On losing non-permanent skills

by Michael S. Kaplan, published on 2006/10/14 02:51 -04:00, original URI: http://blogs.msdn.com/b/michkap/archive/2006/10/13/824458.aspx

I was watching the movie Ice Princess, which is I suppose a form of guilty pleasure for me (watching a movie that I know has technical flaws even before I am told about them, and which I know is tugging at heart strings and manipulating me as I am watching it yet do not mind).

I had seen it several times before, but I am always doing something else at the same time with the movie playing in the background (a habit that multimon has only encouraged), so I have to watch a movie a bunch of times to actually see it!

And as I was watching, and trying on one level to spot which skating double was covering Michelle Trachtenberg in each scene where a double was being used (that sort of thing relaxes me; if it ruins the movie for you then I'm sorry!), on another level I was thinking about how I was a pretty lousy skater as a child and as a teenager. It really wasn't until my early 20's that I actually tried to learn (I never really tried with roller skating), and then a few years after that I kind of lost the coordination to keep doing it.

Now I was never doing anything all that fancy so Michelle's skate double doing a triple Lutz inspiring the whole line of thought is like a World Series game reminding someone of their little league days, but I held my own on the ice if you know what I mean. Losing it was to say the least annoying.

It is the sort of thing that bothered me, though mainly subconsciously at the time. I guess I could put other stuff in that category, like dancing or playing the saxophone (or tuning a guitar!).

There is just something about losing a skill that I had specifically worked to add to my repertoire, and then lost, which just feels worse somehow then the stuff I was always able to do (like walking). You know, the problem is that its all stuff that I knew I'd lose anyway some day, but really did not like seeing go away so quickly.

I learned a bunch of other stuff to replace those things, which is the way it should be. But watching the movie reminded me of the temporary nature of pretty much any accomplishment.

Hell, even here in the blog, it is (in one sense, at least) only as good as the next post, or maybe only as good as the 15 posts that are visible from the home page if people are patient enough to scroll (and these meta posts probably don't count!).

So anyway, all of this was going through my head as the movie still took me where it wanted to emotionally. When it was over I figured I should write something about it, and here we are (I'll follow up with some more technical things momentarily!).

Duncan Smith on 14 Oct 2006 2:37 PM:

A month ago I had surgery, which made it unpleasant to ride my bike for weeks.  I recently discovered that I have lost (hopefully temporarily!) most of the endurance which I have built up over the past few years.

(I was a MS intern last summer, which is when I discovered your blog.)

Charles-A. Rovira on 15 Oct 2006 2:00 PM:


I have never found any of my losses to be truly permanent.

But getting at these things, (like walking,) takes longer.


By the way, I have a podcast for MSers , by an MSer (me :-) at


Why not check it out and send me some feedback?

Charles *at* MSBPodcast.com

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