The day is cold and overcast. It is the kind of day that is best spent curled up in a nest of pillows and blankets, a mug of hot cocoa within easy arms reach and a good book. This is really what I'd like to do today. I've just started Cheryl Strayed's Wild and after slugging through the first chapter dealing with the death of her mom, I'm ready to move on to the hiking the trail part. That first chapter was a hard read. Her mom's cancer was the kill you fast kind like Chris's. I just want to read on to the grueling part of her slugging her way along the Pacific Crest Trail with zero previous hiking experience. Instead, I get up and go to work. It is the day of our department Christmas party. We are going ice-skating, which is the opposite of the snuggled laziness that I would have liked.
I know I have been ice-skating at least once or twice. It seems like something that I would have done in a church activity. Yet it's something that happened so long ago, I don't remember if I was any good at it. Ask me about roller skating. I was a roller skating princess with my own skates and pink pomp-poms on those skates. I could do the limbo and the Hokie-pokie (that's what it's all about). I could skate forwards and backwards and figure eights. Every Tuesday night was dollar night for American Airlines kids and that's where we all went and skated to Debbie Gibson, Tiffany, Michael Jackson, and Cindi Lauper. Sometimes the DJ would toss in some disco, but mostly it was everything you can remember from the 80s. If it wasn't Tuesday, I'd be at the roller rink for some kid's birthday party or yet another church outing. Those Southern Baptists may not be into dancing, but we could out activity any dance party. If it wasn't the roller rink, we all ended up at Crystal's Pizza Place. The pizza and spaghetti were good. Mom loved the salad bar. Dad loved listening to the live entertainment from Hank The Bear. I loved playing skee-ball and watching the Three Stooges in the little theater. All of those places are gone now. I think there was a fire at Crystal's and they decided to take the insurance money and run. The roller rink is now a carpet store.
I was good at roller skating. I was unsure of how I'd be at ice-skating. Earlier, when we discussed the idea of going ice-skating, someone in our group said "Of course you'll do fine Cindy. Of all of us in the group, you'll probably pick it up the fastest." This is their assumption of me, that I am nimble from years of yoga and have the balancing skills of a cat. Well it's true that years of yoga has made me bendy and I've always had mad balancing skills. I'm not sure if this qualifies me as a natural for the ice and as I carefully hobbled my way towards the ice rink I was feeling pretty positive that I lacked all qualities needed for ice skating. A wave of insecurity and fear flooded me. I am at an age where if I fall, I could really really hurt myself. I could break a hip. Things don't heal back as quickly or as easily as they did ten or twenty years ago. I am no spring chicken. I clung to the wall as I took my first tentative steps onto the ice and I knew I'd be clinging to that wall for the entire outing. I looked up and saw others from my group, ones who had gone on and on about how horrible they were going to be on the ice, setting off right out onto the rink without a glance at the wall. They just stepped out. No fear. And then I thought "WAIT A MINUTE!" I am that no fear girl. I am the cliff diver. I am the daredevil speed demon on a scooter. I am the one that says "Yes! Let's do this!" What the fuck was I doing clinging to this stupid railing?!?!
And so, I let go.
Happy Love Thursday.