Even as a little girl I had many fears of falling. I never learned to ride a bicycle because of this fear. My father bought me a tricycle when I was little that was huge. To reach the peddles of the trike, he had to put blocks on them. When my friends graduated to bikes, I was finally able to reach the peddles of my trike.
I must have asked for the bicycle, or perhaps he just thought it was time. He went to a thrift store to buy one for me. Once again, the thing was huge. Way too big for my small body to handle. I remember him walking beside the bicycle to stabilize it while I tried to ride. Both the bike and I were clumsy together. He took it back and got his money back. I never learned to ride.
My dad did take me ice skating. I did ice skate. I think he had visions of me being a great ice skater. I could get around the rink finally without holding on but I never learned to pick both feet up - one foot always clung to the ice, refusing to raise.
I loved the skates my dad bought for me. They were white. They were new, a rarity in my childhood. I saved my allowance money and bought pom-poms for them. Prospect Park had free skating every Saturday morning. I'd take the city bus, transfer to another one and arrive at the park to skate. I was not yet 12 years old because had I been, I couldn't have skated for free. It didn't cure my fear of ice or my fear of falling.
I used to think I liked new challenges. I think I did. Every move until this one I have welcomed. My brother told me when I first moved to South Dakota that I'd make an adventure out of it. I haven't. I have only tenuously walked out on the ice. I'm afraid.