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When my daughter, Caralyn, was 7 years old, she really, really, wanted to take figure skating lessons. But in the community that we were living in she could not register until she was 8. All year long, she yearned to be a figure skater. She practiced on the outdoor rink in our backyard and when her brother was going off to free skate she would make sure we took her too.

It was finally time for the year end performance when all the figure skaters would put on a skating show to demonstrate what they had learned in the year. Right after the performance was registration for the following year.

I remember thinking how exciting this was going to be for Caralyn. She would get to see all the figure skaters and then she too would be able to sign up to join the club!

We all watched with rapt attention as each level of skating class performed on ice. At the end, I expected Caralyn to be rushing me down to the sign up booth, but instead she wandered off to play with some other little friends. I followed her and reminded her about signing up.

“Let’s go down and sign you up for next year’s skating classes!”

Her little face fell. “I can’t sign up for figure skating.” she told me.

I was puzzled. Why the change of heart?

“Yes, you can, I said, we’ll go right now.” “No, mom, I can’t!” and her tears began to fall.

“Why can’t you?” I asked.

“Because I can’t do those twirls.”

Well, we did sign her up that day, after I explained to her that she didn’t have to know how to do it all before she started. That is why we were signing her up, so that she could learn to do the jumps, and the twirls, and all the fancy footwork.

We must start with an interest and a desire and then we find the teachers who can help us toward our goal. Our teachers will come in many forms however we don’t need to take on the world by ourselves. “When the student is ready, the teacher will appear.” We often are in a state of panic because we don’t know what we have come to learn. Ask any university or college student about their fears. But learning should be fun and an exciting journey. Relax and travel through it with an open heart.

Originally written October 26, 2008 Updated: November 7, 2020