Saturday, March 20, 2010

It's Hard Work

Middle Man decided he wanted to play hockey like his big brother Hockey Boy. He is not that interested in the NHL yet, but after watching the Olympics he is determined to be a Team USA Hockey Player. He is determined until it comes time to skate. At first he was really enthusiastic about putting on his skates and heading to the ice. Until it was time to actually walk on the ice. Middle Man was really scared of falling down. So scared that he is really cautious on the ice. So different from Little One who also started ice skating lessons last month. Little One just stepped right onto the ice and went for it, falling down often and then getting back up and going again. But Middle Man was so scared of falling down that he had trouble trying the things his teacher wanted him to do. He marched on the ice very tentatively the first few lessons, but slowly, ever so slowly, built up some speed. He never fell but he also got really frustrated with how hard it is to learn to skate. Last week he fell for the first time and was really upset at first laying on the ice for a bit. It was his first fall and I think he had to figure out that he really wasn't hurt. He had been so scared of falling up to that point that I think he really built it up in his head. It was holding him back from trying new things.

There have been many tears but he has stayed on the ice. As his coach said last week he just wants to be good now. It is frustrating to see others get it so easily or to see your big brother skating around the ice with ease and not be able to just walk onto the ice and go. Yesterday, I took him to a makeup lesson. He got ready for the rink without any problems, but when we got there, he said it did not want to skate. He did not want to play hockey anymore. I put on his skates and his helmet as he was saying this because I knew that while it was hard he really did need to persevere. He wants to play hockey, but he wants it to come to him easy. He does not realize how much work it has taken for Hockey Boy to get good. But ice skating, like life, takes hard work. It takes perseverance. It takes time. We have talked about it, but in the moment, Middle Man wants to take the easy path. He wants to not skate.

So yesterday I asked him if he still wanted to be on the Olympic hockey team and he said yes. And then he walked off toward the ice. He had an amazing class. He swizzled forward. He wiggled backward. He did hard things for the first time ever. He was actually skating and I heard him say, "I'm going so fast." He was so proud of himself! He had persevered. He is getting better each time. And someday he will be on Team USA!

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