I did it, reader! After years of frustration, I finally accomplished the difficult task of skating backward! Oh, reader! I can’t tell you how excited I am! Woo-hoo!!! Honestly, this is tame compared to the way I told Rosario over the phone yesterday. She thought I had won a million dollars or something the way I cheered and cheered until I could cheer no more. But I felt like I had won more than a million bucks!
I realize this may not seem like a big deal, but it really is a big deal… at least to me. I have wanted to skate backward ever since I first learned to ice skate when I was about eleven, but I turned out to be a defective skater. Skating forward wasn’t a problem but for some strange reason the know-how for skating backward eluded me. This was rather devastating for one who loved skating sports. I had no intention of being a figure skating champion or a professional hockey player, but I would have liked to learn the basics: puck handling, evasive maneuvers, toe loops, sit spins, etc. Unfortunately skating backward was an important element to learning the aforementioned skills. Ice dancing wasn’t even an option! (I realize hockey wasn’t really an option either due to my petite stature, but I prefer to blame it on the skating backward thing.)
I never took official ice skating lessons. If I had, I might have learned there, but I will never know what could have been… Still, plenty of people gave me tips, advice and instruction in the process of skating backward. And I tried. Really I did. Every season, I would try again and again to implement everything I had been told but nothing ever worked. Until this year…
I had tried several times to go skating ever since Rosa Parks Circle opened for the winter season, but it never worked out. I couldn’t seem to find anyone who wanted to go with me. So I made up my mind to go alone, and still every time I made plans, something else came up.
Finally, I decided that I would go on Friday. I didn’t care what happened – I was going to go ice skating. I left work with the intention of going straight to the rink, but I called my roommate Emily at the last minute to see if she was up for a little outdoor workout. Although she resisted the idea at first, Emily eventually agreed to come along.
We made it to the rink fairly early to avoid the Friday night crowd. And reader, it was exhilarating! I loved gliding across the ice, weaving around the other skaters, with the wind in my face. Sigh! It was great!
Emily and I didn’t stay too long – it was quite cold, but just before our final lap, I stopped near the rail.
“Hang on, E. I want to try to skate backward before we leave.” I shifted my weight and brought my foot around. Then the other side. And the first one again. I continued my pattern. I was concentrating really hard, but I was still able to look up and grin at Emily.
“Check me out!!! I’m skating backward!” I didn’t go far and it wasn’t very graceful, but it was a start! I am more conscious now of balance and weight distribution than when I first learned to ice skate, thanks to all the dance training I’ve had the past couple of years, which is certainly what helped.
Yes, reader, it was a start. I have overcome a struggle that has nagged me for years! I can’t tell you how liberating that is! I don’t even care about learning the basic of hockey and figure skating anymore. I’m just praying it wasn’t a fluke and I’ll be able to improve on my new skill next time I go ice skating. But for now: mission accomplished!