Ice Skating for Dummies

I have never considered myself to be an athletic person, but I think I have latent athletic ability. For example, I was a monkey when I was a kid, climbing to the tippy tops of the neighbors’ trees. I climbed ledges on the mountain to get to hidden waterfalls. I was the fastest runner in my class until 5th grade. I was the Chicken champion (that game where you hang on the monkey bars and try to kick each other off with your feet). I punched a boy for looking at me the wrong way (not really. I only punched with provocation).

But around 5th grade, my father told me it was unbecoming for young ladies to climb trees. Women aren’t supposed to have muscle, doncha know? I lost my upper body strength. I ran slower. I started to kind of hate my big old sluggish body.

Now I work out on a regular basis. This is mostly stuff like walking, lifting weights, and the elliptical machine. Kind of boring stuff.

I decided that I’m going to venture out of my comfort zone. Hence, the horseback riding. Over the summer, Cadillac and I played tennis. I took a tennis class at Grossmont, the local community college, about 5 years ago and got pretty good at it- I even got an A. Now that daylight’s savings is coming, we will take that up again.

And I decided to take ice skating.

I don’t know how to ice skate. I might have been, once, and not for a very long time. I enrolled in the Adult Beginners Course.

The Beginners Course looks like it’s full of people who have skated before. The first class, two other people and I had special handling by Instructor 2. We did different stuff than the other people.

This week, those other two very beginners had done quit on me. Now I’m in with the other people.

It’s a bit like not speaking a foreign language in a class where people have all studied it before. They’re moving fast and you’re trying to keep up.

I don’t care. They should all be in Intermediate, as far as I can tell. Not that anybody is saying anything. Nobody says much in my class. They are a very serious bunch.

I tried to do this move, a Backwards Wiggle, and ended up just basically doing the twist in place until the teacher came and helped me out. These eHow videos are helpful. The teachers didn’t give as many tips, they basically demonstrate and have you do it. I did start keeping my head up today, though.

And I’m going to go practice in between.

Published by Margaret Dilloway

Middle grade and women's fiction novelist. FIVE THINGS ABOUT AVA ANDREWS, (Balzer + Bray 2020); SUMMER OF A THOUSAND PIES. MOMOTARO: Xander and the Lost Island of Monsters (Disney Hyperion); TALE OF THE WARRIOR GEISHA and SISTERS OF HEART AND SNOW, out now from Putnam Books. HOW TO BE AN AMERICAN HOUSEWIFE was a finalist for the John Gardner fiction award. THE CARE AND HANDLING OF ROSES WITH THORNS is the 2013 Literary Tastes Best Women's Fiction Pick for the American Library Association. Mother of three children, wife to one, slave to a cat, and caretaker of the best overgrown teddy bear on Earth, Gatsby the Goldendoodle.

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