Sometimes I forget that my body is just not capable of doing certain things.
Sometimes I forget that I was the girl who could only stop running by falling over. Sometimes I forget that I was the girl who had no balance whatsoever. Sometimes I forget I was the girl who had to practice for days be able to catch a ball, skip a rope or join in with any game that involved any kind of coordination of anything.
This went mostly unnoticed by my friends and other classmates because what I lacked in physical ability, I made up for in sheer determination. I would practice and not give up until I could perform whatever skill I needed to an acceptable standard. Giving up or failing was not something I even considered, it was not an option.
Nowadays I function a lot better and as said above, most of the time I forget that I am the girl who can only put her coat on if starting with the right sleeve (please don’t ask me why because I have no idea, but it just won’t work if I stick my left arm in first!). This afternoon I had a classic reminder of the girl I used to be and probably still am. I was looking for something in our garage and came across my inline skates. I used to love those things, I was never any good (what a shock, I know) but I enjoyed them anyway. So, I thought I would try them on. They still fitted but surprise surprise I couldn’t stand up. My husband kindly reminded me that I have a bad knee and it might not be such a good idea, but I ignored him and pulled myself up on our garage door. I moved my foot forwards about half an inch. That was enough. There was no way I was going to let go of that garage door.
And enter the moment that my awkward body shows me up. I could not sit back down. I physically couldn’t do it. My husband said: ‘Just get up the way you sat down’. Sounds easy enough, but I couldn’t remember how I got up and even if I did I doubt it would have made the slightest difference. The only way to get down would be if my husband would hold on to me and lower me down (hopefully gently), and right at that moment Elisabeth runs off. So whilst my husband runs after our little whirlwind I am standing there wondering what to do. I decide that the only way is to try and take these skates off which is not an easy task as my legs are rather long and I am not known for being able to easily reach my toes. But to my great relief, I manage to take off one of my skates and sit down to get the other one off as quickly as possible.
Twenty years ago I would have spent the next few weeks with the skates glued to my feet, but not now. I am quite happy to just not be able to do certain things. But only sometimes, most of the time failure is still not an option and perfection is always the aim, whether it is possible or not.