Fear of Falling: Skating and Thoughts on Exercise

Monday, September 19, 2011

Me as a tennis player, back in the times of yore.

This weekend, I start going to the Gotham Girls Rec League Level 1 for beginning skaters. I'm extremely excited - but also very nervous! I have been skating sporadically throughout the summer, but this is the time where I will be getting back to it in earnest. I am happy to say that I am getting better and better each time I get back on, but I still have a knee-jerk reaction to hold back when I start going "too fast" or feel myself toppling over. Perhaps this is the common fate of humankind (Thou shalt not roll on wheels as a form of locomotion), but I have seen so many brilliant players that do it effortlessly that I can't help but feel envious.

On a similar note of self-reflection, I have realized that I was at one point accustomed to getting 2 hours of exercise 5 days a week for at least half the year. It was a realization that made me go "whoa" aloud in my bedroom at 1am. I used to be a tennis player who, while not very good, really enjoyed the game and the exercise involved in it.

I completely forfeited that when I came to college.

And I've come to realize that exercise and movement is actually something I really need to be consistently happy. Perhaps because I was getting that throughout high school, I grew accustomed to it and felt that it was an integral part of my life. But now, when the choice is sleeping a little longer or getting in an hour of exercise, I choose to hit the snooze button.

College may give me a lot of choices in lifestyle, but it binds with the same force. With the pressure of classes, homework, my job, and my internship all going down at once, I really have to carve out the hours for everything else - from art to exercise, they get pushed off to the side.

I am seeing how important it is to make that time happen. Skating for 2 hours every week will be just one of my first steps.

Interested to read more about roller derby? Read my post about How Roller Derby Challenges Stereotypes of Women in Sports.