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Childhood and who you are

Monday, May 04, 2009

I was skating yesterday and started thinking about where I am today. A lot of people I know talk about how they were totally unafraid as kids and would do anything. I was never that kind of kid, ever. I was afraid of everything all the time.

I'll blame my mother. Mother's always get blamed but the thing was she was afraid of everything. She worried for us all the time. Dangerous things, like learning to walk, playing on the playground and learning to swim were all cause for great exclamation and harsh intake of breath. I never really noticed it till I grew up and started to move away. I would alway have that fear when I did something.

And so I need to learn everything over again. I'm still scared sometimes when I do something new but I can look at it differently. I taught myself to put my face in the water. It isn't easy and I can only do it as part of the breastroke, just for one stroke, but it is far better then it was. I bought goggles last year and now I can actually look under water in the second I'm under there stroking away. And I've learned that if my nose fills I can just come up and blow it out, not go into a major panic and think I'm drowning. Big things for me really.

I took lessons as a kid and I always felt like a failure. Swimming I actually went to Survival level. It is a level that I don't think they have anymore but you swim laps in your clothes and do treading water for a certain time. I somehow faked it. I somehow managed to do all these badges and not learn to breathe in the water. And now, over 40 I'm doing it.

I started on rollerblades. Skates happened when the kids were learning. Again I did lessons as a kid but my feet always hurt and were cold and I was miserable. I never really learned how to do it. I never learned what an edge was or how to hold it. I was afraid to jump or spin. I'm learning more now in my 40's. I know if I fall I can get up. I wear my protective gear.

Funny how it can take a lifetime to break free of those bonds. To learn that you can feel the fear but it won't kill you. That you can dust yourself off, get up and go again.
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