Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Life on ice


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The other day, I took my daughter ice skating. Now there is nothing remarkable about that unless you consider that she has never been on ice skates and I have not been in the last 10+ years. It may be closer to 15 years since I tried to get on the ice. And when I did it last time, I was not good.

I remember the laughing of my friends, the polite smiles of those who had to skate around me when I wiped out and was laying there, spread-eagled on the ice. I remember those jerky little kids who would skirt around me, effortlessly, as they missed my head by about two inches and sprayed that fine icy snow.

Yes, I remembered.

So I'm not sure why I thought it was a good idea to stop by the ice rink. We never would have thought of it, except we were out to see the Science Center and it's in the middle of this big park. There are ball fields, archery ranges, tennis courts and, yes, an outdoor rink.

Then again, air was crisp, they had a big fire going outside the rink and it smelled amazing. Steinberg Rink is this 1920's-era building in the middle of this wide, old copse of trees.

We laced up with confidence. We headed out to watch the zamboni as it finished. My daughter was excited and so was I.

Then we stepped onto the ice. Boy, is that stuff slick. We both wiped out almost immediately, right where everyone else was getting on. I had flashbacks of the ice skating trips of my youth. We scrambled up as the little kids did swoopy things around us, leaving us in their ice dust. We made it half-way around, half-clinging to the rail, before my daughter realized. "We're really not good at this. Both of us." She seemed fairly surprised, as I have been in the past, when these type of things don't always work out. I was glad she'd gone in confident, and tried to talk her off the wall.

She was not so keen on that. She'd seen what happened to me most of the time I got too far from the side - wipeout. She asked me if she'd fall and I wanted to lie. But I told her: Yes, if you get off the wall, you will fall. But you don't get off the wall, you won't be able to skate.

She thought about that. And watched me wipe out shortly after. We made it the rest of the way around the rink. She never did get off the wall and that was okay. But on the way home, she had a thought that made the whole trip worth it. She said, "Skating is kind of like everything, right?" I wasn't sure what she'd meant, but said, yes, it was kind of like life. She agreed and said, "Next time, I'm going to get off the wall."

34 comments:

Michele Benard said...

I never could ice skate hurt my ankles, now roller skate was a whole difftrent ball game. you are right that it is like life you have to take chances and in Ice skating that is leaving the wall knowing you may fall on your face but when you do you have to get up brush yourself off and try again.

krisgils33 said...

That's a really sweet story. My daughter has been ice staking several times (including once at the Del Coronado in San Diego right next to the beach!!). It's very odd for me that with ice staking and bike riding she has no real interest to learn or become proficient. For me, growing up ice staking and bike riding were normal events. We spent alot of time in the winter skating on the frozen cranberry bogs. It was always so much fun!

krisgils33 said...

ooh, and I forgot....my dad would often turn our backyard into a skating rink!! I remember him on the porch with the hose spraying water all over the backyard!

ML said...

New Orleans used to have an ice skating rink in City Park - it would be so funny to go skating on the ice skating rink becaue it was probably 70-80 degrees outside! Thanks for the story!

Rebekah E. said...

What a great story. I have been ice skating in years. I could skate but could never use the toe pick. I always had to run into the wall to stop.

Alison said...

I never did learn how to ice skate or roller skate for that matter. Its been years since I've tried. Thanks for a great story!

Sarah S. said...

The first time I went ice skating (about 5 or 6 yrs old I think) I was having a good ol' time with my family and even skating off the wall, then all of a sudden it happened. I bit it so hard that I hit my head very hard and I could feel my teeth vibrating. I cried and cried, as you do, and apparently I informed my family that I wasn't coming back until I was as tall as the ceiling. I have been back since and no I am not the 50 foot woman, but I realized it's more fun to take chances. I'm trying to convince my husband to go bungee jumping with me, but he's not having any of it. :)

RedPeril said...

That was a lovely post, thank you! I didn't catch how old your daughter was at the time, but I have to think I'd be proud to have something like that 'click' with my kids--at just about any age. A good pastor could have pulled a whole sermon out of that profound little life lesson. ^_^

Though I'm technically from the land of 10,000 frozen lakes and infamous 6-month winters, I never got the hang of ice skating. I had friends who loved to tell me "oh, it's just like rollerblading!" Lies. If it were just like rollerblading, I wouldn't have failed so comically at it.

~Angela Blount

Erin T said...

Wow. She is a very insightful little girl. I can't ice skate worth a damn and use the old lady walkers on the ice, lol.

Mo said...

While I skated a fair amount growing up I never was any good at it. I manage not to fal down and that is about it. What a brilliant thing for you daughter have figured out on her own.

Mo said...

While I skated a fair amount growing up I never was any good at it. I manage not to fal down and that is about it. What a brilliant thing for you daughter have figured out on her own.

Virginia said...

I would never try to ice skate I never was that good on roller skates and the last time I tried to roller skate I ended up at the hospital with a broken wrest. So I don't even try to skate at all any more. Now I did roller skate a lot as a kid but as I got older I didn't have the balance anymore to do it.

petite said...

When I was young I skated everyday after school and all weekend at the outdoor rink. I loved this special time. Now I avoid it and would never skate. I also loved to roller skate on the streets in the neighborhood. this was memorable and special way back then. Kids, fun, freedom and outdoors.

traveler said...

Lovely post. Skating is a must where we used to live. My kids skated with me each weekend and did well. I did well except for the cold which I did not enjoy. I don't anymore since I prefer walks in the sunshine.

Jo said...

What a great philosophy. =)

I haven't been skating in a few years. I'm not very good at it. I don't like failing, er, falling, so I move very cautiously.

TerriOsburn said...

That is a lesson that will serve her for life. Good for getting off the wall!

The first time I ever skated I was in my 20s and managed NOT to fall. I was so proud of myself. I guess all those years of roller skater may have paid off.

Kima said...

I remember one winter when I was little we had an ice storm and my sister and I ice skated in the backyard. I remember thinking it was so great that mom was just a short slide away with the hot chocolate. Now I would probably fall just like you did, but it is much further to the ground now than when I was little!

catslady said...

There's kind of a catch 22 about ice skating. A big part is the ankles. If you own your own skates you have nice support but the rented ones are all bent at the ankles but who buys new espensive skates for something you may never do again unless you can get good at it and it's hard to get good at it with those rented skates...round and round you go (but only if you stay on the wall lol).

Stacie said...

I have never been ice skating. I used to go to the roller rink all the time when I was a kid. If I had to put on ice skates or roller skates I know I would break something, besides my pride.

I totally agree with your daughter's epiphany about life.

geishasmom73 AT yahoo DOT com

Brandy said...

In reading your post I was struck how glad I was that you kept trying. What a wonderful lesson to teach your daughter.

Na said...

I used to go ice-skating all the time when I was younger and we lived in a place where there was lots of snow in the Winter. I was always a so-so skater but it never took the fun away for me. If I fell I got right up and tried again. I can see where it's a lot like life. You have to learn to trust in yourself, face some fear and before you know it you're flying, er, or wobbling around. Still fun!

I tweeted:
https://twitter.com/#!/FieryNa/status/157199890626256897

Jane said...

I haven't been ice skating in so long. The last time was at Central Park/Wollman Rink.

Kristi said...

I have never been able to ice skate, but I was a demon on roller skates. At least you guys tried, and it seems like your daughter is pretty smart.

Barbara E. said...

I've never been ice skating, it's not really a sport that's popular in California where I grew up. I have roller skated, but not for a long time now. I remember when I got on a kick to roller skate, I bought a pair of skates and got a group of friends together and we had a picnic and roller skated around the park. My good friend fell and broke her leg, it took forever to heal and she ended up losing her job. I never skated again.

Angie Fox said...

Yes, roller skating I can do. I think it has something to do with all of those hours spent skating in circles in the basement when we were kids. But on ice? A whole 'nother story.

glittergirl said...

Growing up in the Pacific Northwest, ice skating was only at a rink. I never got the opportunity BUT I think it's a balance skill like all the rest. As I've told my son over and over again ~ practice, practice, practice! The more you do something, the better you will get. It's that way with everything in life, you take a risk, learn a skill and PRACTICE. Some things come easier that others...

Theresa N. said...

Like you I haven't been skating in forever and never was very good at it, but looking back I wish i had put more effort in it.
Theresa N
weceno(at)yahoo(dot)com

Bessamy said...

Awesome story! I learned to skate on ice in my 30's. Was able to do it because I learned to rollarblade first. Played hockey with the guys at work. Some of them went to the ice. Not me. I skated on the ice, but never felt secure enough to play.

Michele L. said...

When I was younger ice skating was my favorite sport in the winter time. I was out there on the ice rink everyday since it was in my backyard. All the neighborhood kids would come over and skate we would play ice hockey, twirl each other around, play tag, etc. We had a blast! My dad even rigged up a light so we could skate late at night.

Loved your story of you and your daughter!

Heather said...

I am envious of anyone who has outdoor ice rinks this year. We are experiencing an atypical winter here, with temps 30+ above normal. We've had almost no snow, and I am not crazy enough to venture out on the small bays and inlets that "look" frozen over.

Growing up, though, my sisters and I practically lived on the ice during winter - when we weren't barreling down a steep hill on our sleds. We lived near a small pond and creek that were perfect for games of crack-the-whip or for trying to emulate (unsuccessfully) the jumps and turns we saw on TV. Sadly, I have not been sledding or skating since college, though there have been a few times I've wanted to. Maybe next year we'll actually have ice so my sister and I can take my niece...

Diana said...

I love her spirit! to take that away from her ice skating day with you is awesome!

Cheryl said...

Oh, what a sweet story. With my lack of grace (I'm klutzy), I would never try ice skating. I did roller skate some when I was younger but nothing beyond the basics. Your daughter sounds like a smart young lady.

donnas said...

Great story!! I have only been skating once. And it did not go all that well I was pretty fond of the wall too.

Brandy said...

Um, according to the January 16th post I won a GC? But, the post doesn't show a winner?