Sunday, August 31, 2014

Stages of Learning a New Skating Skil

Stage 1: The Introduction

Coach says he wants you to try something new, the back mohawky swing thing. He assures you this is good for you, and demonstrates. The blank look on your face must be a tipoff, because he says to try on the wall first. So you try on the wall while going very, very slow. Somehow, you eke it out.

Stage 2: The Attempt

Now he wants you to try the back mohawky swing thing on a circle. Because a skater's world is always on a circle. The blank look goes to one of abject terror, so Coach holds your hand like a gentleman for the first few tries. You eke a few out.

Stage 3: The Failure

Seeing that you have done one, Coach decides you're a pro and lets go. You try the back mohawky swing thing, and promptly fall on your ass. Coach says to work on it.

Stage 4: Bake at 450 degrees for four weeks.

Once on your own practice, you try the back mohawky swing thing because you are a good skating student. Keep telling yourself that. So while the other skaters are flying and spinning and jumping all over, generally being cool, you are on your circle, dutifully doing back mohawky swing things and failing over and over and over again.

Stage 5: Taste for doneness.

Then you do one. And it felt right and good and you stand there for a moment wondering what just happened. You try again, hopeful. And fall on your ass.

Stage 6: Continue baking until done.

You keep on doing back mohawky swing things.  You hate them. You dread that part of your practice. You are positive that all the other cool skaters are watching you while you fail at back mohawky swing things. But you are a good skater and you keep trying. Somehow, they are starting to work.

Stage 7: Let Cool.

Then one day the back mohawky swing thing works. Consistently. So you pick up some speed. And you're still on your feet. And you look up to see if the cool skaters saw it. But they didn't because really, no one is really watching anyone else too closely on practice ice. So you go to public skate, and do a back mohawky swing thing, and all the public skaters think you are cool. Life is good.

Stage 8: Grief.

So proud of yourself, you show Coach. He says you can do it better, which is normal but still annoying. Then he says you should try the inside back mohawky swing thing.

Repeat this process until you are a good skater.

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