Roller Skating

Rachel Michelin


A few weeks ago my seven year old daughter attended a friend’s birthday party at the roller skating
rink. It has probably been about 25 years since I have roller skated, but it was a lot of fun. My daughter on the other hand had never roller skated before so it was quite an adventure. We laced up our skates and hit the rink. The first few turns around the rink were painful for her – a lot of falling, a sore bottom and a few tears. For most of the time I held her hand and tried to teach her how to maintain her balance. I picked her up when she fell and wiped the tears when she got frustrated. I certainly thought this would be her first, and her last, attempt at roller skating!

Funny thing happened – about 15 minutes into our roller skating experience she looked at me and said “Mom – sit. I am going to do this myself. I can do it.”

My first reaction was “What? You don’t need me to hold your hand?” but then I said “OK” and sat on the sideline to watch. She held the wall, she fell, but she kept getting up and trying. About an hour into our roller skating party they announce a game they were going to play – four corners and I watched her jump in to play. I was still on the sidelines watching and my first reaction was “this is good; at least she is giving it a try.” As the announced folks who got eliminated I kept watching, waiting for her to join me, but you know what – it didn’t happen. Instead she hung in there and guess what – SHE WON!!

Sometimes you need someone who will hold you had, cheer you on and help you realize you can be successful. That is what California Women Lead is all about. If you are not a member I hope you will join. If you are a member, THANK YOU, and we want to be your partner in your success!I think there are a lot of parallels with my daughter’s roller skating experience and the mission of California Women Lead. California Women Lead can be a crutch – we hand hold as women make the decision to put on those roller skates for the first time. We hold your hand when you take your first go around the rink. We pick you up, we wipe the tears and we provide you the support you need as you navigate the waters of the political arena. We are not here to judge, just to support. And at some point, we will watch you from the sidelines as you master the rink on go on to win.

I am so proud of my daughter and her independence on tackling the challenge of roller skating. In fact, she loved it so much that she wants to go back – sore bottom and all!

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