This is what short track speed skating looks like.
If we had a long track speed skating program where I live I’d take it because skating this close to someone else scares the buh-jeebus out of me. In long track you skate in pairs and there’s buffer room.
The truth is I’m not afraid of falling and hurting myself, I’m afraid of falling and hurting someone else. One of the people in my class is an ex-NHL player. I know nothing about hockey and was all happy being oblivious until someone told me he was actually a pretty big deal. And then I was all “why the hell would you tell me that?” and since then, I can’t get rid of the visions of me falling and taking him out.
Not to mention the other skaters who whip by me on the rink. I can see them coming from the corner of my eye and I’ll hesitate doing a crossover because I’m afraid *that’s* the moment I’ll slip and end up killing someone.
Finally, last week I told one of the coaches about my fear of taking out another skater and how I was always aware of who was coming up behind me so I wouldn’t hurt anyone. And then he gave me what has so far been the greatest piece of speed skating advice I’ve ever been given.
Always look forward and focus on the skaters ahead of you, the skaters behind you will be doing the same thing.
Basically, I need to stop looking over my shoulder and worrying about what everyone else is doing, look forward and focus on what’s ahead.
Funny how that works in real life as well.
Image courtesy of johnthescone’s European Short Track Speed Skating Championships, flickr