Yesterday I went ice skating. As soon as I told my mum I was going I could see the look of panic/horror spread across her face. As she and some of my more 'regualar readers' know I don't really give off an 'ice skater' vibe. It wasn't the first time I went ice skating, maybe the third or forth but from anyone observing me they would have thought I had never seen a sheet of ice in my life...
As me and my friends were walking up to the ice rink a thought occurred to me, how do you actually ice skate? It's not programed into our natural DNA and there is only so much Dancing On Ice can teach you. I put this question across to the group and my friend Meg replied with "You just kind of slide, it's like rollerskating". At this point I must add that last time I went rollerskating I nearly skidded into a main road and got hit by a van, luckily my friend caught me. "But I can't rollerskate" I replied the only phrase that Meg could think of that suited the moment was "oh dear" and she was right.
My first challenge was to put on my boots. This is a Blog in itself but I will try and condense it. Basically, after I had collected my boots of a tattooed and pierced 'youth' I found myself a place on the wooden benches and set about putting them on. First of all I had to get my head around how they actually went onto your foot. After secretly observing other people but theirs on I thought I had the knack of it. I didn't. It took me ten minutes of shouting, cursing, stamping, pulling and pushing to get my feet into the boots, they were a bit too big but I couldn't face putting another pair on so I hobbled off to find everyone else. I say hobbled because it is very difficult to walk on normal flooring with blades attached to your feet, why don't you just put the blades on before you step onto the ice? I think I'm the only sensible person on this planet.
At last it was time to get on the ice. Nervously I placed my right foot onto the rink, since when was ice so slippery? Then, I grabbed onto the bar for dear life and hauled my left foot up. For a few seconds I was paralysed, what could I do? I couldn't move, I couldn't go back and I defiantly couldn't 'just go' as the man behind me suggested. After spending a few minutes contemplating the value of life I started to slide myself forward. I slid my hand a few cementers along the bar then dragged my feet along to meet them. I did this for a whole lap- it took me at least 15 minutes.
My friend saw me struggling so she glided, yes glided, over to help me. She grabbed my arm, pulled me off the bar and dragged me round the ice. I have never been so scared in all my life. I was clutching onto her the whole time and screaming "We're going to die, stop, we're going to die!". In case you were wondering, we didn't die.
After 5 laps I was feeling a fraction more confident and started to shift my feet a little bit for myself rather than being pulled forward. Suddenly disaster struck, the two people in fornt of us slipped over and landed on the floor- how inconsiderate. This left us in an awkward situation because obviously it would be rude to skate over them but we didn't have enough time to stop. Then, without even asking my permission my friend let go off my arm and skated around them, this left me hurtling out of control around the other side of them, I was waving my arms around everywhere, desperately trying to stay upright. THUD! I hit the side bar. I had a massive stomach ache but I didn't care, I was still upright and I hadn't broken anything.
I decided it was selfish for my friend to be skating around with me for the whole time when she could clearly be jumping around at 100mph so I let her go. I wasn't on my own though another friend took me into her care, we skated around for a few laps but I think she then decided her limbs were more important than helping me to skate so she went off, I think I was becoming a liability.
Finally the man in charge shouted for everyone to get off the ice, well since I was around the other side of the rink it was another 10 minutes before I got off but still it was over. I was very pleased and as I hobbled back to the bench to remove my very fetching boots I realised, I didn't fall over! I may have caused several accidents but still, the First Aid man only had to come to one of them and I do rather think the lady was making too much fuss, it's only ice!
So, after recent events I can safely say that I will be crossing 'Proffesional Ice Skater' off my career list.