Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Well...I Could Skate Back In The Day

I heard the youth in our ward/congregation were going ice skating tonight. My youngest is in that age group, and I thought I remembered him liking to skate. We asked him if he'd like to go. He said he would. I asked if I could tag along and was told that would be okay.

I was excited. I don't know how often I skated as a kid, but I remembered being able to skate--not amazingly well--but good enough to glide across the ice, skate backwards, even go fast. I remember a few years back I returned to the slopes after not having skied in over a decade. I was worried then I'd have forgotten how to ski. On the first run it all came back and I had a blast, even after all those years.

I thought ice skating would be the same.

I was wrong.

I went with my thirteen-year old son. He's only been a few times. He started out and hugged the edge of the rink to get going. I took one step on the ice and realized immediately, unlike skiing, this particular skill was not going to return quite so quickly. 

There's a few reasons for this. First--I think it's been even longer since I strapped on a pair of ice skates and ventured out on a sheet of frozen water. It might have been twenty years or more. Second--the likelihood of getting seriously injured by falling down has increased exponentially as I've gotten older. I envisioned me breaking a wrist or a hip or a back if I fell. I watched kids practically fall down at will, fearing nothing. Me...well, I did not want to find out just how bad it could be if I were to hit the ice. Third--it wasn't as easy to remain upright. I think my balancing ability has slipped through the years. And fourth--I weigh a lot more than I did a few decades ago.

When I first stepped onto the ice, I struggled to get move. When I'd traveled around half the rink, I sat in the penalty box and tightened up my laces. That helped. I went back out there and took my time, got used to how it felt to have two thin metal blades separating my body from a rock-hard sheet of ice and push myself forward.

It took a while, but I was able to circle the rink without the assistance of the sides. I admit, by the end of tonight's adventure, some of what I could do way back when returned. I think if I went to the rink a couple of times a week, those long-lost skills might come back--not to where they were, but maybe close. Yes, when I returned to a mountain on two skis, it came back quickly. Tonight, not so much. That's okay--I had a blast anyway.

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