We all have regrets. Mine include not being a camp counselor; not working in a restaurant kitchen and not learning to skate. I know it’s practically unpatriotic of me not to know how to skate, and even more so during the Olympics.
But somehow the combination of a British mother and a personality rooted inertia meant that I never learned how to propel myself on ice. Now I know what you are thinking, “that’s impossible, you can skate a bit!” and “who cares?” But no, I can not skate at all, and I care because it provides a bad example for my kids.
Left to my own devices in winter I would bake bread, cook, read and generally never leave the house unless I was going to get food supplies or go to a restaurant. But I have kids and a husband which means I have to venture out of my cocoon. More importantly, it is essential to stay active in winter for physical and mental health reasons.
There aren’t too many things that could force me to learn a new sport. I hate falling down, I hate being cold and I especially hate being humiliated because of my inherent lack of coordination. Unfortunately, family cohesiveness is a motivating factor. It’s also no fun to watch your family have a great time while you stand on the sidelines looking out of place.
My son broke his arm two years ago on the rink and it has taken us until this year to convince him to learn to skate. It’s OK to be a 40-year old woman who can’t skate, but it’s just not OK to be a 10-year old Canadian boy who can’t skate. It took a lot of hard work on our part to get him back on the ice, part of our argument was that he didn’t want to end up like me; an adult who can’t skate. But the discussion also put a spotlight on my own hypocrisy because there is nothing stopping me from learning to skate except my own fear. It’s like what I tell parents about picky eating. If the parents are picky then they can’t expect their kids to be adventurous eaters, and I can’t expect my kids to like skating if I don’t strap on some blades.
Brrrr.. I’m cold (and embarrassed) just thinking about it.