hockey brats… I ice-skated once at some party when I was 18; that didn’t turn out well… after a few hits into the wall/railings and a few belly flops; how do you turn these things? never ice-skated again until: moved to an area that was more heavily into the sport; went with some friends (over 20 years after the initial challenge) to an indoor ring… had even begun to like hockey games – those guys/girls have to be some of the most coordinated and powerful athletes, at the same time, in the world: to be able to glide so graceful while simultaneously enacting such power; a true gift of body/mind/spirit in flight! to watch (I remain in awe every time I watch a game).
so thought: I’d give it another go – arrive at the ring and… these skates aren’t as hard as ski boots to get on… I can do this. It may be embarrassing, but I’ll do it.
there were a bunch of 12-15 yr old hockey players just leaving the ice after practice – now, the ring was open skate: I stood there and watched while they finished. okay, here goes… something odd happened, and I just flew onto the ice and started in, having my last attempt at this ice skating thing firmly forefront in my head: (‘this is going to hurt’), but I was circling and skating backwards, and could do scissor jumps and full spins off the ice and, everything just fell into place. Friends thought I’d lied: I’d been an ice skater more often than I’d told. nope. two of the hockey dudes were still on the ice; just skating – they weren’t showing off, they were just really good – I started watching them with my mouth open…; they’d overheard friends talking to me and asked if they could give me some tips: sure! so we started skating together – the two giving me pointers (expert, I must say), that made so much sense. Soon the three of us were playing leap-frog and other games on the ice. the two of them could do full somersaults – some doubles – in the air as they skated along. To be a hockey player, you must be a figure skater, a gymnast and a warrior, all at the same time: once you realize this, to watch that sport/those athletes, becomes simply mesmerizing.
“hey?” “huh?” do you think one of you can spot me while I try a somersault?” “you wanna try, you sure?” “yeah, I can do it; just don’t let me fall on my head if I screw up, okay?” “okay.” (mind you, they still had their helmets on, I didn’t have a helmet.) so after a pass around the ring to get the speed up, one hockey dude skating perfectly at my side, I took off – could feel one of his hands just slightly guide me from the small of my back as I went into the air: just enough to give me the force to ignite, then: with so much power, he was in front of me in one movement (to grab me if I screwed up): I did it (just one): perfect somersault in the air – and landed without falling. “thanks.”
anyway, winters here: lots of public skate rings; and too: whenever skiing now, they always have a ring at the resorts – so I save some time for the ice/blades. sometimes wish I had my hockey dudes back, I could do that somersault even better if I tried it again.
(to be continued)