If you are the proprietor of Gild Tennis Club, do not read the following post.

What else do students have to do to wind down from a heavy day of D&AD madness? Flo gives us an insight into why the learning experience from her new-found skill seems a far cry from the experience she endured at the hands of New Blood over the past four weeks.

*Disclaimer: SCA takes no responsibility for our students’ illegal entering of buildings after dark (or in the daytime)

I have a confession to make. Gild Tennis Club has a nightly illegal visitor, and she’s utilising their wonderfully smooth, wide courts to learn a new skill. That visitor is of course, is me, and the skill in question is rollerskating. I’ve always wanted to be able to gracefully glide and weave my way around on wheels, and I can finally say that after 9 nights of practicing, I can now skate backwards, do 8 wheel spins, crossovers and I’m starting to get the hang of the moonwalk. 

I love how predictable learning to skate can be. I’ll sneak under the wire fence at 8 pm, not knowing a thing about T stops, yet one hour and two YouTube videos later, I’ll have the skill pretty much under my belt. It’s amazing to be able to feel your progress. Every time I learn something new, I feel like I’ve unlocked a whole new territory of potential. The reason I mention this, is because this system of steady, buildable progression could not be more at odds with my working day. I’ll spend hours researching, writing, thinking, hoping for some sort of D&AD breakthrough, only to end up with absolutely nothing to show for it. We’re always told how hard work beats talent, but it feels as if that’s only true for things like roller skating, where progress feels linear.

Maybe that’s why I’ve become so instantly obsessed with it. I can’t tell you how wonderful it feels to plug into my 70s playlist, lace up my skates and drill a new skill until it feels like second nature. It was the same when I was learning to snowboard. I spent a good few days on my arse in the snow, but every time I fell, I could feel my feet getting the hang of turning, carving, and switches. After 3 weeks of getting bruised by the sea, I eventually felt comfortable on my surfboard. I usually love being rubbish at things. In fact, I relish in it, because the feeling of steadily improving is so satisfying. Even though you’re rubbish, at least you’re in control. But being rubbish at D&AD feels totally different. All the usual criteria for improvement are there – extensive time put in, determination, a will to achieve. But I can’t feel myself getting better, and that’s probably why I’m just desperate for it to be over, to be honest. Wow, that took a turn. Here’s a nice picture of me skating in the tennis court to lighten the mood.

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