Slip and Slide Category: General   Dec 18th 2012  11:49AM   0

This year I made good on a promise I've had to myself each winter in NYC - to take advantage of the ice skating rink that pops up in Bryant Park. I am officially hooked and am getting my friends in on it too.  The first time I went I had a free evening. All my buddies were busy and I found myself in Bryant Park and remembered how important it is not to wait on something just because a friend can't come along that time. I've had many of my most fun experiences just doing something I wanted to do despite there being no one to go with me (and many times would end up making new friends). Not to mention of course the solo fun one get into while in bed, which may have spurred my sense that going solo can be quite dandy and great things can happen.

I've been told ice skating is like riding a bike - there's a lot of muscle memory to it. And, I found out that's true. I also think ice skating can be a wonderful metaphor. The best thing about ice skating is everyone is having a great time. There's festive music  playing, a huge beautiful tree overlooking the rink, colored lights giving shadows a fushia glow. Everyone is smiling, laughing, living it up. And, ice skating has some danger in it. You could take a really bad fall and have some hell to pay. But, it's great that this doesn't keep people, even people who aren't that great at it, off the ice. They adjust according to their level of skill. They go slow and stay close to the wall.

The risks don't keep us from going out there and taking part in the thrill of sailing along on frozen water.  And, the most prevelant response when someone slips in the rink: laughter.  The couple times I've been at the rink whenever anyone fell they and their friends just laughed hysterically, got back up, and started skating again. And, the funny drama of trying to stay up is also a big part of the joy of it.  I thought about what it would be like to bring more of that spirit to the rest of life - where falling was not such a big deal, even something to get a good chuckle from. Sure, sometimes people do get hurt really badly, but what I noticed is that the majority of people have a high self-preservation instinct and they were never going fast enough or above their skill level enough to do any serious damage to themselves. I think we are a lot safer in life than we think we are.  Strapping sharp blades to your feet and sliding around on an extremely slippery service with them doesn't sound like the safest thing in the world to do. But, go out on a skating rink and laughter, fun, and joy abound (well except if you're playing hockey!) I've been really enjoying applying that awareness to other things in life that seem really scary - to relax into it a little more, to have a little more fun with it, to not take it or myself too seriously, to find the humor in falling on my ass and getting right back up again and rejoining the moment


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