I have no problem admitting the things I’m good at. I’m a good teacher. I’m a good writer. I’m a good listener. I’m a good friend. I have good style. And, I can crush most fitness classes.
On the other hand, I also have no problem admitting things I’m terrible at. This include driving, math, relaxing, making Excel spreadsheets, and remaining calm in stressful situations (you don’t want me next to you on a plane. Promise).
Additionally, there are things in life I simply avoid (falling into neither the good or bad category). This is either because I have no interest in trying these things, or I’m just scared. Things that fall into this bucket include swimming, watching any scary movie with my eyes open, trying on clothes before I buy them, or – the subject of today’s post – ice skating.
Let me give you a little BTS on this fitness queen: I HATE the outdoors. In fact, I’ll go so far to say I hate weather, in general. Rain, snow, wind, mugginess. I’m simply not the type of girl who appreciates seasons or enjoys a hot day at the beach. When I was little, my Mom tried to force me to play outside and I would cry until she’d let me back in. Sure, I like warm weather, but that doesn’t mean I like to play any outdoor SPORTS like volleyball or…whatever else you play in nature. This is especially true for anything I have to do in cold weather circumstances, so skiing is completely out (as is anything related to skiing). I don’t even like “a walk in the snow” (miserable). Which brings me to the ONE TIME my parents tried to put me in ice skates, I was five years old and lasted five minutes (and that didn’t include getting ON the ice).
I have a confession to make. As I’ve gotten older, I’ve had some serious regret about things I never learned (or avoided). Life is too damn short and there’s no time like the present.
Enter the lovely Sarah Kamenetz (or Coach Sarah, if you’re nasty). I met Sarah while taking a class at Power Studios (check out her schedule) and while we were chatting, she mentioned she has a full-time gig as a professional ice skating coach at City Ice Pavilion in Long Island City. I laughed and told her I’d never tried skating. Before I knew it, I was on my way to Queens to give it a go.
Let’s get real for a second: Learning to do something as an adult is hard. There are numerous articles to back me up on this, but in short, it’s all about how our brains are more malleable to new information when we’re young, and not so much as we get older. So, I’d be lying if I told you I didn’t have a bit of anxiety going into this. But, once I laced myself into the skates (with Sarah’s help) and hit the ice, something changed.
I suddenly didn’t care.
Sure, little kids were whizzing by me and I looked like a gorilla attempting not to step on ants, but in 30 short minutes, Sarah taught me how to glide forwards and backwards, stop, and make a little figure eight. I mean, I wasn’t good by any standards. I was awkward and sloppy, and certainly not graceful like Sarah, but it didn’t matter. I did something new. At 34 years old. And I gotta tell you something. I was damn proud of myself.
It’s funny. When we’re kids, we want to try everything (unless you’re me, because well, read above). We are fearless. As we age, even though we may consider ourselves “adventurous”, we are more fearful than our younger selves. We are more hesitant to break free from our comfort zone because we may fail or look silly. We don’t try new things because we are unsure and self conscious. This is especially true with workouts. I hear from so many people about how they could “never” do a workout I tried. Well, I didn’t think I could skate without falling on my face, either. And it happened. Trying out new classes or workouts shouldn’t be scary. It should be a welcome challenge to become stronger, better versions of ourselves. So, next time you’re hesitant, just say yes. Trying something once will never hurt you, it will only help you grow. And plus, who knows? You may end up having a Nancy Kerrigan moment, like me.
Follow all my fitness adventures on Instagram @kerryleeinthecityfit.