My first day as a Level 2 Adult figure skater – It’s Swizzle time!

Rock Candy Swizzles

Excitement level: High
Rink temperature: Colder than necessary, even for a skating rink
Number of falls: Possibly less than 10

I proudly fiddle with my name badge, which clearly shows any of the people looking at me that I am a Level TWO figure skater now. Not that any of the parents or hockey players sitting on the benches are here to watch me, but I’m pretty sure the Adult Class is the best entertainment they get all day. And if watching grown adults sprawl across the ice in a most ungainly manner is your idea of humor, then I am a comedy all-star.

In the previous four-week session, I mastered the ability to actually skate, in a forward manner, for a decent distance. I tentatively learned to skate backwards as well. (Okay, fine, I still can’t figure out to do any of the “stops” so I kill off my momentum by hitting the wall, which is surprisingly flexible. The wall bounces me off and I drift backward. That counts, right?)

We are now learning to skate backwards intentionally and I am finding it very hard. The good part is that when I fall, I now fall forward. This is slightly more graceful than falling backward. If anyone asks, I can pretend I had the sudden urge to do ice push-ups.

Ah, but wait. The instructor corrects me – she says I should not be falling forward. If anything, I should be falling backward. I am doing it wrong. I listen attentively and correct my weight balance, and promptly fall backward. I took her down to the ice with me though, so at least I had some company.

We are also learning a basic skill called “swizzles.” You point your skates in opposite directions and slowly slide into something close to the middle splits, or what we adults call the “YEEEOOOW” position. Before your legs split off from your body, you slide them back in. If done correctly, you make a shape on the ice like a short, fat, goldfish. So little kids learning to skate call them “fishes.” I call them “#$#%@*&% fish swizzles” and my fish are so narrow they are clearly starving to death.

I had a moment of very high self-esteem when I correctly performed three swizzles in a row. It was obliterated when the instructor announced it was now time to do the swizzles backward.

If you missed the story about my first day as a figure skater, check it out here: My First Day as an Adult Figure Skater

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.