Friday, June 29, 2012

Where Have I Been?

Well, I've been working a lot. And Skating.

By now, word must have gotten around that Stitch has given up skating. The days were just getting too hard, the complaints too often, and I started to realize I was investing a hefty portion of my resources on something that was making everyone crazy.

Stitch wanted to be around other boys, and do boy things. He asked to join Scouts, and I said yes. And since I'm a "single activity" parent, I let him stop skating. And realistically, there was no way he could do both. Between the meetings and camps and campouts thus far, and Coach Y's insistence "he needs to skate more," I'd have driven myself insane attempting to do both.

Stitch had a good two years of skating. At some point he may indeed come back, I don't know. He came away with some great show experiences, a bunch of trophies, and a slew of friends. Right now he's knee deep in archery, creeks, bugs, camping, pocketknives and dirt. We're marching in the neighborhood 4th of July parade next week with his den or whatever. He's curious about this whole Webelos Concept, as am I. And he can still be a rink guard, which is what he always wanted. At home, we were happier.

 But at the rink, it was a hard few weeks. Between people asking where he was, the well wishers who were saying, "You can't let him quit!" and me feeling bad about the whole thing anyway, the last place on earth I wanted to be was that rink.

But I did go back. And often. And I fielded the questions and rebuttals and people who begged me to bring him back, piecing up my heart as I did so. Let me tell you, it was not easy. Many times I sat in the car in the parking lot, steeling myself before I headed in.

Why was I going to the rink if Stitch stopped skating?

Because I had picked it up. You see, although I wanted to skate, realistically only one of us could afford to at any given point. With Stitch now in a Bear Cub uniform, I was free to don the Lycra. And I did. I signed up for a class, I set to practicing on as normal a schedule as I could manage, and before I realized it, I was in Semi-Privates with a Coach.

Now, before anyone goes perclucking, let me explain.... I've been doing this seriously now for about three months. "Seriously" as in "Actually trying" and not just tooling around. I've lost ten pounds and taken three inches off my waist. (Lady Cluck says I am shrinking, and "hot as hell" in her words.) I can put on a pair of stretch pants and not feel like the daily cattle call at People of Walmart. I actually had to take in my original pair of "skating pants." I'm eating better. I'm not drinking as much. I'm actually getting up in the morning and fucking exercising. I've never done this, ever. I'm actually looking into taking a damn pilates class.

And I feel better. In fact, I'm happier and more relaxed than I have been in years. I feel stronger, lighter, faster. Just yesterday morning I did a dance step down the city sidewalk in the middle of rush hour, and I didn't give a damn what anyone thought. When anyone at the office starts behaving like an ass, I just smile lightly and wonder when I can work on improving that extension just a scoche more.

So, if anyone wants to ascribe my motivations to the lost aspirations of my kid, go right ahead. Fact is, I'm having an absolute ball. Yes, I could have slunk away quietly into the shadows, lost to the roster of kids that quit. Sometimes I really, really wanted to, but I'd made too many friends to walk away. I'd always loved the sport from afar, and I started to realize that this might be within my grasp. All I had to do was try, and if there's anything I'm good at, it's trying.