I hadn’t put my ice skates on for over a year until the other weekend! In the last few weeks she’s been preparing for tests and her lessons have been very intense and focused on specific moves and she’s lost some of the fun in it so took a week off and asked to return to the public ice session as a family and just have fun.
It was what she needed, to just be able to skate around at leisure, no fancy moves, no need to do anything specific, no pressure to get it right! Just to skate and talk and laugh. Me, I couldn’t remember a flipping thing!
We got off to a bad start because of my skates. I was sure my skates were very blunt as I remember them being that way last time I’d worn them. I hate blunt skates, get no control with them. Only when I got them out there was a sharpening slip in them – I’d obviously put them in after last time I’d used them. So I had freshly sharpened not used since blades. I hate freshly sharpened blades, get no control with them. So I didn’t step onto the ice with the best confidence levels but even so, I expected to at least be able to lift my foot off the ice to push and so achieve forwards movement. I couldn’t, I froze, I just couldn’t bring myself to do it, couldn’t work out how to stand up straight (skater straight, with knees bent of course!) and couldn’t make myself move forwards by pushing. I could just about manage a teeny little lemon movement but that was all at first! It took me a full, and very slow, circuit of the rink to lift a foot up and push!
It actually took the best part of an hour for me to start feeling comfortable and as if I even kind of knew what I was doing with just skating forwards again. After 90 minutes I was gliding forwards, lemons and slalom fine and with some speed. but by then my legs hurt! Jeez I’d forgotten how it makes your legs hurt especially I’d started tense! I couldn’t stop though, just couldn’t bring myself to make the movement necessary to bring my blades to a standstill.
So does this mean I can longer Ice skate? Of course not. I could do it before so I must still be able to do it now. What I have learned is that once you learn a skill you need to keep practicing it not only to get better but to maintain the levels you have!
I won’t be leaving it another year before I don my skates and hit the ice again! Expect to see me down the ice rink every few weeks from now if only so I don’t forget how to skate forwards again. Perhaps next time I’ll try backwards and/or remember how to stop!