Blades of (non) Glory


When I was growing up and watching the Winter Olympics, I wanted to be a figure skater. When you’re a young girl, that’s the best sport ever. Plus, two of the best US figure skaters at the time were Asian American. So naturally I wanted to be like them. There was one small catch: I’d never been ice skating before.

In fact I didn’t get to go ice skating until senior(?) year in high school. And it actually wasn’t horrible. I mean there was no way I could ever see myself doing a jump and landing on that tiny blade but it was fun to get out on the ice. I remember having a good time with my friends skating around the rink. I did it again in college too and once again remember enjoying myself as I was actually pretty good at moving around the rink at a decent pace.

Fast forward to this past week.

It appears that winter sports and I just don’t seem to mix anymore.

We already know how I don’t ski, though I gave it a shot. Well, this past week I went ice skating due to a friend’s birthday. Even though it’d been about a year and a half since I last went to our local rink, I wasn’t worried about it. After all, I have a 100% record of NOT falling on the ice. I know, it’s hard to believe but it’s actually true!

I was a little nervous because the worst part is always when you get on the ice for the first time. But then, that feeling of being terrified never really went away. The weird part was I found myself unable to really move on the ice.

Believe it or not, I can actually skate. You wouldn’t have guessed it from that night but I used to be able to move pretty darn well, at least being able to hold my own. But yet that night, I found myself lapping the rink exactly six times in 60 minutes. Yep. It took me ten minutes to get around the rink each time.

Michelle Kwan I was not that night.

More like this instead

I think it’s the fear of falling and not being in control. I hate that feeling. It’s also probably the fear of breaking my ankle and it’s a risk I’d rather not take. I just could not get my feet to move faster than a turtle’s pace no matter how much I wanted to.

The strange part is that two years ago, I went ice skating at that exact same rink and I was perfectly fine. To be honest I think part of it was due to not feeling like I had to one up someone anymore. When you already feel like you’re the worst at something among all your friends, instead of trying to do better, I think I just sort of give up. But when I’m with someone who is worse than me (especially if there’s a hidden motive), I feel the urge to out do them and it motivates me to do better.

This is not to say at all that I didn’t have fun. I actually did. Trying to concentrate on not falling was quite the challenge. I think though that unless something drastic happens, my ice skating days are probably numbered. It is ok. I gave it my best shot and I’m ok with it.


One thought on “Blades of (non) Glory

  1. I loved hearing about your ice skating experience, Deborah. I don’t ice skate (not much opportunity living in Florida), but I used to do a lot of roller skating and roller blading. But like you, I’m now more afraid of falling. Just last night, I gave in and listed my husband’s and my roller skates and roller blades on craigslist. I’ve passed the “adventurous” age and have entered the let’s-just-try-not-to-break-anything stage of my life.


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