Minimum skills. Man do I have a lot of feelings about minimum skills. When I first started skating my now oldest child was six weeks old. I was overweight and out of shape but desperate to do anything to fill the void my daughter had left empty as she exited my uterus. Minimum skills became this forever daunting, looming task that I was destined to fail. And fail I did. Miserably. I mean 13 minutes to skate 25 laps kind of fail (it was supposed to be done in five). Five years later and I am still fighting to prove myself. Once a year I have to pass the minimum skills test in order to skate with a team. I haven’t passed it yet in all that time. This year I want it more than I think I have ever wanted it. Maybe because this year I finally feel like I can do it. Now all I have to do is get one of the coaches to take me seriously. They’ve all watched me fail so often I don’t think any one of them actually believes I can do it. I’m not sure if I should ask for help or just take a back seat and let them focus on the skaters that they actually believe in. Everyone is nice enough, lots of head nodding when I reach out and voice my desires to pass. I’m not sure they are actually listening or just waiting for me to stop talking so that they can go about their own more important business. I love my league, I just want to feel like I am a part of it. No one is actively making me feel like an outsider. Minimum skills is just hard. Hella hard. And I need help. How do I get people to take me seriously? I know I have improved. Today I can do things I never thought I would be able to do. I can skate 27 laps in 6ish minutes! That is incredibly close to the requirement of 5 minutes. How do I say that I’m afraid that pushing for the coaching attention I need will only cause resentment or rejection? I spent a lot of years being told that I can’t do it or that I shouldn’t do it. I spent a lot of years babysitting the merchandise table. I am ready to skate.