04 December 2008

The ice man cometh...

When I was little my godmother had a pond behind her place and when it froze over she would take us ice skating in the ridiculous cold that is a northern Idaho winter. I was the one who flew out to the middle of the ice, where it was weakest, where no one else would go, and I would wave at the line of cars that slowed along the highway to check out the stupid kid about to fall through.

So, naturally, the 26-year-old version of myself is thinking the sport cannot have changed that much and after three years of tropical living, I should probably give it another try.

I knew it was going to be bad when I saw the Russian skater team doing pirouettes in the middle of the rink, the families huddled on bleachers, the teenagers on really awkward first dates.

And then there was me, the blades of terror strapped to my feet, revisiting a former life and taking mental snapshots.

But then I realized that I would probably never see any of these people again, and I started taking real snapshots. It suddently hit me that one of the truly great things about getting older is that you really stop caring what people think.

So, I did a couple shaky laps, clinging onto the arm of a friend, avoiding glares from the Russian man-chics everytime we accidentally got in their way. The 16-year-old referee would glide by every five minutes to ask if we were alright and I would assure him that no, I wasn't having a seizure, I just hadn't done this in a while. - Jessie

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