Continuing Ice Follies

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.

4 thoughts on “Continuing Ice Follies”

  1. My wife and I returned to biking after a very long hiatus, and we found that riding a bike wasn’t exactly like, well, riding a bike. We both had quite a bit to relearn.
    Much of what you described about skating was true for us and our bikes, and especially the part about injuries and the healing curve.
    The good news is that we now have medical super glue for minor scrapes!

    And although a different sport, we also found it was fun!

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  2. Good for you!
    Both my kids skated in their youth (“natural” skating, like, on a frozen lake and playing pond hockey), never skated for the next 20 years or so, and then each got back into it in their 40s. The son now plays on an adult ice hocky team, and the daughter plays goalie & skater in a “lunch ladies’ league” team, and manages several programs.
    Neither is terribly fast on the ice, …nor a puck handler you’d want on your gold-medal team, but they have a great deal of fun and enjoy the camaradarie of the team effort. …and the benefit from the physical exercise — playing just a handful of minutes at [their] top speed and focus is exhausting.
    …something to think about.
    Three (2 boys, 1 girl) of the daughter’s 4 kids play youth ice hockey — and you’d maybe be surprised at the number of girls on youth ice hockey teams.

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  3. Good for you!
    Each of my kids ice skated in their youth (“natural” skating, like on a frozen lake, playing pond hockey). Each left it behind then for about 20 years, but got back into it in their 40s. The son now skates on an adult hockey team (on weekends, ina league where ability ranges from ex-HS or college hockey player to almost rank beginner), and the daughter plays goalie and skater on an adult “ladies lunch league” team, and got sucked into managing several teams.
    Neither is terribly fast, nor a puck handler you’d want on your gold-medal team, but they love the game, the camaraderie they enjoy in the team effort, and the physical exercise (at their ages, playing just a handful of minutes at full effort and focus is exhausting.)
    Once, you’re comfortable with your re-acquired skill level, it’s something to think about. Adult leagues are always looking for players. 🙂

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