I have always enjoyed ice skating. Watching and doing. My favorite male skater is Scott Hamilton. He always tries to have fun with the audience and the judges. I had the privilege of seeing him skate on his home ice while I was in college. My favorite female skater is Kristi Yamaguchi. She seems to be a very genuine person.
I always wanted to go ice skating when I was younger, but never got the chance. When I made the high honor role, my parents asked me if I would like to do something special as a reward. I said I would like to visit Australia, but of course I knew that wouldn’t happen. So I said I would like to go ice skating.
The first time I went was just at a local rink. My dad said he was going to show my mom he could do a scratch spin like the skaters do on television. He landed on his side on the ice. I didn’t see this happen, but he was sore for the next few days. By the time we left, I could skate around the rink and turn in a very big circle. I know people say if you can roller skate, you can ice skate. And believe it or not it is actually true. I still have a hard time believing I could balance on an eighth of an inch blade.
One year, I got my own pair of ice skates for Christmas. Whenever I went skating I had to rent a pair of ugly brown skates. My mom knew I liked white ones. The first time I tried to skate my left ankle kept twisting. The next time I skated they worked out fine. I must not have laced them up tight enough.
When I was in college, I decided to take a beginners ice skating class. I needed the extra credits. There was another local skating class before mine. They were much more advanced and wore actual skating dresses and stockings. One girl said she was only supposed to be in eighth grade, but her mother home schooled her and she was already on a tenth grade level. Her mother wanted her to graduate by the time she was sixteen so she could focus solely on skating. The Zamboni driver always came and did the ice before my class. After he got done the ice was so smooth and slick. It was like skating on glass.
My teacher said she started skating at thirteen which was later than a lot of other people. But she was very enthusiastic. We learned forward and backward swizzles. I was not very good at skating backwards. I was absolutely terrified of crossovers. I thought for sure my blades would hook and I would fall flat on my face. We also learned dips which I was very good at.
One time, I left my skates in my dorm room so I had to borrow a pair from the rink. If felt like I had never skated before in my life. I found out later, I had gotten a bad pair and the boot part wasn’t firm enough.
Another requirement of the class was I had to go skating on my own at least five times. I usually asked one of my roommates to go with me. I had learned and taught them, the first fall is always the scariest. I would purposely make them do a move called shoot the duck. You dip down and stick one foot in front of you. Some people can do it and some people can’t. You are close enough to the ice it doesn’t hurt if you slip. And after that “fall” you aren’t worried about it anymore.
Near the end of the class the teacher had us try synchronized skating. At first it was fun. I was the last person in line and we were going around a curve. I knew I was going to fall. The teacher had said if you are going to fall let go of the other person’s hand. I did and I fell, cracked my head on the ice and slide into the boards. After that I was a little weary of synchronized skating. I asked to be in the middle of the line instead of on the end. I basically let the person in front of me pull me more than I actually skated.
The teacher told us for our final project we had to skate a very short program. It could be to any music we wanted and we did not have to do any special skating moves or prove what we had learned. That helped me out since I couldn’t skate backwards. Everyone else in the class had a skating partner except me. The teacher said that was okay, I could the program by myself. I chose to skate to the song, “I Love You” by Martina McBride. I made up my own routine. When I first got ready to skate my legs were quivering because I was nervous. I told myself to calm down because I couldn’t skate well with shaky legs. I was skating with a fake rose in my teeth and in the middle part of the program I went over to the side and threw it to one of the guys. No matter what my program was I had to include the audience just like Scott Hamilton. I got a great reaction from them. My teacher even gave me a high five afterwards. I thanked the guy after class for being a good sport.
When I found out I could take the same skating class again I jumped at the chance. Unfortunately, this time my teacher was a stick in the mud. She kept telling us how great of a skater she was and how she skated five hours every day for a show she was going to do at another college. She was part of the ice show I went to featuring Scott Hamilton. However, each jump I saw her do, she two footed the landings. Another thing I didn’t like about her was she made me make up one of the classes I missed because I was snowbound at home over the weekend and couldn’t get back in time for class.
We also had a student teacher who was part of the skating team. He just did fundamentals the whole time. I told the student teacher I was still fearful of crossovers. He said to just start by picking up my foot and then when I was comfortable with that then try to cross it over my other skate. By doing this I got to the point where I could skate on one foot. I did eventually do a crossover, but I did it very slowly.
We also had to do another short skating program. This time I had two other partners, but I talked them and the teacher into letting me do my own again. I was just going to do the same program I had done for my first skating class. I felt like a real skater with a real short program. Real skaters do their short programs more than once. And I had had a ball doing it. I didn’t get as good of a reaction from the audience as I did the first time around. The guy I threw the flower to this time just threw it back on the ice at the end of my program. If I had skated with partners I would have done a Shania Twain song.