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  • Tracy

Roller Rink Wisdom

Updated: Jan 25, 2020

Tonight I went roller skating for the first time in 15 years. Nervously strapping on my skates, I prayed I wouldn't embarrass myself by breaking my neck. Skating is like most things in life, however...if you've done it once, you can do it again, you just have to re-find your rhythm.

As I skated somewhat gracefully around the rink, I started to observe the people around me. A variety of different sizes, skin tones and abilities. All of us going in the same general direction and yet, all doing it a bit differently. Each of us bringing our own unique flavor to the endeavor, even though we all set out to do the same thing: skate.

Funny how life is like a roller rink. Some were gliding along, dancing and swaying to the music, unperturbed that the floor wasn't quite even or there were obstacles in their path ~ they just moved around them and kept on going. Others had few skills and struggled to stay upright, clinging to the wall, while frantically looking for the nearest exit. A few were so concerned with putting on a show for others, I doubt they truly enjoyed themselves because they were consumed by their appearance. One stalwart soul fell about a hundred times and yet, he continued to get back up and try again. I was amazed at his relentless courage. Another fell only once, but was so angry and disgusted, she went and sat on the bench and refused to participate for the rest of the session. Not only did this ruin her night, but her friend's evening, as well. She didn't care, though. If she wasn't having fun, no one else could, either. I watched the best skater out there wipe out on one of the turns! I don't even know what tripped him and by the look on his face, I would say he didn't,either. He was up and then he was down and I'm no expert, but I'd say it's going to hurt like hell in the morning. Poor guy...he never even saw it coming.

Me? I managed pretty well, all things considered. I avoided falling, although I had plenty of close calls. I smiled at the guy who kept picking himself up, waved at the kid dancing effortlessly to the music, and tried to learn some new moves while I had the chance. Round and round, doing the best I could in the time allotted.

In the end, we all had one thing in common: the session ended. Each of us, the best and the worst, had to take off our skates and go home. And so we did, each to our own destinations, our experiences so different and yet, so amazingly alike. I wonder what the next session will bring and who will be brave enough to try again? I'm not sure, but I hope I am among them.

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