I’m the Prince of Ice

April 21, 2008 Posted by bob in Sports

Not really, but I was threatened with a showing of the movie Ice Princess today, so I thought it was appropriate.

Today I went ice skating again with some friends. I went a few weeks ago with a larger group, and had a good time, but there were so many things I was doing wrong that I knew I could do better. It was exactly like skydiving; I tried it and got so frustrated with my own incompetence that I wanted to keep doing it until I was at least decent. So I went skating again today, and as soon as my feet heal I’ll probably go skating again.

A few weeks ago I started with hockey skates for the first hour, but they really didn’t work for me. When I was very young, like second or third grade, I took some lessons on figure skates, and they must have stuck because I kept falling on the hockey skates when I would try to toe pick and end up with a smooth blade. I also couldn’t lean back because the hockey skates were rounded on the back, too. So I switched to figure skates for the second hour, and it was a world of difference. I was starting to do turns, and I could go faster and had a lot more control.

Today I had some goals; I wanted to skate backwards and jump. I did that and more. Of course, I had a few falls, but nothing broke. I’m starting to get comfortable on the skates. I still had some flailing (Lyndsey called it choreography), but I’m making progress. I learned a few ways to switch from forward to backward skating, and I worked a lot on skating on a single foot and maintaining balance. I even had some great extensions where I skated on one foot and stuck my arms and free leg way out. Crazy stuff.

And since I’m pretty much ambidextrous, I only had to think a little before I’d try doing the mirror on the other foot. When it came time to do the jumps, I would jump on one foot, then switch and jump on the other almost immediately.

I’m nowhere near Nationals or the Olympics, and I know I have a lot of practicing to do before I feel like I can move on to the next hobby. At least I know what I’m doing wrong and I have someone who can tell me what to do to get better.

There was a bit during the free skate where the little kids in hockey skates thought they could bully us. I was told by one of them that I should play hockey because it’s a man’s sport and figure skating is gay. Since he was there with his guy friends, I shot back with “Who did you come here with? I came with three ladies.” Shut him up pretty quick. When you grow up, you are around people who are more mature and don’t say stupid things like these kids were. In middle school I just endured it, and I hated those bullies who had to pick on people; now I’m a completely different person. I won’t tolerate it at all, and it surprised me that they had the balls to try to bully an adult. Oh well, they probably don’t have a very bright future ahead of them, but I feel bad for the kids they’ll pick on.

Back on topic, I’m on a steep slope of progress with the ice skating, so it’s pretty exciting. I know eventually it’ll plateau and I’ll have to work hard to make incremental improvement, but I’m not yet there, so I’ll enjoy learning the new skills and the rapid progress.

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