After seeing me on the ice, but before seeing me fall badly, people often ask me why I took up figure skating so late in life. Here’s everything you ever wanted to know:
10. Why did you take up figure skating?
I decided I hadn’t broken enough bones by doing other sports and this would be a great way to speed right through that process.
Also, standing on a treadmill in a gym, watching a little green blip make circles just wasn’t cutting it for me. I thought there had to be a more fun way to exercise. And I was right!
9. Why now, so late in life?
Well, I’m not going to get any better looking, daintier, or shorter, so I figured I should get started right away. Besides, is there a rule that you can only try new things before age 12? I didn’t get that memo.
8. Are you going to wear one of those costumes with the sequins and the skirt?
Heavens no! Well, actually, probably yes. But I’m going to make a costume that doesn’t look nearly so gaudy and ridiculous. I am obviously the first person ever to say this.
7. Why don’t you take up something more suited to you, like tennis?
I know that’s you grandma. We talked about this.
6. Do you get to hang out with cute hockey players?
I’m not sure. I can’t actually see any of them. They are covered head to toe in some kind of wearable track and field-style crash pad and they all have helmets and face protectors. Also, judging by the shouts I hear, they are all named either “Smitty” or “Dude.”
5. Ice skating doesn’t actually look as hard as you make it sound.
You know nothing about skating. Also, that’s not a question.
4. Do you have a coach? Does he or she yell at you?
Yes and yes.
3. Aren’t you embarrassed to take lessons with children?
Embarrassed? No. Mortified? Yes. But it’s great for pushing yourself. I can’t really say, “This move is too difficult” when I am surrounded by six year olds who can do it.
2. What’s the hardest skill you’ve worked on?
All of them. Sadly, I am completely serious about that. Skating backwards was incredibly hard and scary until I got used to it. Skating on one foot was incredibly hard and scary until I got used to it. Every new skill I have tried so far has always been the hardest thing I’ve done yet. I’m still waiting for the day that something comes easy. Gosh, that would be nice.
Because I can’t help it! Because I love it!
Adult figure skating is that dangerous boy with the long, dark hair falling into his eyes. You know he’s not good for you. You know you’re going to get hurt. Your friends all think you’re crazy and before the whole thing is done, it will probably empty your bank account. But you do it anyway and you love every minute of it.
Dear darling ice skating, they just don’t understand you the way I understand you.