Last Saturday I was out on the ice again. (Remember, I’m scheduling these several days out–I’ll be at LibertyCon when this posts.) First, I set a new personal best (at least counting since re-starting ice skating a few months ago after a 30+ year hiatus, and, no, it’s not like riding a bike. Proving harder to re-learn than it was to learn the first time) 36 times around the rink. Given my foot problems and how out of shape I am, that’s pretty good. Checking the size of the rink–it’s sized for playing hockey so I could look up the size from that–that comes to something just under three and a half miles. Not bad for an old fart.
In the evening session I went back and added another twenty-four laps, just over two miles to the day’s skating. The ice was a lot choppier then and I wonder if they ran the Zamboni before the session like they usually do. I was a bit late because of traffic–road construction–so the session was already started when I got there. Partly because of the choppy ice and probably partly because I was tired from the level of exertion I caught my toe picks badly and took a spill. I seemed to be fine at the time but later I had some minor issues with my left knee, so it looks like I might have twisted it a bit in the fall. Not badly and I should be able to get back to class after LibertyCon.
But the time and distance skated isn’t really the important part, nor is the minor injury. When I was younger, I enjoyed ice skating. At least, I enjoyed it when I had the opportunity. Small town Ohio didn’t provide a lot of opportunity. The only “ice rink” the local town had was an outdoor basketball court that was flooded and allowed to freeze in winter. Yes, it was as bad as it sounds. Then, I was able to do a little ice skating when I was stationed in England at Queens Ice Club in London. And nothing since.
I enjoyed it, but getting back into it, it’s been more chore than pleasure. My feet hurt (arch problems I didn’t have back then). Falls hurt more, and are more injurious than they were back then. (I don’t _bounce_ like I did when I was younger.) And it was just simply harder. In fact, if I didn’t have the memory of it being fun, and the understanding that if I could get through the difficult stretch and regain my basic skills it could be again, that encouraged me to persevere in practice (and actual classes for the first time in my life–I was self taught before).
Well, today, I was out there on the ice. The first few laps I spent time practicing particular skills we are working on in the classes, get that done while it’s fresh. After that, however, I mostly just do “round and round”, just skating and two-foot glides, rebuilding the easy balance I used to have.
And I realized something as I was out there going around. I was grinning. Big, split my face wide open grin. I was enjoying myself. Yes, it was still work (and I had to take breaks every so often to catch my breath), but it was fun again, or rather “fun” had finally passed “work” in basic skating.
And that, right there, is a significant milestone.