Thursday, August 8, 2013

Nervous Systems

I can’t do a crossover. I know the mechanics. I know that falling really doesn’t hurt. I know it is an issue of mind over matter. But right now, I don’t trust my mind. So pushing through that fear and distrust is difficult for me.

I’m skating so much better than when I first started. I’ve had help from the veteran skaters, who tuned my skates to my skating style. Who knew you can tune your skates to get them to perform the way you want them too. My coaches have observed my skills and given me very specific and helpful pointers to help my form. Improving my form improves both my strength and my endurance. I’m not spending all my energy compensating for my lack of ability.

But I can’t get myself to do a crossover. I get close, and I chicken out. I ramp up my speed on the straightaway, get to the turn, and pick up my right leg for one brief second. Then my brain overrides the vote of my legs. Cowardly brain.
Nerves are obviously not my strong suit. Literally and metaphorically. It’s funny, though… If it wasn’t for my traitorous nervous system, I would never have set out to find courage. My rebellious brain has not only triggered optic neuritis. It has triggered this determination to test my courage.

You know who is one of the bravest people I know? My niece, who is starting kindergarten in a couple weeks. It’s not that she is incredibly tough. She isn’t especially daring. She just never lets anything get in between her and what she wants.

When she got her ears pierced last year, we warned her that it might hurt for a minute. She said that she didn’t care if she cried. She got the first one done, and it did cause a couple tears. But she just powered through and got the other one pierced.

Her first loose tooth was ready to come out, and she let me try to pull it. We got it most of the way. She got upset (I think more because it was bleeding a little, than because it hurt). Then she marched into the bathroom and finished the job herself.

That girl, she is brave. She is my great reminder that bravery does not mean never crying. It’s not about pretending something doesn’t hurt. It’s about doing it anyway, even if it does hurt.

The incredibly brilliant and talented J.K. Rowling once said, “You sort of start to think anything’s possible if you’ve got enough nerve.” I need to find that nerve within myself. I need to do a crossover. I’m sort of starting to think it’s possible.


  1. She is one tough cookie and so is her auntie. :)

  2. Skate on! Be bold and be brave, it's the only way to deal with MS! Let your niece be your inspiration, my granddaughter is mine, and I have learned so much from her.