Saturday night, I did what I'm sure many 34-year-olds were doing on the weekend before Valentine's Day. I hit up the local ice rink for the Valentine Date Skate.
Admittedly, I was not aware of the Valentine Skate when I planned this outing. It was an unexpected bonus. Couples got in two for the price of one, which would have been really cool if I'd had a date. Or been willing to say Little Joe and I were a couple.
I'm not sure how it is where you live, but here, the ice rink tends to attract mainly younger visitors. I would say ninety percent of skaters were in the fifteen and under age range. So I felt right at home.
We wound up with a nice group of our own. Five guys, three girls, and three kids, none of which were mine--girls or kids. I'm fairly certain it's the second highest number of people I've ever got to come to anything. Second only to Festivus 2006, which attracted fourteen. Normally, when I try to plan something, it winds up being... well, let's just move on.
I was a bit nervous at first, as I hadn't been skating in over ten years. But once blade hit ice, it all came back to me. (Cue appropriate Celine Dion song.) It was like I had never left. Like I was born with bladed foot. Soon I was weaving in and out of traffic, knocking over little kids, gaining more and more speed, until... it all came crashing to a halt.
But here's an odd thing about me. And probably not the only one. I actually like falling when ice skating. It's fun. Kinda like the luge, except there's no hope of winning a gold medal. Fortunately, I fell right near the benches where people rest. When I looked up, there were like eight heads peeking over the rail at me. A couple of people asked if I was alright, then I heard one kid say, "Whoa! Cool!"
I almost fell a second time when some slow skaters cut in front of me. They really should have their own rink. Like the shallow end of the pool. I had to think quick to avoid planting some girl face first into the ice. It was a true "What Would Brian Boitano Do" moment. So, naturally, I made a plan and followed thru.
I grabbed her shoulders to twist myself sideways, then continued around and past her, while in the meantime completing the most awkward 360 in this history of ice sports. Think Rosie O'Donnell taking ballet. On second thought, don't. I just got a quick visual on that.
Wolfgang was a hoot to watch, too. (Did I really just use "hoot" on my blog? Good heavens, how old am I?) It was his first time ice skating. I don't think he ever let go of the rail for more than a couple of seconds. I tried explaining that he was going to fall. That most likely everyone who had ever gone ice skating had fallen. But apparently, he wasn't born with bladed foot.
Still, there must have been something about the feel of that rail. Or maybe it was the thrill of turning a lap every fifteen minutes. Because as we were getting ready to leave, someone mentioned that we should do this again sometime. And Wolfgang chimed in enthusiastically, "I'll come back anytime. I'll come back tomorrow night!"
I also took part in the Snowball Skate. It's not as fun as it sounds and there's no snow involved. (Yeah, I was not happy about that.) But I skipped out on Limbo On Ice. I figured I might be nearing my allotment of Brian Boitano heroics for one evening.
Overall, I think a fun time was had by all. I'm already looking forward to the Back To School Skate.
"When Brian Boitano was in the Olympics skating for the gold, he did two Salchows and a triple lutz while wearing a blind fold..."