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The Better Way to Fly
The horrendous ice monster engulfed my sight, it was all I could see. Its clear surface mocked me, and the thin lines of red and blue stood out against the glassy undertone like battle scars. Any minute now, I would push open the door that locked him in, step into his world, and face my deepest fear. I had no courage what so ever. Courage is like trust, you have to earn it yourself. No one can conquer your fears for you. I knew that my only fear was falling, but I also knew that the only way I could be courageous was if I conquered my simple fear. The instructor said that this would be an easy fear to face, and that it was like riding on an airplane, but I did not believe her. This seemed more petrifying than anything I had ever done.
My friend, Anna, who was much younger and shorter than I, looked at me, “Are you ready?” She asked.
I nodded, even though I felt far from ready. I was so afraid, that I could not even feel my own legs.
She heaved the heavy door open and it didn’t look as if it was going to budge and inch, but stunningly it swung around and hit the wall with a loud, definite bang. I stared down at my boots, too nervous to do much else. They were tan and red with mismatched laces, and looked an awful lot like bowling shoes.
In front of me, I saw Anna cautiously step through the entrance, holding on to the ledge on the wall for support. Her legs wobbled dangerously, as if it any moment, she would lose her footing and fall to the ground.
I watched her for a minute, but I knew I could not delay this any longer. If I didn’t step onto that ice soon, everyone would know that I was apprehensive about going on the ice. I was the oldest! I should be intrepid and encourage the others to come with. I held my breath, and marched through the entry.
At first, I did not understand what was happening. As I stepped onto the thick sheet of ice that was the ice monster, I felt buoyant. The cold air made me more alert and awake then ever, and the rink smelled like happiness, an entire building made of vanilla ice cream, with whip cream and sprinkles on top! I took another step and looked down in awe as the blade on my “bowling shoes” cut a straight line in the polished ice.
What I did not realize until it was too late, was that I had lost my balance and was falling, tumbling, plummeting, to the ground. When I dropped to my knees, I thought that I would feel defeated, because my one fear had come true. Oddly enough, I felt victorious, as if I had been fighting my fear and won, not lost. I had been courageous and I had looked my fear straight in the eyes. I had challenged it. I could not help myself. I was so elated that I laughed at loud.
“Are you all right?” Anna asked, looking at me incredulously.
I smiled up at her, “ Never better,” I replied, and I truly meant it.
Now, eight years later, challenging that ice monster is easy, and every time I do, I always feel like I am flying. To me, that is what ice skating is. It is like being airborne, but your feet seldom leave the ground. I do not think that riding on an airplane is what it really feels like to soar above everything else, because to me, ice skating is the better way to fly.