How Do You Keep From Falling?

One never knows what you may encounter when you step outside.

As Bilbo Baggins so adequately put it, “It’s a dangerous business, going out your door. You step onto the road, and if you don’t keep your feet, there’s no telling where you might be swept off to.”

Well let me tell you, it is hard to keep your feet when you are stepping on ice with a thin blade attached to the bottom of the shoes your feet are in.

After weeks of stalling, I went out with a few of the students to the skating rink. Let’s just say that I am certainly NOT a natural.

What frustrated me most was KNOWING what my feet should do, but my seeming inability to get them to actually DO it. Have you ever felt that way?

I remarked to one friend that it felt like a metaphor for my life in Ukraine. I know in theory what I should do, but then theory and reality meet and some days I feel I’m accomplishing a lot if I can just stand and not fall on my face. She, of course, smiled and said, “You just need practice. Everyone starts out like this.”

правда. (pravda or, in English, “truth”)

That’s when I realized something. I generally don’t put myself in situations that I can predict beforehand that I am not going to excel at. In short I have serious issues with failure and/or humiliation. I like to be Super Woman, but I’m not and I am pretty certain that I don’t have anyone fooled into believing that I am.

Seth Barnes just posted a blog today called “What permission do you need?” One of the four permissions he lists is the permission to fail. Failure is important. We learn from failure, usually much more than we learn from success. While I think others have given me permission to fail, I haven’t given myself that permission.

So I plan to try ice skating again, which probably means paying to look like an idiot at least one more time because I don’t know how to keep from falling, but maybe I will learn that falling is okay as long as you get back up.

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