Fitness Friday: roller skating and resilience

The parent group at Philip’s school held a roller skating party Monday evening to celebrate (?) the first day of spring break. I took Philip because it was the first day of spring break and Peter had already asked, “Are you taking Philip to work with you tomorrow?”

(The answer was no.)

This was not Philip’s first time roller skating. That was in December when the Cub Scout pack had its holiday party at the same rink. It was terrifying and wonderful all at once. I stayed in my street shoes because, even though there probably would not have been anything funnier than seeing the two of us constantly falling down, that wouldn’t have been fun for me. I was exhausted after the first five minutes of Philip clinging to me to stay balanced. It didn’t help that I was out of shape. I was wondering what I had gotten myself into. By the end of the evening, however, Philip could balance himself enough that I could let go. Sometimes.


What I admired most after that night was Philip’s resiliency. He just kept getting up. Philip didn’t cry once despite the number of times he fell. He just kept getting back up. I’m not sure where he gets that from. While Peter says I’m stubborn, I know that I can be quick to give up.

Thanks to his resiliency in December, on Monday, Philip didn’t fall down as much. In fact, we made two complete circuits before his first tumble. He seemed to delight in moments of being off-balance, giggling when he teetered, triumphant when he righted himself, laughing when he ended up on the floor. When he did fall, I could tell he had been distracted by all the flashing lights. He kept getting up, though, and we continued on our way.

Except for a few brief interludes, we went around in circles for two hours. I clocked 7,000 steps. More importantly, I was reminded of the importance of getting back up.

For the past year, I let diet setbacks overwhelm me. You ate too much for breakfast and lunch, I’d tell myself, so you might as well down a pint of Ben & Jerry’s, too. You didn’t walk yesterday, I’d think, what difference would a walk make today? I would fall down and not get back up. 

Resiliency isn’t about perfection. It’s about acknowledging and accepting moments of weakness. It’s about knowing you may fall down, but being willing to get back up. Philip on roller skates reminded me of that, as does this song.

Chumbawamba – “Tubthumping”

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