my knees knowing that I would either fall completely on my butt or would be much closer to the ground so that I could control impact to my hands. I honestly would’ve preferred to fall on my butt but I had no freaking clue which way gravity was going to take me. In the end, I fell forward but was already so close to the ground that I put my hands down and stopped it quickly and painlessly. I was proud of myself for trying and for being able to trust my body and instincts enough to not completely freak out. The kid was fine, just twisted her knee.
I spent the rest of the time standing on the wall on the ice watching people skate. Why tempt fate twice?
I’m signing off for the holidays but I hope that you all have a wonderful Christmas and get to spend some good times with your loved ones. I will be back before 2011 to tell you about these resolutions of mine!