What was keeping him from finishing the lessons? Fear. He was afraid of falling and the pain which ensued when crashing onto the cold, hard ice. I don’t really blame him the ice is pretty hard and if you haven’t fallen on the ice while skating, it is not really recommended. When I play hockey, which I do from time to time, it is a lot less painful when I fall since I have on all the protective equipment. Believe me I have fallen during open skate without the equipment and felt like limping over to the bench to find the first aid kit or a medical profession to relieve the pain.
So here we were, my wife was watching through the glass and Nicholas and I are out on the ice. We are both laced up and ready to go. Also, must disclose he is dressed like a miniature hockey player without the stick or pants. He is wearing a helmet, knee pads, shoulder pads, of course ice skated and a snow suit to top it off to keep him warm.
On this particular day school was off because of snow so the rink was packed with kids. If I were to guess I would say more than fifty but less than one hundred very excited and loud individuals graced their presence on the ice that day. Like I said, it was packed. We worked our way, while I held Nicholas’ hands, out to the center of the rink. skating about as slow as you can skate with out toppling over. The center looked like the best spot to begin lesson one–at least from dad. Even though it was the least traffic in the entire building, occasionally, a youngster would come flying by which added to the excitement, but for the most part we had ample room to learn to skate.
I had him do a few different drills, and of course he fell. Everyone falls when they are learning how to skate (or when they try something new). Nicholas didn’t like falling, even though he had that hockey gear, since we didnt’ have the pants (don’t ask) it still hurt his butt every time he fell. It was at this moment when I was getting a lesson. As the words sprang from my mouth it was like I was talk to my self–not that he wasn’t listening but because I needed to hear it as well. “You have to take a risk, in order to learn (to skate) you need to risk falling. Falling is part of learning how to do it.”
We finished up his lesson and he then joined him mom but even as good as he did, I wonder if it wasn’t me who learned the biggest lesson that day.