Monday, December 29, 2008

Like Riding a Bicycle

The boys and I went ice-skating this evening downtown at Pershing Square. This is Los Angeles' lame, albeit charming, attempt to replicate Rockefeller Center. It's a tiny ice-rink in the middle of the city. There are a scattering of tall buildings and with the Christmas angels lit and poised over the rink, it looked quite nice. We went with Oliver's Cub Scout pack, and only a few intrepid parents actually got on the ice. I felt bold (after all, I'd spent the first ten years of my life in the northeast) and strapped on some size 9s and then helped both boys onto the rink.

I'd forgotten how much it hurts to ice-skate. Is this because I'm old and out of shape or has it always hurt? And I'm not talking about falling. My feet felt like they could have frozen up in a cramp at any second and the burning in my ankles and shins was intense enough that when I stopped at the wall, I had to make a point of not wincing. But I could skate. I wouldn't want to look at a video of me or anything but after a few hobbled rounds I started gliding a little and then felt that old rushy feeling, the ice coming up at you in cold and the swish of the blades. My arms flew up and out and I'm sure that I looked ridiculous, but it was exhilarating. Henry and Oliver took slow and painful steps around and around the ring, Henry falling over and over and Oliver more careful to just make it around. The people who "skate" in Los Angeles can't really do it (there's even a sign on the outside of the rink that says, SKATE AT YOUR OWN RISK) so there was a lot of wild flailing and falling and laughing. There were one or two hot-shots, like always, one man in a pair of tight beige pants whizzed by me on a slant a number of times and a young kid in a red sweatshirt positively terrorized the skaters with his zipping and cutting and reckless racing.

We skated for about an hour and just before it ended, I got a little cocky and went a little too fast and lost control and then went down on my hands and knees. And it hurt like hell. And I don't even want to picture what it looked like as I got up.

The boys want to go later this week. We're thinking about trying out the rink in Santa Monica.


  1. When I went skating with my kids I got all cocky near the end and thought "Wow I skate all right" Just then a boy fell and clipped my skate. I went airborne and fell flat on my back and smacked my head.
    I'm glad you laced on those skates and I'm sure your kids were too.

  2. all of my kids are in pain this morning!!!! love the blurry Jack in the background of your pic...and everyone had fun with you at dinner! sorry I missed it...let me know if you go to Santa Monica...

    did you try a hammel camel???

  3. I'll bet I haven't ice skated in well over 30 years. There was a pond near my grandmother's house when I was a kid and a marshy swamp area that froze over every winter. We used to skate there all the time and in the city there were ice rinks we went to at night and on the weekends. I don't think there was much that was painful back then (except maybe eventually cold feet and frozen mittens), but now I feel like I can hurt myself sitting in one place for too long! I've become very nervous about hurting myself as I've gotten older and the hard sounds of the ice and the sharp steel blades scare me when I think about them. Good for you!

  4. How fun - there's nothing like it! Better take some advil though :)



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