Tuesday, Aug 19, 2014

Winter sports not for everyone


Published:

The Sochi Olympics will soon be swept into the record books and people will be left scratching their heads wondering exactly what happened to sensible winter fashion. In our house, like any Olympics, we act like we don't care what is going on halfway around the world, but night after night we find ourselves glued to the television in awe of the passion and talent that those beautifully toned-bodied athletes possess.

Aside from those nutty snowboarders, I adore anything having to do with ice skating: singles, doubles, dance, speed, and my passion, hockey. There is just something magical about being balanced on a metal blade gliding along fresh, frozen glass.

I must have been overly inspired or just a tad bit crazy when I asked my daughter if she wanted to go ice skating in Ellenton this past week. She had been once before and I had never been in my entire 40 years on this planet. What could possibly go wrong?

My only experience that could come close to ice skating would be roller skating, which I had done a handful of times in my youth. I pulled on a set of wheels sporadically enough to forget the basics between each visit to the rink. Since I grew up in the '80s, roller rink parties were kind of a big deal. I was a "wall hugger" and I fell frequently.

I remember seeing the cool skaters that could jump barrels and skate backwards and I was insanely jealous of them. My husband was one of those kids, but our paths hadn't crossed yet so he didn't have a chance to point at me and laugh until many years later.

As for the ice rink, like those '80s roller rinks, the lights were low and there was loud pop music blasting through the speakers. Unlike the roller rinks, the place was cold. Naturally anyone would know that, seeing as how the floor is made of frozen water which is why we brought our jackets, but I neglected to consider our hands as being exposed skin. That was my first mistake.

My second mistake was bringing my personal socks that I wear every day.

This is Florida and I work in an ER. My feet need to breathe. Let's face it, feet smell bad and mine certainly don't need any help from some thick, nasty socks that stifle air transfer. This is my line of reasoning, but I don't think it works well for my daily life and it did not work well in rented ice skates that felt like hard, unforgiving, stiff leather imprisoning my delicate toes. In less than 30 seconds, my feet were already aching.

Third, I thought it would be similar to roller skating. It was nothing like roller skating aside from the fact that I was once again the "wall hugger." I pulled myself along the outside of the rink terrified of risking my fate on open ice which is actually like extremely cold, slippery concrete.

My daughter was much braver than I was, but she weighs a whole lot less. I kept thinking "Force equals mass times acceleration" and wondering what would be the force of my butt hitting the ice. Would I be capable of working the next day?

We both left with our bodies intact, but I know that any chance I have of being in the Winter Olympics will probably never happen. I can, however, officially add ice skating to the growing list of things that utterly terrify me.

damarainsebring@hotmail.com

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