Work sometimes has the lovely (and not entirely unexpected) effect of driving me just a little bit crazy, so to celebrate the first (and certainly not the last) time I came in voluntarily to the office on a Saturday morning to work (and the dental appointment that followed), I went skating. Considering the last time I went skating was a little under a decade ago - that is, if you call clinging to the railing like a lifeline and only going round and round the rink skating - it was pretty fascinating. *laughter* I do not know how to skate at all, and this isn't even false humility, it's the literal truth.
I was going to go in my office outfit until I realised that it'd be pretty interesting going to court and the skating rink in the exact same jacket, and it was just as well that on my way to my dental appointment I happened by a thrift store where I found a jacket that looks eerily similar to this one. And I have never understood how the figure skaters we see can manage to wear such utterly flimsy and furthermore skimpy outfits. Are they not cold? I go skating in three layers and jeans.
I went to the rink to get familiar with the ice, because when I'm starting out and learning something for the first time, I kind of prefer being alone, because then I don't get embarrassed by being so incredibly SUCK. (I learned to ride a bike on my own, too - less performance anxiety that way). mangy_mongrel and I are going to go soon, and oh, man, I was completely terrified about making a complete fool of myself on the ice in front of her. *wry smile!* Like I said, I literally cannot skate, so I wanted to do something about that.
And the crazily serendipitious thing about me finding this jacket? I'd just gotten onto the ice and had spent the first five minutes clinging to the railing (again), when all of a sudden someone called my name. I looked up and there was one of my law school friends, as amazed to see me as I was to see her! I soon found out she was there for skating lessons, and she told me about the skating school there and the coaches and the competitions (that are for public viewing, there's even a pairs skating competition up pretty soon!). And the fun thing was? She told me that she first noticed the jacket I was wearing, and then she looked at me and realised she knew me. *beams* There's something to be said for being a complete obsessive about this movie.
And at this point of time I must say that this skating rink? Has a jukebox on which you can choose songs that'll be played over the broadcast system. And no less than three CDs have the Black-Eyed Peas' My Humps. And surprisingly enough, music does actually make me skate better - first of all because I focus on the music and stop freaking out about my balance and therefore am actually able to try to skate instead of worry, and secondly, because the right rhythm actually helps me coordinate better.
She helped me take my first unsteady steps across the ice - and said that it was good that I wasn't afraid to try, because most people are nervous because they're afraid to fall. *grin* And then she told me, "Trust your blades." I kind of just smiled so damn much at that. And I discovered that the thing I'd thought was nearly-going-to-fall momentum all those years ago? Was actually something pretty close to actual skating. Funny that the thing I was most afraid of doing turns out to be the thing I should've been doing. *laughs* I was a total newbie, and she's a good teacher! I think as a teacher you've got to be able to tell the student (even if she's a friend) when she's doing something wrong just as much as when she's doing something right, so I'm really, really glad I ran into her.
I can walk/shakily take small skating steps very very jerkily on the ice now (that was scary to learn, but it was also fun when I finally did learn how to do it) - NO RAILINGS ANY MORE!!! The only goal I had was to make it across the width of the rink unassisted, and I can DO THAT now - I can even do a circuit unassisted at full strength. Though I tire easily as I'm very new to this and completely untrained and furthermore I never exercise, so right now my body has already begun to complain. NEVER IT MIND. ;) One day I'm gonna run across the ice!
Our skating rink has its own Zamboni ice-resurfacing machine, and they close the rink for 20 minutes every three hours to resurface the ice. When I first got there the ice was pretty choppy, but while I was there they resurfaced it, and my friend was, "Go try it! Don't wait for me! You can't miss this!" while I sat there blinking at all the water on the rink wondering if I was gonna fall over. But when the rink staff finally threw open the gates and let all the skaters on the freshly-Zamboni'd ice? IT WAS LIKE HEAVEN, and this is me being new to this. The freshly-resurfaced feel only lasts about five-to-ten minutes before the influx of skaters rips the ice up again, but when you're on the new ice it is genuinely unbelievable. It was so much easier to move that I wish they'd close the rink for a Zamboni go-round every hour. *grin*
And - there are some absolutely amazing kids there are the rink. There were some kids who could not possibly have been more than five years old, and they were absolutely unbelievable on the ice. My friend tells me that some of these kids are kids for whom skating is their life - she's seen them come in after school, have lunch at the rink, skate, do their homework at the rink, and skate again. First thought? Jimmy MacElroy. *laughs* But they were so good. They were so tiny and young and could skate so well, and execute spins and turns and all kinds of fancy moves. Not to mention the older skaters, and the skaters of all ages who were good enough to be in actual performance outfits on the rink and who did all the tricks - the moves that look like ballet on ice and the why aren't they falling over?! moves. *whiiiiistles*
My friend and I went for lunch after skating at this Korean place that does student discounts ♥ and then we went to the JE library. Where I found all the skating books that aren't the "This is a skate. This is a rink" sort. We spent a happy afternoon reading books while the torrential rain poured down outside. And we found The Legal Lampoon : A Biased, Unfair, and Completely Accurate Law Review from Non Sequitur. >D THAT WAS FUN.
Almost as fun as skating.