Tuesday 19 March 2013

Learning to Skate at 48 (Almost)

When I was 4 years old, my mom signed me up for skating lessons at Mountain Arena in Hamilton.  Every week, I would lace up my little white skates along with my two older sisters and venture out on to the ice.  They loved it, but I hated it.  I remember our big extravanganza at the end of the season:  Laurie dressed up as a maid, Lisa was a bunny and I was a leprechaun.  My mom sewed all of the costumes.  When the big moment came for me to show what I'd learned, I froze.  All I had to do was clap and skate, but I fell down.  I remember fearing that everyone would skate over my legs, but luckily my sister Lisa rescued me and grabbed me by the hand and picked me up.  Needless to say, I begged not to sign up the next year and my mom relented.

I didn't skate again until Grade 5 when I went once with my class.  By then I'd forgotten how to skate.  So that is why I reached adulthood and I still didn't know how to skate.  I wished I'd listened to my mom and stuck with it.  Anyway, I decided that this would be the winter I learned how to skate.  So, I invited my friend Sharon to join me at the new arena at the Gretzky Centre once a week.  Every week we would dutifully go.  Every week I felt like I was learning a bit, but I was too fearful to let go of the boards.  Finally, this week, I had a breakthrough.  Rather than just pushing off with my left foot, I'm actually pushing with my right foot as well.  And I'm actually gliding a bit.  Rather than pushing straight ahead, I'm pushing side to side so my skates go in a diagonal direction left and right.  I actually took 12 strides today without touching the boards!  For the first time, I felt like I wasn't just enjoying the company (Sharon is easy to talk to) but also the skating.  I still have a ways to go, but I feel like I'm halfway there.  Thank you, Sharon, for your patience!  I look forward to next week's session.

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