It’s cold. The days are short. COVID is raging, again. We are back to living close to home and limiting our time with friends and family.
So when our daughters called last week to let us know that they would be coming home to celebrate their dad’s birthday, I was nothing short of ecstatic! The girls bring such light, energy, and laughter into our home, never mind the amazing food they create for these events! Near the end of the call, they mentioned that they were going to bring their ice skates home and were hoping that we could go skating on the pond in our neighborhood park.
My initial reaction was excitement. I grew up skating. There were two small ponds in the front yard of my childhood home. My sister and I spent most winter afternoons (It was definitely colder then.) skating and pretending we were Peggy Fleming (I know. That kind of dates me, doesn’t it?). I took lessons as a kid and then again when our younger daughter began to take lessons. I have always loved the feeling of freedom that comes from gliding across the ice.
But after a few minutes of working through these happy memories, a feeling of terror took over. Am I crazy to think I can still skate? It’s been at least 15 years since I last laced up. Can I still do it? Am I too old? Is it foolish? What if I fall? What if I hurt myself? What if I look like a complete idiot? Maybe I should just stand on the side of the pond and watch. I secretly wished that when Sunday came the ice would be too rough, or the weather would be too warm, so that I wouldn’t end up having to make a decision at all.
The morning dawned. It was cold. Really cold, and it had been cold for days. The sun was shining. It was, in fact, an absolutely perfect day for ice skating. After some deliberation, I decided to go for it. I decided to embrace my fear and take to the ice with the girls. After all, how many chances do I get to do something like this with my grown daughters? We bundled up. We walked down to the pond. We checked the ice in a few spots. We laced up. We pushed off. At first I felt tense. I felt myself holding my breath. I took small glides. Then a bit longer. Then longer still. I began to relax, and the child skater in me started to emerge. I skated forward. I skated backward. I even tried a few spins! The girls were gliding and jumping and spinning all around the ice. It felt so good. It felt so right. It made me feel young and capable and happy. I could have stayed on that ice all day long!
I’m so grateful that I embraced my fear and experienced the joy and freedom and thrill of ice skating with my girls on a gorgeous, sunny, cold January day.