Thursday, August 13, 2009

Why did I quit Rollerblading?

Q: What was it that the late R&B singer Aaliyah said?
A: I believe it was something in regards to repeated efforts.

Post 3 am and I can't sleep.
I will be getting into the shower in less than 3 hours.
This is the time of the night when I realize that I will not have a good night's sleep for work.

The thought doesn't help my mind in slowing down.
For a reason I choose to not share, I was thinking of golfing and dating.

Both are areas I am, compared to most people my age who date and who golf, relatively inexperienced.
Both are areas that been the source of pain, hardship, regression and small insignificant victories.
Both are areas that had instances of me being dumped without warning or stated purpose - just sheer avoidance by others.
Both are areas that I'm still working to improve.

I don't want to throw away by golf clubs.
I don't want to resign to dating failure and prepare for a life of solitude.

In this late night, I wonder if these two pursuits could be a source of personal strength.
Don't we all like to think of ourselves as fighters? Don't we want to be people who aren't quitters?
I wanted to look for other examples of hardships that I worked to overcome.

For some reason, my attempt at rollerblading came into my mind first.
Sadly, this shot down my entire theory.
I quit everything associated with rollerblading.
This was over 15 years ago.

When I was 16 I loved playing street hockey with my friends.
Maybe only one of us knew how to rollerblade, so we played on our feet.
These games are one of the rare reoccuring moments of my high school years that makes me smile. Those afternoons after school on Moki Lane in Mount Prospect were pure joy. Pure because it was youthful and harmless and fun because we always kept score, but never a historical track record.

Naturally, I wanted to take my new found love of hockey to the next step, and learn how to skate. I might have bought ice skates if I had come to this realization during winter, but it was summer when I bought "hockey type" rollerblades. They were made my CCM, a rather respectable hockey company. They were pretty sweet. My motion on them however was quite sour. After a week of gingerly sliding back and forth on the same 40 foot stretch of School Street I was done. Done forever.

What did I lack then in motivation that I now possess?
The easy answer might be maturity.
Ask MySister, she'll tell you that I still feel immature.
(which she disagrees, saying the sheer admission of that is a sign to the contrary)

Not saying this is the reason - but I think a lot has to do with the source of the pain I associate with some of these failures.
I, and I alone, was the cause for all the scrapes I suffered.
The embarrassment was caused, created and experienced in a vacuum of isolation.

Other people are involved with golfing and dating.
And although those 'other people' will never see the product their actions may have propelled, it has an effect deep in my thought process.

My vocabulary isn't deep enough to find a word fitting.
It's a distant nephew of revenge.
An ancestor of pride.
Maybe a pupil of selfishness.

The golf season is very close to ending.
My goal for this season will not be accomplished.
But I have had recent hope. And feel more confident (in this venture, not necessarily my "game") that I did at the start of the season.
I have a lot more to learn, and am more than okay with that.

Lately I've had renewed confidence in dating.
Opportunities that I never would have envisioned myself in years ago have become reality.
Situations that would have been paralyzing are now less fearful.

I'm more comfortable dating than golfing. I probably get into more trouble with dating, but I know what has to be done to improve the situation... Not like golf that, when it goes wrong, ends up in lost balls.

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