Roller Skating

This post isn’t really specific to Costa Rica other than some of the reflecting I’ve been doing while I’m down here, so if you’re looking for more travel-related stuff, you’ll have to wait for the next post.

But recently I have been reflecting on the journey that I’ve been on.  I knew that coming down here would be a challenge and would take me out of my comfort zone.  It would have been much easier, of course, to stay home.  But this opportunity was a chance for me to grow personally, to challenge myself, and to learn and experience new things.

In 2011, I was 100 pounds overweight.  I had carried the extra weight for almost all of my adult life, and for most of that time, I accepted it as just a part of who I was.  I was obese, I was sedentary, and that was that.

Thankfully, I got scared enough by my lack of energy and some potential health problems that were coming up to do something about it.  I wasn’t sure that I’d be able to take off the weight, but I was going to give it an honest effort.  And it worked!  August will mark 2 years of successful maintenance since I got to my goal.

One of the things that this accomplishment has given me is the chance to re-evaluate assumptions that I had made about myself over the years.  Since I was able to reach my weight loss goal by finding a plan and sticking to it, other things suddenly seemed within reach, too.  If there was something I really wanted, and I was willing to work for it, then suddenly everything seemed attainable.

I had never thought of myself as athletic before.  My sister was always the athletic one.  I was the good student.  But as I was losing the weight, I started to exercise, and eventually started running.  Now, that’s pretty much my primary hobby.  So I had to redefine my assumptions about myself to include somebody who would actually go out and exercise, for fun even.

So this week, my guide and I got invited to go roller skating.  It was actually a work party put on by one of the Costa Rican program coordinators.  Normally, I would think, no way, I don’t really know how to roller skate, and I am not very coordinated.

But then I started to ask myself, was that just an old-fashioned assumption that I made about myself?  Was it time to maybe put that one aside, and see if maybe roller skating was something that I could learn how to do?

If this were the movies, you might cut to the scene of triumph as I glided effortlessly around the rink.  Unfortunately, real life doesn’t always turn out like the movies.  I may be at a healthy weight, but that does not mean that I have developed any coordination.

What really happened was like this.  I put on my skates and did manage to make it from the bench to the rink.  Then, instead of heading to the rail to get the hang of things, I just sort of tried to go.  I might have made it a total of five whole feet before I fell- hard- onto my tailbone.  It instantly started hurting, and I had to sort of gather myself before I felt like getting back up again.  And it hurt badly enough that as soon as I felt a little bit better, I changed right back into my shoes and did not make another attempt at roller skating.

Now, because of what I have been through with my weight loss, I am sure that I could learn how to roller skate if that was something I really wanted to do.  But, honestly, I don’t think it is.  Instead, I am accepting the fact that even though some things have changed about me and about my life, I still do not have any more coordination or balance than I had before.  And, it’s OK to not be perfect, and to accept the fact that some things come more easily than others.

I watched the roller skating from the bench, which at least was always full of at least a couple of people resting or other benchwarmers.  Luckily, my tailbone seems to be feeling better, although it is still a tad stiff on one side.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s