Freedom Skate Day 15: Night-Blading

Sept. 20, 2010

I went for a skate through New Haven, CT this evening. It’s not so dangerous – skating at night that is. Downtown areas are surprisingly well lit most places I go. The primary difference about a “night-blade,” 🙂 as Dillon and I jokingly call them, is that the pavement itself can be harder to predict. Cracks, twigs, and dirt patches can come seemingly out of nowhere. What’s interesting is that even though I occasionally trip or have a near fall, I’ve never actually fallen while night-blading. Since you can’t always see very well, you learn to rely on estimation and adaptation. It sounds crazy, but trusting your instincts and ability to quickly react works rather well. However, this only works if you are fully in the moment. Any day-dreaming (or night-dreaming 🙂 ) could lead to a serious spill. You have to focus on being where you are. Sure, you plan ahead, but this is only for the very long-term or very short-term. You can plan the final destination and the immediate route directly ahead, but you can’t plan for all of the obstacles along the way. Like a stand-up comedian, you learn to improvise and think creatively in the moment and under pressure.

Life and business are not so different from night-blading. Not so different at all. We still only know the basic direction we’re moving in; though, we probably don’t know the destination. We can only see what is immediately in front of us with any certainty, and we often find the need to estimate and improvise as we go. So what do we learn from night-blading? We learn to live in the moment, though not necessarily for the moment. We learn to set a course but be flexible enough to adapt and improvise as we go. Maybe what you need right now is something more like a night-blading attitude. It just depends on how keen your instincts are and how quickly you adapt…

- Austin S.

“The Freedom Skater”


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