A few weeks ago I finally did something that I’d been wanting to do for some time.
I went ice skating :).
As you can see by that big ol’ dopey grin, I had an absolute blast. The skating rink closest to me offers cheap-skating on Monday mornings, and wouldn’t ya know it… I just happen to have Mondays off from work! At $12 for two hours and skate rental, it’s more than an acceptable weekly expenditure, but the question was would I want to do it every week?
Stepping into the cold building brought back a heck of a lot of memories. This is the rink I’d spent most of my skating time in when I was younger. It still had the same smell of cold, stale air and rubber floors. My junior high class rented the place out one day, and after a while of skating, some kids started planning this big group date and everyone was asking everyone out… except one heavy girl who nobody asked, and friends told me she was in the bathroom crying and she came out and I asked her — half because of peer pressure, half because I’m a real sweetheart. The place was still exactly the same a few weeks ago as it was decades ago (I’m so old), and I flashed back to that awkward teenage moment as I passed by the restrooms.
I strapped on my rented skates, having totally forgotten how ice skates even lace up (hooks instead of regular eyelets), and as I stalked up the ramp towards the ice I figured a few options were in store for me: total failure and constant collapses (not likely, I still rollerblade), elegant figure 8’s and triple-axle twists (least likely), or Tonya Harding’s hired goons popping out and busting my knee (most likely). I wobbled a little as I moved out onto the ice, the metal blades strapped to my feet offering a nice, crisp slicing sound, but then I was off. The wobbles slowly gave way to fluid movement, and I was looping around the rink with natural ease. It felt great to be back! Not that I was an avid skater or spent hours every week on the ice, but by golly I always thought it was fun.
I wasn’t alone, instead surrounded by cute little kids and their cute moms, solo figure-skaters practicing, and then a whole slew of little munchkin hockey players, but it was still one of the most relaxing things I’d done in some time. I just love gliding along, offering a little sway in my path from time to time just for fun, and the time really just flew by.
On my second to last loop around the rink, though, one of the little hockey midgets decided he wanted to end my time on a rougher note. I was coming out of the bend and saw him just standing there, but just as I was about to pass by, he decided to turn right into my path. I wasn’t speeding along, but I had no recourse but to gently grab his head to push it out of my fall path as I tumbled right over him. Both of us splayed out on the ice, I looked back and asked if he was alright… but, of course, he was padded up with a helmet so he was just fine and got up and skated off. I looked to his mom, watching from the sidelines, and she was expressionless, so I just went on my merry way… nursing a very cold, painful red mark on my right hand where it smacked into the ice.
But running-over-children aside, I had an absolute blast and this will certainly be a regular thing for me :).
Oh, and as I re-discovered the following week, ice skating can be a pretty great first-date activity… but we’ll maybe talk about all of that some other time.