Last night I did some practicing on going backwards. I worked on the Mohawk Turn, skating around the figure circle backwards and skating on one foot backwards. Now, this may sound like I actually DID these three things, but not so fast, my fine friends. I just tried to do them.
This right here is what I did NOT do:
I am afraid of going backwards. Not the kind of fear I can reason myself out of, but the kind of fear that when I try to lift up one skate and balance on the other while going backwards in an empty rink, I can only hold the skate up for half a second, and then I put it right back down. My heart pounds and I can feel the adrenaline coursing through my body. Not in a “whee” kind of way–a bit more of a “Run Away, Run Very Far Away” kind of way. I am panicky and terrified. After a minute of inching along one one skate, while pushing with the other, I am exhausted and all I want to do is something else.
This is the time when a lot of folks would stop trying to go backwards and wait until it feels right. But, let’s face it, that will never happen. If I wait until it feels right, I will never be able to do it. How can something I DON’T do ever feel right?
I think the only way to get over this fear, which is beyond rational thought, is to keep making myself
skate backwards try to skate backwards. This isn’t a fear I can conquer, it’s a fear I have to wear down by just simply keeping at it. My body is the thing that’s afraid, and to teach it not to go all fight-or-flight on me means I need to keep making it go backwards until it eventually figures out that there is nothing to be afraid of. I am going to skate backwards so much that I literally bore myself into not being afraid.
Stuff we are afraid of, like speaking in public, spiders or Tyler Perry films, does not get less frightening if we stay away from it. You have to actually experience the fear before you can get over it, and that means putting yourself in the middle of what scares you. The exception is Tyler Perry films, because some fears are there to protect you.
Tomorrow, back to the rink for more
skating backwards trying to skate backwards.