Wednesday, 6 February 2013

Ice Queen

Scrape! Swish! Scrape! Swish! The coolness of the air, the dim lighting of the arena and the sound of skates gliding across the ice.  Twirling, jumping, leaning into a beautiful circle with a perfect edge. Flips, axels, and spirals going faster and faster as the wind rushes through my hair - BZZZZZZZ - the alarm rings and my Tuesday begins.

In the warm steam of my morning shower, I review my plan for the day.  I had committed to skating last weekend.  While looking for exercise equipment at Canadian Tire (I know - not exactly the expert's store!) I remembered my colleague talking about free ice and going skating once a week at noon.  The skates were just in the next aisle so I squared my shoulders and resolved that I would be back on the ice this winter no matter what but I needed skates first! I knew if I bought the skates I would use them - my upbringing would never allow such waste as throwing new skates into a dark closet.  With German and British blood (and I mean this with great respect for both!) coursing through my veins, thriftiness and stubborness were never far below the surface.  Of course, now I prefer to say I am good with money and tenatious - sounds better!

I lived vicariously through my children and their skating escapades with Wifa boots and special blades but when I viewed the shelf at CT there was not a Wifa in sight! My eyes landed on the only white skates in the aisle and I quickly dismissed them when I saw how thin the leather/vinyl really was. These mature ankles were going to need more support than that!   I worked hard at overcoming the "skate snob" within, and finally decided to be practical and choose something that was sturdy, warm and less than $100.

The young man working the sports department that Sunday was kept busy with a family of three little boys and two parents buying hockey skates.  I grabbed the chosen pair, took a seat on a bench as far away from the family fun as possible, and pushed, pulled and untangled huge laces before threading them through loops and sliding my foot into the cushy interior.  Felt good.  I tied them up, slipped the velcro into place at the top (yeah, really!) and stood up.  I took some wobbly steps and questioned my sanity.  But then, I found my balance, did some fake glides with my legs to the side to see if the "stiff ankle padding" would impede my style too much and with a sidelong glance at Raouf (to make sure he wasn't laughing!) said "YES".

Today was the day.  A former skating coach and a colleague who grew up skating on the family pond joined me on the ice.  The smells, sounds and light were identical to my dream sequence at 6 AM this morning; the person making those sounds was not me.  I stepped gingerly on the ice and grabbed the boards.  When did ice get so slippery?  I stepped forward and pushed - my blade wobbled, my ankle swayed and I stopped - grabbing for the boards again.  This is where my stubborn...whoops, tenacity kicked in.  I kept pushing, gliding, grabbing until I was half way around the ice.  I turned and went the other direction back to my starting point.

I posed for my picture - that is where the Ice Queen part comes in - and then I pushed and glided, pushed and glided all the way around.  No fancy edges, no jumps, no spins, and no spread eagles, but, more importantly, no falls!  I found my skating legs and mentally put a check mark beside that goal.

I clambered up the stairs, through the big brown double doors and out into the sunlight.  I swung my skate bag over my shoulder, waved goodbye to one of my "skater dudes" and walked briskly back to the office.  I felt great.

Half an hour later, I stood up from my desk to go pick up some copying and - youch - right hip, right lower back yelled at me!  I stretched and tested and stretched again.  Personally I think it was the skate bag and not my skating legs but, maybe no stair running tonight.  A little stretching, a hot bath and off to dreamland again.  What's next? you ask - let me sleep on it and see what my dreams foretell!

No comments:

Post a Comment