I gained interest in rollerblading when I was about 6-7 years old. My neighbour then called Barbs had a pair of shiny blue rollerblades that I really admired. One day I actually borrowed her the blades to try out, and the number of times I fell that day was more than the number of times I stood up. It was absolutely exhausting.
There were times I nearly crawled to get going, other times I held onto people and other times I held onto parked cars in the estate. I felt like a child learning to walk from scratch, but there was something truly exciting about falling and rising.
It took me several days to finally get the stability needed to move around, I would borrow those blades for about an hour a day and practice. One thing I knew for sure is that my father would not buy me a pair if he knew how much I fell with them, so perfection was key for me.
When I finally gained the courage to go round the estate, I approached my dad with a proposal. I asked him to buy me a pair, on condition that if I fell, he had the liberty to take them back. I pestered him for a while until he finally gave in and bought me a shiny black pair.
He brought them on a Friday night and when I woke up on Saturday morning there was a brand new pair of roller blades on the dining room table. The only catch was that I had to wait for him to wake up so that I could try them outside, and when I did, I went to the end of the estate and back, much to the amazement of my father. He had no idea that I had practised for almost a month prior to asking him to buy for me.
I finally got to convince my friends to pester their parents to buy them blades so we could be one big skating fraternity, funny enough, it was girls that actually took up this “sport”, boys stuck to the normal toys, bicycles. That was until our neighbour’s cousin came for the holidays, this boy was a pro, we had never seen anything like that before! He taught us new tricks, fancy tricks, to make out skating much more fun and easy, and we were willing to learn. I remember one day we had a race, and we did not see a car coming from one end, that forced us to do something none of us had ever done before, we managed to get onto the pavement while still in motion, and back onto the tarmac, in full speed to avoid the car and continue with the race, that was scary and exhilirating at the same time!
Now, what lessons are these you ask?
I learnt that in order to succeed you will fail, once or twice or even many times, failure is part of success, I watched many people give up on the blades after the first fall, but I knew that was part of the process so I kept going till I perfected the art.
Do you want to be great at something? Keep doing it over and over again. Do you want to be a guru at trading shares or forex trading, use those dummy websites to practise a few minutes or hours a day until you get the hang of it. Practising with my friend’s blades made me ready to get my own.
When you become good at something you are able to convince others to join you aboard, when your idea is good, people will buy your products, enroll for your services and stick to your plan, how do you think I was able to convince my friends to get blades too, Barbs showed that it could be done.
Never stop learning, when you think you are the best at something, someone else comes along and proves you wrong, put your pride down and learn, learn, learn. If we had been stuck up, our neighbour’s cousin wouldn’t have taught us new and exciting tricks.
Finally, necessity is the mother of invention. That car that appeared out of nowhere forced us to do something that we had once thought impossible, climbing pavements while in motion. We could have chosen to stop the race there and then, but instead we sought the next best solution, and that kept us going. When faced with a hurdle, learn to think on your feet, take risks that you never thought possible, you will be surprised at how much you can achieve outsie your comfort zone.
Now I don’t rollerblade anymore, I just admire the sport from a far, maybe one day I will go back, but for now I can refelct on the lessons this sport taught me at an early age.