I’ve always wanted to try ice skating, but can’t say I’ve ever really had the opportunity until this past weekend in D.C. I’d like to attribute this to some kind of childhood deprivation, but we didn’t have access to a rink in our my hometown. I recall some folks skating on their ponds during the winter, but I didn’t deem this altogether safe. I’m thankful my parents never considered it an acceptable option either.
Nevertheless, at the age of 28, I can now say I’ve checked ice skating off my bucket list. That it was in the National Sculpture Garden and in the spirit of the NHL’s Opening Day were added bonuses.
My friends cautioned me that one’s first time skating typically involves the occasional fall and a significant amount of clinging to the rink’s wall, so I fully expected to find myself on my ass a few times. And while I admit there were some close calls, given that I’m average at most physical activities (but not great at any particular one, mind you), I can proudly say that I never fell during our two-hour session on the ice.
My friends, who congratulated me afterwards amid feigned attempts to mask their obvious disappointment in my fortitude and their lack of added entertainment, were great with giving pointers and positive encouragement throughout. In the end, I was mostly able to keep up with their speed and even pulled off this sweet yet inadvertent crossover move in order to avoid colliding with a small child.
While I don’t anticipate becoming some kind of modern-day Dick Button at this point, I do look forward to the next time I have the chance to lace up a pair of skates, which will hopefully come next winter when I compel my family go with me over the holidays. Now that will be entertaining.