• sisters on a mission.

  • Three sisters. One in Virginia. One in London. One in New York. None of whom wear shorts. Ever.

  • the mission?

    Taking delight.
    Learning Italian.
    Getting to Italy.
    Wearing shorts.
    In Italy.
    June 2011.

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skating into the hearts of America

I have a confession.  I collect books on organizing and decluttering.   I know.  It’s defeating the purpose.  They are lined up side-by-side on my overloaded shelves taunting me.   It’s not that I’m a pack-rat.  I just have difficulty letting go of certain objects.  Like books, artwork and crafts I have made, project materials, awards.   You know, the stuff with meaning.

But lately I’ve been feeling weighted down and scattered.  That’s a good indicator that I need to start shedding the excess.  So, a few months ago, I started a thorough assessment and purging of every drawer, shelf, closet, box – container of any sort – in an effort to lighted my load.  I’ve gotten rid of a lot of things.    A lot.

A couple of days ago, I rescued my ice skates from their hiding place in the basement.  A thin layer of green fuzz had started to overtake the once pristine leather soles.  A damp index card marked Freestyle 2 was impaled on a toe pick.  A hint of rust marred the shine on the blades.  It was a mess.   How could I have let this happen?  I loved my skates.

They came into my life 15 years ago when I was 31 and newly wed.  I had moved to Tacoma Washington from Portland Oregon.  Sold my house, got a new job and settled into my husband’s house.  Our house now although neither one of us spent much time there due to our hectic travel schedules.   I would not have bonded with Tacoma at all had it not been for the Sprinker Ice Arena.

I passed by the nondescript building on my way to and from the airport every week.  Each time I drove by, I wondered what it would be like to glide and spin and jump on ice.  I had spent my formative years in coastal Virginia  rattling my teeth as I raced down concrete sidewalks with 4-wheeled metal boot skates strapped to my feet.   The feeling of the wind in my hair still felt fresh.

I don’t know what possessed me but one day, about a year after taking up residency, I pulled into the parking lot.  Before I could rationalize my way out of it, I had signed up for classes and purchased my own figure skates.  I was committed.

The first day of lessons, our ragtag group of adults clung to the wall as we inched our way onto the ice.   We were all shapes and sizes, male and female, married and single, young and old.   It was both thrilling and terrifying to let go and scoot stiff-legged across the slick surface, arms extended, praying to make it to the other side without falling on our asses.  I’ll never forget that moment.  I was skating!  It was like that scene in “What About Bob” where Bill Murray, strapped to the mast, grins and belts out “I’m sailing!”

For the next year I took classes non-stop and progressed up to Freestyle and Patch classes.   I was hooked on the feeling of speeding across the ice, going backwards as fast as I could around and around the rink.  I still wasn’t much of a jumper and was just getting the hang of spinning when we found out we were moving to Naples Italy.    Ice skating came to an abrupt end in favor of traveling and eating pasta.  The skates never came out again.

Until this week.  I carefully scraped off the mold, rubbed everything down with a little clorox, hung them outside in the sun and crossed my fingers.   A few hours of baking and they are good as new, with the exception of the rusty blades which I still need to tackle.

My intent was to  get them cleaned up enough to sell.  After all, they’ve been neglected by me for over a decade.  It’s time to let go.  But just holding them again has me nostalgic.  There’s an ice rink near my office.  I could take them for a spin, see what I remember if anything.  See if they even fit any more.   Pray that I don’t break anything.  Am I crazy?

Maybe I should wear a helmet just in case.

5 Responses

  1. Take them for a spin! Take them for a spin!
    I didn’t even know you ice skated. Keep them! Keep them!

    (and oh yes, do I remember those teeth-shattering metal rollerskates…)

  2. I don’t know about the helmet…what about the wind-in-your-hair?!

  3. I didn’t realize you could skate either. My one and only attempt at ice skating was a disaster….on my butt the whole time. I am, however, an excellent roller skater. All those nights at the YMCA at Fort Monroe. S-A-T-U-R-D-A-Y Night!!!!

  4. […] made a HUGE difference.  I felt much lighter than normal.  Alexander Technique helped me with my figure skating too all those years ago – highly […]

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