When I first began to rollerblade around the age of fifty, I had no fear. I loved to skate fast and feel a breeze around me. A couple of weeks after I acquired my new skates, I accompanied my hubby on his business trip to Chicago.
Chicago boasts incredibly scenic lakefront trails.
I set forth, a little awkwardly at each curb and intersection, seeking a trail three blocks from our hotel. I was having the time of my life once on the trail when I encountered something unknown to me, being from the flat landscape of Windsor, Ontario. I was atop a steep hill where the trail had a 90-degree curve at the bottom or else you ended up in heavy traffic.
This is when it became clear to me that I had never learned how to slow my speed to go downhill . . . and how to stop! After picking up speed, instead of slowing, I veered off the path to the grassy hillside. I careened rapidly down the hill, toppled, and scraped my knee. Badly. It took three months to heal.
I had no trouble rollerblading ever since except for a nasty fall in a parking lot when I was headed to the nearby Ganatchio Trail. I had slipped on a patch of sand, pitching me forward into a pothole.
I needed a couple of stitches and a couple of months to close the wound. The other knee!
I may not be a fast healer but I am a quick learner, haha! I learned how to stop, and I learned how to save my camera when I fell. Yup, I had a camera around my neck as I tumbled in the parking lot. I didn’t want to be without the joy of photography! Actually, I did carry on my usual trail rollerblading for a bit after a woman gave me bandaids. I figured I might not be able to skate for a while and I was correct. The doctor stitching me up ordered me to take a break while my knee healed.
After healing, I bought knee pads. I decorated them for fun.
There was no stopping me now!
So today was my first chance to return to the Ganatchio Trail this summer. I had several quick stops on my skates as I spotted beautiful berries-
and more berries–
and more wildflowers-
and more ducks–
My quickest stop was when I glimpsed a flash of brilliant yellow. I spun around in a tight circle as I stopped suddenly. But, yay! I caught the flashy bird just in time before he flew off.
There are always silver linings. If I hadn’t learned how to quickly stop on my skates, I’d miss out on so many possible photographs. My joy.
I may be sixty, but nothing is going to stop me from rollerblading. And there may be a pandemic, but nothing is going to stop my joy.
Except for noticing this new sign of the times—a discarded mask—my brain was free from any anxiety for an hour or so.
Getting deeply engrossed in something you love allows no space for anxiety. Whatever your passion is, I urge you to pursue it to calm your mind in these troubled pandemic times.
What’s stopping you? Start today!
(Thanks to David Z from Pixabay for photo of the Chicago skyline and to Clker-Free-Vector-Images from Pixabay for image of a woman rollerblading.)