Saturday, February 20, 2010
ICE SKATING & IMAGINATION
The basement in the house I grew up in had a cement floor. With a little imagination, in the mind of a young child… it became an ice rink. I can remember putting on my roller skates, downstairs… and twirling round and round on that floor. Each routine I created, was eclipsed by the next. I was in the Olympics, ice skating for the GOLD. I had to be at the top of my game. So… I used props to be more artistic in my endeavor. I skated carrying a long scarf, twisting and turning it in the wind as I glided along the ice. When I got bored with that, I searched for a baton. Not finding one, I improvised using a stick, from out in the back yard. Unfortunately, as I picked up speed on the concrete… I wrapped myself around a column in the basement, ramming the stick down my throat. Ouch. My big Olympic experience ended with a trip to the emergency room and my dreams for a medal were dashed. I never forgot the thrill of skating. But I never competed again. I went on to Rock Collecting as a hobby. Years later, at sixteen… I watched vicariously as my girlfriend Patty and her partner Ron, took to the REAL ice and made beautiful silhouettes together. It was poetry in motion. They were quite the pair. Though I must confess… I stole his heart, away from her… off the ice, if only briefly. Despite my love of the sport… truth be told… that’s the closest I ever got to the ice other than visiting the Ice Follies. A pair of ice skates never touched my feet, until I was an adult, married to someone else and living in Pittsburgh, Pa in the eighties. There was a restaurant, we frequented that overlooked an ice rink. Our young children used to be thrilled every time we went to eat there, because they could see the skaters. One weekend, my hubby and I decided to SURPRISE them and actually took them to the rink, itself. They LOVED it there. So… we signed the kids up for weekly skating lessons. As a result… I too, finally donned my first pair of skates, to partake in the fun. But… I had a heck of a time, balancing myself on those narrow blades and kept falling down. I was devastated. My ankles kept buckling out from under me… every time I tried. It looked so easy. But I just couldn’t master it. The whole ice skating experience didn’t work out for me. I was destined for OTHER things. Now… relegated to the sidelines… I sadly watched… my hubby and little girls enjoying themselves out on the ice. They were so happy. It made me secretly long for my ROLLER skates and all those skating memories I had as a child. But I needn’t fret. I wasn’t alone for long. Eventually… my family became bored with their new sport and were suddenly off doing something else. So… I turned to television for escapism. This is why… every four years… I look forward to the Winter Olympics and all those young brave souls, skating their hearts out. Win or lose… it’s the experience of a lifetime. And we all get to SHARE it.