Monday Memory

Figure Skating

I remember taking figure skating lessons when I was in Grade Six. It seemed like a good idea at the time, and there wasn’t a lot else to do in winter (I didn’t start curling until I was in high school). With my bright white skates slung over my shoulder by the tied-together laces, I would go to the rink three times a week for my lesson. I remember the worn wooden benches in the change room, and pushing my double-socked feet into those stiff white skates before criss-crossing the laces and pulling tight. I clomped to the ice, took a deep breath and ventured out onto the cold hard ice. In my mind, at night, I pictured myself gliding across the ice, smoothly turning and skating backwards without hesitation… so graceful. In reality, I clung to the boards and ventured out bent at the waist with my arms out trying to keep my feet under me and not stumble over my picks. Eventually, I did get the basics – I could skate forward, I could skate backwards (sort of) and I could stop (sort of). The one thing I could not do, no matter how much I tried, was to “shoot the duck”. It was this bizarre maneuver in the first set of lessons where you had to skate squatting down and stick one leg out in front of you. Why I have no idea. All I know is that my butt and the ice got well acquainted. Needless to say, I did not continue past the first set of lessons. In my mind, I can still see myself gracefully gliding across the ice – I may not have coordination but I do have imagination.

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