“Are you skating or just watching?” I asked my “significant other” over breakfast.

“Um, just watching” he replied, “and you?”

At this point, I briefly weighed both options and heard myself say, “skating” before I had really made up my mind. We were taking the girls to the locals sports and rec center for free skating on Family Day. My oldest daughter is a hockey player and skates like a pro, and my youngest daughter has spent enough time on the ice to hold her own too.

I’ve only gone skating about four times in the past 4 years and I’m definitely no pro, but I do okay, kinda, sorta. (Other than that one time when, after getting a little too confident, I tripped over my pick and did a total “a** over teakettle” kind of move that was far from graceful. I laughed it off but my pride wasn’t the only thing bruised.

I made my youngest daughter promise to hold my hand until I got my bearings, and told my older daughter specifically not to. (She likes to grab my hand and pull me while she skates like she’s on a breakaway and about to score a goal….scares the snot out of me because of previously mentioned “a** over teakettle” manoeuvre that I do not want to repeat.)

As much as I wish I could glide effortlessly around the ice and weave around people like my hockey playing daughter does, I hate to even let go of my younger daughter’s hand. Eventually, I get my confidence up and don’t totally panic when she does let go of my hand. I manage to glide along (fairly smoothly…with the odd, whoa that was close!) and stay upright until she comes along again and takes my hand.

By the end of the two hours, I’m feeling pretty good skating on my own but still very careful not to get too confident and trip myself. I’ve gone from being afraid of my daughter letting go of my hand, to actually skating away from my hockey player and letting her chase me. (Mind you, she catches me in about two strides, but still…) I watched myself go from being afraid to skate alone, to playing with the temptation to just give ‘er and see what happens. (If there weren’t so many people there, I think I would’ve just done it. However, fear of consequence prevented me from skating with such abandon.)

After my experience with skating with my two daughters this afternoon, I’ve come to realize that sometimes, you’ve got to “just do it” as in the words of the legendary Nike ads.

I had the fear in my head that when my daughter let go of my hand, I would spontaneously do a triple-sow-cow-type-wipeout and yet when she did let go, I did fine. Just like learning to (or teaching our kids to) ride a bike.  You might be a little wobbly at first but before you know it, you’re gliding along on your own like you’ve been doing it forever, without a care in the world. (This is where I would probably trip over my pick again, but fortunately, not today!)

Whatever opportunity comes up next for me I promise to sidestep fear (which I’ve read stands for false evidence appearing real), and “just do it”!

Jennifer Grigg