Last Saturday, a number of the dons in residence organized a trip for their houses to Nathan Phillips Square for a night of ice skating. Ice skating, and winter sports have never been a big part of my life… and by big part I mean, I tend to go into a pseudo-hibernation whenever winter rolls around. I enjoy curling up in a ball with hot chocolate and a good book or movie as opposed to going outside to ski or snowboard… or even walk somewhere.
I was a little hesitant to go skating, because I haven’t been on the ice since grade 6 when my elementary school would have it’s annual trip to the ice rink where I would (against my will) have to strap on a pair of rented ice skates and hold on to the wall around the rink for dear life. Fast forward 8 years, and take away the small amount of safety that the wall would provide me, and understandably, my fear of skating has grown.
My knees shook, every little shift off balance made my life flash before my eyes, and I spent the majority of the time holding on to someone for support. I honestly was scared to go ice skating because my brain doesn’t quite understand how those two blades are able to keep me upright and how I’m supposed navigate through the maze of children, experienced skaters that are doing turns and skating backwards and everybody else.
A 19 year-old admitting that he’s scared of something that three year olds do? Why? Because it surprisingly taught me a very important lesson: Try things you’re scared of.
I’m one of those people that likes to have things planned out. I know everything about a subject, research into it and make sure I understand it completely before I dive into it. I don’t like surprises, I don’t like being caught off guard or unaware. So if there is a task, event, opportunity that might scare me, might worry me, that isn’t in my wheelhouse of expertise, I tend to avoid it until I feel more comfortable with it.
But obviously, one can’t expect to know everything about everything. So there will be times in life where events will present themselves that might be a little frightening. It might surprise you! Sure, I probably won’t go skating again (willingly), but it was fun to get off campus, participate in a classic “Torontonian” tradition,spend some time with some great people and try something new!
How about you? Any fears you recently faced or conquered?