Blades of Steel

Okay, I’ll admit it: I’m attempting to redeem my childhood failures through my kids, okay?  Okay?  That is, we’ve started them in skating lessons.

See? Not so bad.  Learning to ice skate is something I longed and yearned to do as a child, but my family never lived in a town with a rink.  So, who am I to pass up getting my kids to learn this sport when we now live 5 minutes away from a rink?

The Salt Lake City Sports Complex has two big ice sheets that were built for Olympic hockey games back in ’01.  They have children’s group skating lessons there taught by Official US Figure Skating People, namely, amazingly fit 18 year old girls who could probably skate on the head of a pin.  All at once.

Eleanor is in the “Snowplow Sam” course, designed for preschoolers.  Their main task is to learn how to stand up by themselves after falling down.  Sometimes they “march” from foot to foot, but mainly it’s all about the falling.

Jeffrey is in the “Basic One” course.  The kids in this class actually scoot around the ice a bit.  Jeffrey even engages in the occasional game of “Red Light, Green Light,” when he isn’t chewing on his gloves.

Both children really enjoy the skating.  Jeffrey has NO FEAR — it doesn’t phase him one bit when he falls, he just gets right back up and keeps scooting.  He idolizes the hockey players who practice on the sheet next door, which makes Mommy nervous. 

Eleanor gets a bit more shaky on the ice, but she loves doing it anyway.  Rather, she especially loves putting on the layers of stretchy pants and knitted gloves which we set aside for skating sessions.  It’s all about the clothes, people.

For years, I’ve had a fantasy of having whole-family outings on the ice.  Brian can handle himself pretty well on the ice, so that leaves just William and myself to figure it out.  I’m going to predict that William will learn to skate before I do (and keep in mind that they don’t let kids on the ice until they are 3). 


I made a feeble attempt at skating during a public skate event last Saturday, and Chaos Ensued.  Let’s just say that I fell down and couldn’t figure out how to get up.  With skates on, my bent knee came up to my ears, and my wimpy legs couldn’t push hard enough to get me into a standing position.  Or rather, my wimpy brain was afraid my wimpy legs would cause me to fall foward onto my face.  (Hey, falling on my behind is one thing, falling on my face quite another.)  After kneeling feebly on the ice for a few minutes, one of those 9-year-old wunderkind skaters — a little Asian girl with an Official Figure Skating Jacket — came over and told me how to do it.  And thus ended my skating session for the day.

So: squats first, then skating.  You hear that, legs?

One thought on “Blades of Steel

  1. Oh, Brooke! One of my most traumatic childhood experiences was falling out of a friend’s tree and then NOT being able to go ice skating with my class later that week. I desperately wanted to take lessons, and my parents were freaked enough that I’d fall on my head and go blind (real fear in my case) that it Was Not Allowed.

    Hm. Perhaps there’s something to be said for overcoming your childhood failures through your children…I’ll have to look into skating lessons now, since there’s a rink less than a mile away!

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