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Of roller blades and painful tumbles (Part I)

Of roller blades and painful tumbles (Part I)

Traversing the highways and byways of life is pretty much the same as learning how to roller blade. The use of roller blades, or inline skating, is very popular among the young these days. I have often gazed with wonder and awe at the speed and grace with which the young have displayed their talent while whizzing past me. I have dreamed of being one like them, breezing through, not having a care in the world.
So it is that as my birthday draws near, I get the urge to learn how to use roller blades. It was not an easy decision. I knew I would have to suffer a lot of spills and painful falls. However, the thrill of feeling a rush of wind on my face and the free movement of someone gliding along was too much to resist.
I started out rigid and unable to relax. Every part of my body struggled to keep myself upright. I was afraid to fall. Slowly, I got enough courage to lift the right foot awkwardly, step out, followed by the left, alternating each foot, and trying to keep my balance at the same time. At night my understanding husband would lovingly massage my sore muscles and encourage me to go on.
Initially, I decided to use a cheap pair of skates. I figured that if I ever tire of using them, I would not feel guilty about setting them aside when I find that I have to give up on my dream of gliding and doing complicated combinations with roller blades. As I slowly progressed along, I found out that I just might be able to realize my dream.
I have a very enthusiastic and encouraging instructor. My eight year old is a good skater, and he is my official tutor. A son teaching his mother how to skate opens the mother's eyes on the patience instilled on her son by loving teachers.
A loving and patient teacher passes on the message of love coupled with teaching to her students. My son knows where my faults are, shows me how to do a maneuver the right way, has enough patience to tell me to get up when I fall, and to do it over and over again. He is not impatient with me. He is a loving and encouraging adviser. I have graduated to a higher level. I am borrowing my older son's roller blades. These are faster and more difficult to control. I also have to use thicker socks because the shoes are too big for me. Pretty soon, my husband will buy me ones that will fit me perfectly.
Presently, my beloved teacher is showing me how to come to a complete stop while using these seemingly uncontrollable skates. I was able to do a couple of complicated moves yesterday. I was delighted! There is a sense of accomplishment with being able to control those recalcitrant skates. To me, they seem to have a mind of their own!
The same is true with life. Once in a while, especially during midlife, we are beset with feelings of discontent. We are not happy with our life. Something seems to be missing. We cannot put our finger to it, but something is certainly amiss!
We want to do something, but we are paralyzed with the fear of failing, or falling down. We analyze and turn things over and over until the desire simply peters out. This is what some people call analysis paralysis. This happens when we do not get to act because we are bogged down by all that thinking and analyzing.
I know that it is very difficult to get out there and "just do it!" (The way Nike's advertisement urges us). However, we must remember that "nothing ventured, nothing gained," and "no pain, no gain," are the best reminders that we have to make it happen! Life does not just happen by chance. We have to work and suffer a few tumbles before we can achieve something.
The fear of falling has prevented a lot of us from achieving the best life has to offer. Many of us go through life only a notch better than zombies. We wake up to our routine, day in and day out. Sometimes we even forget what day it is! No wonder many of us find life boring and uneventful. No wonder we find ourselves looking for something exciting and fun. Unfortunately, these things can sometimes be harmful to our lives. These can be anywhere from booze, an affair, or drugs!
(To be continued)



Updated : 2021-05-15 07:13 GMT+08:00