Photo by James Lee on Unsplash
By Sharon Marie Lawlor
My twelve-year-old daughter has been involved in artistic roller skating for four years now. Every Saturday was devoted to group classes to learn new skills, moving up another level once she had mastered those techniques. That lead her to joining a synchronized roller skating competitive team called Jr. Precision after her first year. This was a brand-new team put together by her coach, Lawaun Modrich.
Modrich has forty years of experience being an advanced roller figure-skating coach, and has been teaching at Riverside Arena in Livonia for much of that time. The previous Jr. Precision team had disassembled because the team members aged out at 16; so, Lawaun hand-picked new members from her Saturday morning classes. They ranged from 8-14 years of age, boys and girls.
Working together as a group of 10-12 for an extra hour each week gave the kids a new set of skills to learn. Instead of working on their own skillset, they learned what it meant to work as a team. They were coming from different levels (my daughter was in Level 3 of eight at the time; now she’s in Level 8) and needed to work together to achieve the desired choreography.
It was amazing to see how this group of kids came together. Even the coach was amazed at this, saying she’d never seen a team quite like this before in all her years of teaching! They became a family and cheered each other on. No one wanted to let the team down, so they each worked extra hard to perform as best as they could.
Us parents were so inspired by them. We saw them compete for the first time locally, then regionally in Wisconsin, and then off to nationals in Nebraska. Most of them hadn’t ever competed, but they showed us that didn’t matter in the outcome. They placed second place both at regionals and nationals that year. The first-place team was from Ohio — a much older and more seasoned team that was rumored to have tryouts to be on the team and practiced four times a week. When our team won second place at nationals, all of us parents were crying and cheering for them. The team rallied around the coach with the biggest smiles on their faces. Against the odds, their passions shined, and they won!
Skating is every bit a sport as any other. It takes skill. It takes time. And it takes a massive amount of dedication, discipline, focus, vision, perseverance, and more.
When our daughter reached a certain level in skating, my husband and I said we would take Level 1 skating Saturday morning classes for five weeks. Most of the time, the class is filled with very agile kids, just five years of age and older, trying out skating for the first time. When we took the class January-February 2019, there were many other adult couples taking it as well.
There were five different skills we learned and practiced each week. This was not only about moving forward; there was jumping with all eight wheels off the ground at the same time, balancing off-center, bending at the waist with arms spread out like an airplane, squatting down knees together in a choo-choo with hands clasped straight out in front, going backwards, as well as marching forward.
Being a bodyworker, I had such fears of injuring myself and not being able to perform my work. One of the parents on my daughter’s team mentioned that the first time she stepped out on the floor as an adult, she fell and broke her wrist!
The first thing we learned in class was how to fall. I laughed as I typed that, reminiscing about how we deliberately had to fall on our bum, even when we didn’t want to. But there was a reason. Everyone falls while skating, no matter your level or expertise. If one falls “correctly” on the bum, your wrists won’t get injured as they would if you braced your fall with your hands. That’s a normal response, and it’s hard to train yourself not to do that!
Coach Lawaun wants her skaters to realize that falls do happen, and that not only is it okay to fall, it’s expected. My husband likes to say, “We are meant to rise.” That pertains not only to the physical act of skating, but to our own lives when any mistake happens.
“The most important life lesson skaters can take from this sport into adulthood,” says Coach Lawaun, “is the ability to recover from a mistake. The skater who can get up, smile, and continue like the mistake never happened will have an increased chance at success later on.”
Falls happen and are expected in life. We’re meant to take incremental steps in learning new skills that build upon one another in life or business, just as in the skill levels in skating. What we learn on the rink floor in skating or in other sports has a lifelong impact on its athletes when out in the real world. Coach Lawaun states that her skating classes help participants develop lifelong skills such as listening, problem-solving, focus, discipline, goal-setting, teamwork, and leadership. She and all of her skaters carry these lessons with them into their daily lives.
“The successful skater/student/entrepreneur learns to tune out the distraction and focus on what’s immediately in front of her,” Coach Lawaun continues. “In this case, it’s practice time. The skater who can tune out the world and think only about the skating task at hand will have an easier time in high school, college, and work.”
Now practicing for 12 hours a week over four days, my daughter divides and focuses each day on what she needs to work on. In business, that would be considered group tasking, focusing on one particular task at hand.
I can definitely see that being effective. When I was on the rink floor, I took off my glasses so I wouldn’t be distracted by the activity around me. I wanted to focus on what I was doing to bring all of my attention there. I saw the importance of learning step-by-step and going out of one’s comfort zone, too. If it were easy, there wouldn’t be growth. One needs to stretch in order to expand their comfort container — all while building confidence each time one succeeds where they didn’t think was possible. Pure potential is at our disposal.
When we’re out on our own, though, it’s harder to stretch. Our ego wants to keep us safe; it wants to stay in the comfort zone. Coaches and mentors help us extend our muscles safely and effectively.
I’ve definitely seen that with my daughter in her skating. I’ve seen how that has impacted her schoolwork, her friendships, and her eagerness to try new things.
The more I challenge myself (with the help of my mentors and coaches), the more vibrant and fulfilling my life becomes. I can now glide easily around obstacles that used to blow me off course.
These lessons help me have a larger vision for myself. This is where the pure potential meets the expanded version of self, pushing comfort aside in favor of possibility. This creates a beautiful life and a beautiful impact on others. If you can say yes to yourself, it allows others to be able to say yes to themselves. And that, my friend, is what this life is about — lifting each other up.
Sharon Marie Lawlor is an intuitive healer transpiring deep transformational healing sessions empowering women to live from their heart. Immersed in the field since 2004.
She is driven by the beauty of nature that has led her desire to want to create a better world. Knowing she was a part of this shift from the young age of seven.
She is a spiritual truth seeker constantly questing for expansion in her own personal growth. Sharon has made it her personal mission to reclaim her inner light by intentionally living a life that fills her soul.
Sharon has an office in Ann Arbor, Michigan working with clients one-on-one. She currently is working on healing arts process videos incorporating all of her wisdoms where she can reach a wider audience online. Visit www.TranquilBeing.com to find out more.