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It was a brilliant sunny day. Perfect for skating at Jarry Park. I watched my son-in-law skate circles around my grand-daughter. Then we persuaded her to do figure eights around the two of us. The fact that they both could skate so well encouraged me to try harder. After an hour going round the lake, I was quite pleased with my progress. Perhaps a bit too confident.

My gliding was giving me increased speed. So, I challenged my grand-daughter to a race across the ice. She warned me that she was not skating her “fastest” – so that I wouldn’t get too cocky as I yelled behind her “Here I come! I‘m catching you.”

In a flash of a second that all changed! The pick of my skate caught in one of the grooves of rough ice. And I almost did a face plant. I heard the two of them ask “Are you all right Bub?”. But I couldn’t answer as I “had the wind taken out of me”. I knew immediately that I had bruised my ribs and that I would be nursing myself back to my former self for a few days or weeks. Once I had regained my breath,  I was able to answer them: “I’m OK.” At that point, I just wanted to laugh – but it hurt too much.

At sixty-five I think that I should give up being reckless and challenging the grand-children to races as a means of trying to build their self-confidence. Instead I should just sit on the sidelines and yell “Good job!” Then they won’t have to rush over to pick up the pieces of a broken grandma.

Perhaps a few more times of having the wind knocked out of me and I will learn. Maybe! Or maybe not!

How do you build self-confidence in the young? Is it better to encourage from the sidelines or be in the midst of the action?

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