Learning to Stop!

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.

Chicago skyline Image by David Z from Pixabay

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.

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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.

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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-

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and more berries–

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Wildflowers–

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and more wildflowers-

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Ducks–

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and more ducks–

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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.

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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.

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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!

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(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.)

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