Tuesday, September 26, 2006

First ice skating lesson

As this is my “Year to try new physical activities”, I signed up for an ice skating class. Tonight was the first class and as you can tell from the fact that I am writing this blog, I am still alive.

I remember when I took swimming in the early spring, I was the only Canadian-born student in the class. It was much the same with the beginner’s skating class. People from far away lands were there to indulge in this favorite northern past-time, eager and raring to go.

I, on the other hand, thought to myself, “What the hell have I gotten myself into? Really, if I die without knowing how to ice skate, will my life have been any less worthwhile? No. So… What am I doing here?”

I wanted to leave. But as usual, sheer stubbornness kept me there.

I have been on skates before... which is quite different from actually "skating", I would say. I was always quite happy to get OFF skates too, I might add.

However, I seem to be addicted to making sure that I find new ways to rip myself out of my comfort zone and get into all kinds of trouble.... So, I threw on the mandatory hockey helmet, laced up my skates and hobbled towards the ice. I got on the ice and promptly attached myself to the big soft blue padding that surrounded the inside of the rink.

I will skip all the gory details of the psychological thriller that the first class was, and just say that I was proud to make it around the inside perimeter of the rink twice in the 45 minutes of the class. For those of you who know the
Olympic Oval at the University of Calgary - note that this is not twice around the Oval ice itself, but rather twice around the inside perimeter of one of the hockey rinks that sits in the middle of the Oval.

By the end, I had even let go of the rubber padding and was clutching on to Michelle, one of the instructors who came over and took pity on me, talking me through every movement – and getting me to respond to her so I would stop hyperventilating. (OK, so that last bit is an exaggeration – but only slightly.) Michelle and I skated for all of about 10 feet together before it was time to get off the ice. Gotta love the teachers who make time for the remedial students!


backofpack said...

Ice skating kills my ankles - I can leave the wall, but am very, very slow. And scared to death of all the little kids whizzing by me at high speed, swooping in front, then turning around and skating backward while they stare at me with big eyes.

But I'm glad you are trying it!

robtherunner said...

Livin life on the edge, eh Sarah. Way to put yourself out there.

wthenrest said...

Good on you for wearing a helmet..speaking from someone who regularily skids off the cranium ..it is a good idea.
Hey stop by the blog ...I miss the comments

Anonymous said...

I am inspired by your willingness to step outside your zone of proximal development. Only Heaven knows what is next now that you have been on that Oval ice. What's next? A spot in the Dino line-up (-: Way to go.

Turtle Guy said...

Let me see if I've got this straight. Your learned skill set of physical activities now includes:

-Weight Lifting
-(and whatever category "sqauts" fall under)

...among a few others, I'm sure!

I'd say you have a pretty well rounded grasp on fitness, young lady.

Road blocks be damned - Charge!!

Turtle Guy said...

Ooops, I forgot skating, now didn't I!


Sarah Elaine said...

TG - Well, walking I actually learned when I was about 10 months old or so (much to my mother's dismay, who was hoping I'd get to at least a year before that happened to her.) Running followed shortly thereafter, I was told. (Again, much to her dismay.)

Biking, I learned a couple of years ago from A. And I have about a year and half now (OMG - is it that long?) of strength training under my belt. No pun intended.

Squats fall under weight lifting.

What you forgot was wall climbing. :-)

So... one activity in water (swimming); one on land (climbing) and one on ice (skating). But let's be clear - I am not good at any of them!

Hhmmm.... maybe I'll have to think about aerial acrobatics for next year, eh? ;-)

Turtle Guy said...

Yes, wall climbing. How soon I forget!

As for aerial acrobatics, the response that comes first to mind is that of a poster I had years ago. It was a kitten sleping in a waste-paper basket. On the side of the basket was a picture of a lion. The caption read,

"When you dream, dream big."

(er.... not sure what happened with the multiple comments, but thanks for the heads up!)

D said...

It seems as we get older - fear becomes a larger issue. I remember ice skating as a kid - never too great at it - but never afraid to try and fall. Now - on the VERY RARE occasions that I go to a skate rink, I am stiff as a board and scared to death of falling.....maybe part of that is that an injury would keep me from running....

Nice job on getting out there and trying!

Sarah said...

I'm still trying to get over my childhood trauma of surprise ice skating birthday parties. So you've got (at least) one up on me! : )

angie's pink fuzzy said...

ice skating, youch!

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