Winter Sports: Its All About Heart

With heart.

With heart.

So last night I had taken off of work to go ice skating with my mate. We got in free because it was WSU student night, and she is a student there. I was optimistic about it, I thought I could learn how to ice skate or at least get around without falling. Wrong.

At just about every opportunity the ice scared me and I hugged the wall. Laurel tried to show me how to pick up my feet and ‘walk’ on the ice, and I just couldn’t do it. The fear over rode the optimism and I was scared I’d fall and break something. I mean, ice is hard.

Once off the ice I could walk on the regular ground just fine with ice skates on. But ice is so… whats the word… slippery! if ice could just calm down a little it and be slippery but like NOT SO slippery that would be easier to learn on. Like the parking lot at night when I leave work to go home. Couldn’t it be more like that? But noooooo a whole rink full of actual fucking slippery goddamn ice and I bit it a few times. Bruised my left knee right on the knee cap pretty good. The  (he was dressed as a referee?) helper dude seemed to always be there when I needed a hand getting up off my butt.

What is it about little kids that allows them to fall flat on their face, get back up again without fear, and try again, and then succeed the second time? It is amazing! I watched other people ice skate with complete awe. How are they doing it? I don’t believe they are doing it. They can’t be, this is too hard!! if I can’t do it, how can everyone else? It gets frustrating.

And on the way out (went around the rink once before becoming highly disenchanted) my mate talked to me about heart. She explained how the little tykes do it.. they aren’t ruined yet by adult pessimism. Optimisim, willingness to keep trying, just go go go do it again, you’ll eventually understand it – that is what it takes.

So taking this lesson and turning into a snowboard lesson, I learned that you have to give it time and practice. You can’t just get frustrated on your first day of falling on your ass otherwise no one would snowboard. Or skate. But something inside most people says “get up, do it again, this time try differently.”

This morning she showed me in the living room how to shift my weight properly from my heels to my toes all the while standing straight (not moving my ‘core’ (another athletic word I just learned within the past few years)) and how to get onto the board while from a sitting position. THAT was probably the single hardest thing for me to do, because my thighs are so weak I couldn’t pull myself up by them without going “arghhhhhhh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!” like an old lady. some of these things take a lot of muscle that I don’t have. But there are techniques.. ways of going around that. For instance, I could roll over and get up backward (my face facing the top of the mountain) just perfectly and get on my board that way. But then I was no expert at turning around so as not to go down the hill backward. So perhaps that is what lesson 2 is tomorrow: How to turn.

We learned side to side, back and forth (everyone else learned,by the time they were done learning I had just finally gotten it figured out how to do the previous thing we learned and gotten myself down to where they were sitting). I missed a lot of instruction due to my extreme mis-understanding of how to do anything and then getting frustrated by it and letting myself be embarassing.

So thank god for my gal, who had gone a few times before and forgotten basic framework instruction from friends, and then filled in those gaps with lesson one last week. So she could show me what I missed or didn’t understand or physically couldn;t do. What a good mate. She is always there for me.

So I promised her Sunday I would get back up and try try try. I would not complain and let myself become frustrated. I’ll keep telling myself hey, all newbies fall on their ass or bruise their knees or chip the bones in their elbows. It is to be expected. And hey if I pull a muslce in my neck, I learned my lesson not to tell the instructor dudes, because they’ll take me down to Ski Patrol, where they will promptly freak out about a possible neck injury and strap you to a backboard while waiting for an ambulance. Ugh.

So I won’t repeat my attitude or performance (inward peformance) on Sunday. This sunday I will be a kid again… and just have fun with it. If I fall, crack up laughing, it is funny that I fell! If I do something good , feel elated and happy! I did it! if someone else does something that I can’t seem to do, don’t feel frustrated, high-5 them in the air (thats something I learned from snowboard instructors on how to do.. you give them a high 5 but from a distance, you see. Oh to be 19 again..).

I am going to do it!! I can do this!! I will make sure I have fun!! And the best part, my lovely mate will be there, I am never alone in this! Of course she will be paying attention better on lesson two, which I will try as well.

Good luck to us, I think its going to go smoother.

Now that I have heart again.

Me one day

Me one day

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2 thoughts on “Winter Sports: Its All About Heart

  1. I love this post! So much I’m going to put it on my page. I think “heart” is absolutely the most important factor in athleticism. As long as you are all-in, trying your best, willing to step out of your comfort zone, and listening rather than making excuses (all tenants of having heart)–you will be successful. And if you’re not successful you will still be having fun–and we’ll be doing it together, and enjoying nature, and getting fit. So all is not lost if you don’t turn into Shaun White.

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