On Sunday I took my niece Niamh, who’s 6, ice skating in Altrincham Ice Dome. It’s about the fourth time we’ve been and this time I could really feel a shift in her confidence.
Now, if you’ve ever been ice skating – you’ll know that the first time you get on the ice you spend 80% of your time trying to figure out how to keep your legs from doing the splits and hanging on to the side like someone is pulling a huge rug from under your feet! Every now again you get spurts of confidence and pluck up the courage to take a few strides, only to realise you have no brakes or at least you have no idea how to stop, so you crash into the barriers!
This is how my niece started out, no matter what I said I couldn’t prize her from the sides for fear of falling. However, session by session she gained more and more confidence using the sides less and less for support. On our third visit we were doing really well and then, in true Tom & Gerry style we did a full 360 and both ended up on our butts. Funny but I think this was the turning point, as we both laughed at ourselves with wet knees and backsides, we got up and started again.
Standing at the side of the rink watching the different characters, reminded me a little of life and how when we want to learn something new or move in a new direction our fear keeps us clinging to the edge. And at some point we need to let go and trust in ourselves that we have everything we need at this moment to move forward. Ok, we may have a few falls and need a little support in the beginning. Taking a small step to the right then correcting, and another to the left then correcting, and with a bit of practice we are soon whizzing around without even thinking about it. Our focus moves from been worried about what people will think to actually hoping that people are watching to see our progress and achievement!
Debbie Evran 🙂