Showing posts from March, 2018

Destination: Lake Placid

Last night, I signed up for the Lake Placid Adult Skating Weekend and I am still in hardcore I Can’t Believe It’s Really Happening mode. I keep joking that I have less than three months to not be the worst skater there but, honestly, I don’t have room for any worries yet with all this excited, squealing disbelief dominating my all of me. After rescheduling my usual Wednesday morning lesson for today, I hit the ice a little wobbily and shakily (and, holy smokes, I walked into one packed house, and my fear of getting in anyone’s way is strong as ever) but with a renewed fire in my belly. It felt wonderful to be less concerned with perfection and more focused on just getting some quality ice time and instruction. I’m going to Lake Placid because I want to be a better skater, I want to push the boundaries of my comfort zone, I want to lose myself in the ice for a few days, and I want to participate in Adult Sectionals next year. But I do want to go with a solid foundation and bolstere

When the skating slump visits

Last week was not a good week for skating. I skipped my last Sunday group lesson. I dismissed the alarm for what would have been my first Monday pre-work freestyle session and went back to sleep (and, uh, this week is already following in those dragging footsteps). My Wednesday lesson was cancelled on account of winter's miserable last hurrah (though you’re damn right I drove to the rink just as the Nor'easter was settling in to make sure it was closed, especially since a morning meeting will be preempting this Wednesday's lesson, too). A week off the ice hurts, but a skating slump hurts even more. Both are bound to happen (which leaves me in awe of adult skaters who’ve figured out how to make room for the sport in their daily lives); it’s the latter that hits harder because I can’t blame life for it. That one’s all on me. I’m no stranger to either casually or suddenly losing interest in things. The song of my people comprises chorus after chorus painstakingl

The unhelpful obstacle course of bad habits

I am nothing if not the sum of my bad habits. I procrastinate like it’s an Olympic sport, I dodge conflict and people who make me uncomfortable rather than face them head on, I stay up way past a reasonable adult bedtime, I eat like a garbage disposal, I drink entirely too hard and often, and my continued existence is brought to you by an utterly irresponsible dependency on coffee that’s as black as my sense of humor and just about as tasteless. I do err on the side of being a little too self-destructive for someone whose peers are, like, three kids deep now. Is it a refusal to accept that I’m as old as my body and property taxes say I am? Is it laughing in the face of my own mortality? Is it a general proclivity for recklessness? Is it the ultimate manifestation of how my inability to say no to anything offering even a whiff of novelty is going to have serious long-term consequences one day? Or is it just one more bad habit that’s destined to become a hallmark of my personality? Dun

Behind every strong woman is a whole lot of even stronger women

On this International Women’s Day, I feel I would be remiss if I didn’t pay tribute to the especially awesome women I am so lucky to have in my skating life and who have played considerable roles in my return to the ice, whether they know it or not. My fellow adult skaters are as myriad as they are wonderful. There’s Sharon on Wednesday mornings, who skated right over to me when I fell hard yesterday, made sure I was okay, and reminded me that it’s not only okay to fall but also something that happens to all of us. We both laced back up around the same time after years and years away from the ice, and she remains one of the few people I’m happy to chat with well before I’m fully awake and caffeinated. She was among the first to commiserate with my adult-skater woes and who assured me that we all beat back the same intimidation that comes with sharing the ice with kids a fraction of our age but who could skate literal circles around us. There’s Bonnie on the weekends, who might be an

The inevitability of the last call

I didn’t start feeling like I’ve packed 30some years of neglect, abuse, bad habits, and general existence into my body until I started skating. The screaming thighs, the constellation of bruises, the creaky ankles, the tenderized everything: My first few months back on the ice were an exercise in wondering what parts of my aging body were going to scream out for individual recognition next as muscles I hadn’t pushed to their limit in ages were suddenly submitting to moves they (and I) struggled to remember. I still feel the lingering burn of crossover drills for a day or two now but it’s nothing like the strain of my entire body reminding me that I am not a teenager anymore in those early days of getting my ice legs back. Now, I skate three days a week and I have to take a pretty wicked fall to feel as brutalized as I did a year ago. But even when I wake up with all the pops and groans I have welcomed into my adult life, whether they’re from falling on both of my knees or doing a few