Roller Skating Lessons

By: Kathleen Burk

Roller Skating Lessons

Tags: Real Estate in Bragg Creek, Real Estate,


It is the hypothetical source of/evidence for its existence is provided by: Sanskrit ksam- "earth" (opposed to "sky"); Greek khthon "the earth, solid surface of the earth," khamai "on the ground;" Latin humus "earth, soil," humilis "low;" Lithuanian ┼żeme, Old Church Slavonic zemlja "earth;" Old Irish du, genitive don "place," earlier "earth." 


It’s been a minute since I wrote anything. I have noted ideas recently, but truthfully, they were just a result of being irritated at something and the inspiration to pen notes was likely to shed light on how I might do something differently and why that way might be better. Now, it's likely those thoughts will find themselves becoming a piece of writing sooner than later but for now I have been inspired by and reminded of humility and the subject seems to have some teeth.  

I'm “shamey” and “shy” naturally, enough that it is the bane of some therapy sessions and I have come to know that being “shamey” and shy is not meek and humble it’s actually lazy and fear based but I digress. Sometimes shame and shyness will masquerade as humility and for the most part it’s even believable. 

Anyway, humility.  

We go about our days and we get comfortable and confident and we settle in and we mistake being nice for being humble and we excuse being intolerant with experience. We confuse humility with behaviors such as nice and calm and somewhat selfless if only for a few moments.  

A very good friend a long time ago taught me that if you are faced with a challenge that you really don’t want to take on then that is the challenge you must take on first.  

I took on a challenge, one that I really didn’t want to follow through with, one that I just wanted to pay for and then claim to be overcommitted for an excuse not to participate when it came time to attend. One that was causing me a fair amount of discomfort in the days leading up to the inaugural class... I signed up for roller skating lessons (I need a chair to ice skate). I’m 46 and I signed up for ROLLER SKATING and not just some anonymous collective that would allow for my disappearance, this class was taught by and attended by the very people who hire me to advise on matters that happen within my own small community. These are people I have to dress up for. When I arrived, the source of my anxiety was clear, I was most definitely not in any position to advise anyone of anything, in fact I’m sure the waivers required were not for me but because of me.  

There I was, padded, laced and not at all ready. I knew there were 8 murderous wheels under my feet that had freshly oiled bearings and bushings and were ready to roll beautifully. Right over any dignity I had. The mechanics of the backward fall were already unfolding in my mind, the story I was telling myself included magnificent falls at speeds that would result in applied g force. This would not be the case this evening. 

I started on my knees, later on one foot then another then a squatting position then hands on knees then down again, back up to hands on knees, rear end stuck way out for some sort of hopeful counter balance move I had made up and then back down again. I was NOT advising anyone of anything.  I was a mess.  

With expert instruction, I mean EXPERT, I began some sort of foot clomping move that propelled me forward, inertia was the biggest player here I'm sure but I was moving forward and not down so things were looking up. As I clomped and flailed and as my ankles burned from the absurd intensity of the physical adventure I was on the crew continued to advance in their lessons and maneuvers. I clomped, they skated, I clomped they split their feet, I clomped a little less they skated around cones. I clomped.  

I had nothing to offer this class. I had nothing to teach. I was no guide but... 

I was there to learn, to have fun, to challenge myself, to commune, to participate. I was not there to lead, guide, or excel. I was not there to solve someone's problem or to be useful. I was just there and I was the least capable woman in attendance and I was humbled. I was small, I was on the ground, of the ground and the opposite of sky as the first paragraph states. I was learning and receiving and I was meek. I was humble. Truly, completely, totally out of my comfort zone humble. I was also cared for and encouraged, supported and included. I was immediately aware of how often I resist the mode of receiving and wondered about what I was missing by doing so.  

Humility is uncomfortable and receiving without reciprocity is uncomfortable but the abundance of joy and connection that results from being of the earth rather than of the sky is nothing short of good medicine.  

I find it odd though that as each hour passes since the end of the experience the humility fades. This makes me wonder if humility is something that ought to be practiced as often and authentically as possible and what that might do for our connections and community.  

And yes, I am looking forward to my next roller-skating lesson.  

I fought my first fight at 42 maybe I can still be a Derby Girl after all.