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It’s funny what you really notice when you have to concentrate and are not able to think about anything else. A bit like at the Oscars when Warren Beaty said La La Land and not Moonlight. It is also like stating don’t think about a red post box—bang! and there it is in your head and ready to have your post deposited!
So, the task needing so much concentration? Ice skating. The more you don’t concentrate on the ice skating, the more you end up on your backside! This was proven last weekend when we made the annual (who knows why we only do it once a year) trip to the garden centre Christmas ice rink. Yes, Christmas is once, but other non festive ice rinks do exist. Shame I didn’t think about a visit to an ice rink in the heat of summer!
On the ice: One dad, two boys, and a penguin (for support), and an adoring Mum watching from the side, but not as a wife... as I was told I was getting in the way of good photo opportunities!
There are not millions of things that need total concentration when you’re doing them. Ice skating is there with juggling. Total concentration on both or you look like a complete pillock!
The boots went on and were adjusted to a tight fit, the clips went across, and we watched the ice bulldozer scrape and smooth the ice after the previous skating session. Eventually the staff opened the door to the ice, we joined the queue to get a penguin, and then only to fall over and make a complete fool of myself, which I normally do without the aid of ice!
Jaden (eight years old) got his penguin and said, "Dad, how do I move forward?"
Watching, I could see Jaden’s legs going backwards and forwards like mad, but not moving forward. I say forward because one common direction I could see was up and down, or more falling down (while holding the penguin to keep him steady), and then trying to pull himself up, holding onto me, as I held onto the penguin to stop me from going over.
Let me introduce you to Torvill’s Law which states that:
"The balance of an adult on ice comes increasingly difficult with the more children you are supporting, whilst their losing their balance."
In other words,
Child(ren) in hand = Adult on bum!
Jaden and I went for a couple of laps to gain his confidence and some forward movement; these each took ages to complete. After three laps we decided to ditch the penguin and go old school, holding hands to get more confidence, and then use the penguin again after.
I have to ask what will seem a completely unrelated question here: Why is Peppa Pig so annoying yet so accurate? In one particular annoying episode George Pig goes ice skating and is a complete natural. (Sorry a spoiler alert is too late here!) Why is he so good? Because Peppa tells him it’s so simple, push, push, slide! Damn that walking talking Sunday roast—she is spot on!
Off Jaden and I went, and as we started he asked, "You won’t let go of me, will you?" After reassurance on our laps, Jaden falling over, and me almost toppling, this was the moment I realised that it was the two of us and nothing else around us mattered. No interruptions, no technology, nothing else—just the two of us and really deep belly laughing at the situation we were in. I thought when was the last time it was like this? Whilst falling.
What did I learn from this then?
- Got to make time to have more of this total concentration time to have quality laughter time,
- Peppa Pig may taste good between two slices of bread, but her wisdom is not to be ignored,
- It’s confirmed that I’m low down on the Mum/Wife pecking order, and
- Skating is not just for Christmas…
As for proof of the concentration at the end when they called us off the ice, my mind started wandering as did my balance and legs!
From competent to complete pillock in seconds!