If you’ve been to a roller-skating rink with children under the age of 10 in the past 2 years, you’ve probably seen a roller-skating walker. This tool is used to help new skaters learn how to skate without the fear of falling. When I first saw one, I was so excited! I could hand one to each of my girls who had zero skating skills and they could take off.
Recently we attended a skating party and when we made it to the counter to rent their skates, I asked the guy if they had any walkers. He said no. No!? What!? How am I supposed to support two little girls who have zero skating skills? It’s 2018. This rink is designed for children. How can you not have walkers?
Then I realized that my girls and I seemed to be the only ones bothered by this shortcoming. All the other parents and children were grabbing their skates, lacing up, and heading out to the rink.
I decided to get over it, lace up my girls, and make the most of it. One of my older daughter’s friends took her hand while I took my youngest’s hand. The friend showed Gabrielle how to take full advantage of the wall; then she encouraged her to try the middle of the rink.
No wall. No one else’s hand. No walker. She did it. She fell. She realized she was still alive, got up, and did it again.
Olivia saw this and told me that she wanted me to let go of her hand. She headed out to the middle of the rink.
No wall. No one else’s hand. No walker. She fell. She realized she was still alive, got up, and did it again.
I did not plan on this particular trip to the rink being the one where I can sit and chat with friends while my 7- and 4-year-old novice skaters enjoy the rink unassisted. But that is exactly what happened. When the walker was not an option, learning how to keep balance in other ways became a necessity.
It is amazing what we are capable of doing when we have to.
Is there an area in your life where you would throw a fit if a “walker” of sorts was no longer an option? By “walker” I’m referring to all of the external tools we lean on to calm our fear of being alone, unhappy, broke, or rejected.
The thought of taking steps without your “walker” can be scary. That relationship, friendship, habit, approval, or money that you have leaned upon for so long has kept your fears at bay. The reality is, after so long our tools can become crutches. That which may have served us well in the beginning may now be stunting our progress. This is true if we find ourselves just as dependent as when we started. Perhaps you are waiting on the desire to go “walker-free.” Well, as with my girls and me, the desire was not there—the option was! We could leave mad or stay and give something new and challenging a try. I’m so happy we chose the latter.
You can do the same. You may fall a few times. You’ll realize you are still alive, get up, and try it again. Don’t believe me? Toss the “walker” and before long you’ll be gliding along with a level of skill and expertise you never realized you possessed.
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” ( Isaiah 41:10)