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Ice Skating

‘Tis the season for frozen country ponds to ice skate on! Putting your skate on with 50 eyelets your laces have to loop through to immobilize your ankle is no joke. You can’t just tighten your laces willy nilly like you can with your sneakers. You have to start from the bottom and pull on the laces for all your worth, otherwise your ankle buckles the second you stand up and you then have a sprained ankle all winter. It’s difficult to walk through the snow on just blades at the center of the soles of your feet to get to the ice, so we used to sit on our sleds on the ice and try to gracefully stand up from the slippery sled when we were laced up. That usually ended up with us barrel rolling off the sled, and then getting on our hands and knees before carefully trying to stand after that awkward display of athleticism. Once you’re up, it’s time to push off and try to skate gracefully over the bumpy, natural ice formations. It’s as if patch and pothole season have also hit the ice. That’s if you’re lucky you don’t first have to Zamboni your own ice rink with a shovel and a ton of patience. After you bravely make it out halfway across the pond, that’s when you hear the distinct noise a crack in the ice makes. It’s a guttural, deep echoing sound from the ice that strikes fear in the heart of even the bravest of souls. You instantly check to see how far the crack extends as you question if the ice is actually thick enough for you to skate off of in time if need be. Although I do remember seeing people throw their skates onto the ice so they can run and jump over the thawed edges of the pond to get to the middle where it’s thicker and safer. Even my husband used to do that, but I was always afraid it wasn’t strong enough to hold my weight jumping onto it, so I sat that one out! I could also see me falling short of the ledge of the safe ice by not jumping far enough over the watery edges of the pond, that’d be my luck. Everybody would just watch me run and jump into the icy water. Another thing I don’t understand is how the professionals spin like a top so fast that you can’t even see them anymore; they’re like blurry superhumans. They can spin as fast as 308 rotations per minute! Does that convert to like 400 mph? I think if I tried the really fast spins it would make my eyes cross and I’d be so sick all over the ice on each spin around that I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t win any competitions or awards. How do they not get sick? I get dizzy just standing up too fast, let alone spinning at centrifugal speeds. I’d probably also lose equilibrium and wind up with a concussion and brain damage too. Then the pro skater goes right from a spin to a bunch of ridiculously hard jumps. If by some small miracle I was able to pull off a good spin, I’d need to sit really still for at least 2 days right after. Tell the judges I need a minute! If you do go pond skating this winter, stay safe and good luck with the spins!

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