New Thing for October. (Of course I know that it is actually November 2, but it will just have to do. Besides, I made these rules; I can bend them if need be).
If you'll remember from my first skiing adventure last December, I'm not coordinated in any stretch of the imagination. Nor am I fond of PDAs- public displays of awkwardness, that is.
A friend told me about a nearby ice rink that was having a free community skate lesson. She had me at "free." I also thought it might be fun. That's the mistake I make every month with these New Adventures of mine. : )
Before I headed to the lesson, I thought I should probably know a little something about ice skating. I did what I always to when I need to know something- I googled it. Wikipedia is a beautiful thing.
I read through the physical mechanics of ice skating, as well as the dangers. According to Wikipedia, "The primary danger in ice skating is falling on the ice." Shocker. Wikipedia also informed me of the dangers of fatality if I fail to wear a helmet. There's no way I'm wearing a helmet. I choose death over that humiliation.
Wikipedia went on to say that "the second, and more serious, danger, is falling through the ice into the freezing water underneath." At least that's not a possibility in an indoor rink. I summoned my courage and told myself that ice skating will be a piece of cake. But just in case, I prayed that I wouldn't run into anyone I know at the ice rink. I prefer anonymity in the midst of impending humiliation.
As the ice rink is fairly new to the neighborhood and I was attending a free community lesson, I had plenty of non-experienced skaters to hang out with. A couple of four year olds and I clung to the side of the rink near the entry way for a little while.
I slowly made my way toward the adult lesson area- on the opposite end of the rink as where I entered and thought to myself how cruel that was. They should stick the three year olds at the far end of the rink. If they fall, they're closer to the ground.
Upon my arrival to the adult group, I unnecessarily announced that I'd never been on skates in my life. Heather, my instructor for the evening, proved to be the most patient and kind person I've ever met in my life. She instructed me to penguin march across the rink. I didn't ask if this was a technical term, but I assumed it was. She assisted me back and forth and then I trekked out on my own. This went on for quite a while. Then, with the help of several kind-hearted twelve year olds- Darcy and Tracy- I "swizzled" (technical skating term) backwards back and forth across the rink. They were very sweet and told me how well I was doing- "You've got it!" (I think they must teach this line to ice skating instructors in their instruction of how to instruct ice skating. I heard it a lot and am fairly certain I didn't ever "have it").
At their first opportunity, Darcy and Tracy ditched me. I didn't really blame them. I went back to penguin marching on my own.
Forty five minutes later, a whistle blew and Free Skate Time was announced. Much to my chagrin, I realized that if I intended on ever getting out of the rink, I would have to skate (I use that term loosely) with the flow of the crowd three quarters of the way around the rink to get back to the entrance/ exit. I got started and after what felt like 20 minutes, I finally made it. I had survived my ice skating experience and I didn't even need a helmet.
My ice skating experience was actually pretty similar to my skiing experience- both involved uncomfortable (and rented) footwear, precocious toddlers zipped by me in both experiences, and I hobbled a lot.
One big, huge, gargantuan difference between my ice skating and skiing experiences- I didn't fall! The crowning achievement of my ice skating adventure was that I didn't fall once!
I (sort of) had a great time learning how to ice skate and am considering taking some ongoing lessons. I like the idea of possibly being proficient enough to one day take my daughter on an ice skating excursion. And lucky for me, dignity is a fairly renewable resource. As with my skiing experience, my dignity returned shortly after returning my rented footwear.