Top 10 Reasons I took up Adult Figure Skating

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:top ten

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.

Edward_Cullen1.       Why do you stay with it?

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.

My First Day as Adult Figure Skater

I will totally look like thisExcitement level: Medium, tempered with nervousness
Rink temperature: Bone chilling
Number of falls: Come now, there’s no need for counting

Why on earth did I think it was a good idea to take up ice skating?  It’s the least likely of hobbies for me. I am cold in 75 degree weather. I don’t break a sweat until temperatures reach the high 90’s, and even then, I spend a lot of time walking around saying, “It’s not so bad.”

The fact that I would choose a sport that involves being cold at all times is a confirmation of something I have suspected for the last five years: I am getting dumber.

However, I love being fit, and I haven’t been so fit lately. I tried to picture a type of exercise that would be fun and not something I would dread. And so I resurrected my long-dead dream of being a figure skater.

This is my first class. It’s a class just for adults. I went ice skating a few times on a frozen pond as a kid. I don’t recall being any good at it, but I think I managed to stay upright, mostly. So I was surprised to splat, full body, within the first three minutes of my class. No sooner had I brushed the ice off my jeans, and bam, down again. I realize this sounds idiotic, but the ice is HARD. Somehow I thought it would be softer than falling on cement. (See what I mean about the “getting dumber” thing?)

I fell so many times that the instructor actually stopped the class and gave us a little clinic on How To Crash To the Ice Properly. Just in case the other students weren’t paying attention, I gave them several more demonstrations.

And yet, I had moments of such fun I was giggling. When you do it right, gliding across the ice feels a little bit like flying.

And, ohhhhh yeah, I want to fly.