I was never a team sport kinda girl and only briefly tried gymnastics and ballet. Skating was my thing. Picture Torvil & Dean, minus the Dean.
One of the best parts about being a mum is getting to share the experiences you loved as a kid with your own children. The extra bonus is when they actually enjoy it as much as you do and you’re able to watch the delight in their faces. I’m lucky that my three daughters love skating too and even in the crisp 4 degrees air of the ice rink watching them skate makes my heart melt.
Being a knitter, we get to rug up and wear the gorgeous hand knitted and crocheted garments I’ve made. All the scarves, hats and jumpers come out and gaps in our hand knitted wardrobe are duly noted – I need to knit some gloves!
One thing that was true about skating back in my day and is still true today is how damned uncomfortable the boots are! I’m pretty sure that’s why I saved up and purchased a pair of my own ice skates when I was a kid, because those damp boots from the skate hire shop were never going to cut it. Take my advice, bring two pairs of socks and make sure that at least one of the pairs is thick and padded. I like to borrow hubby’s socks for this! As excited as you are to put your ice skates on to get started, it’s just as exciting taking them off!
Setting the girls free on an ice rink made me think of the different types of skaters that you’ll find carving it up.
The first type you notice is the “wall hugger”. My youngest daughter fits into this category, clutching the wall for dear life. It wasn’t until the last 20 minutes of the session that she finally had the courage to let go of the wall and hold on to my hand for a few laps. She still enjoyed it, just needed the security of a permanent structure.
Next we have the “socialite” who is my eldest daughter. She’s got loads of friends around at the best of times so it shouldn’t surprise me that she made a couple of friends and enjoyed skating around with them and her sisters.
Then there is the funniest type of them all. This chick had me in stitches and I’m pretty sure her cheeks would have ached from smiling and laughing so much. This type of skater I call “the comedian” and they are someone who falls over constantly, sometimes on purpose. She even fell over next to her sister’s friend, so she didn’t feel so bad about falling over herself. She was constantly covered in ice and I even saw her trying to eat it! The first thing she told her dad when she came home was “I fell over 219 times!” If you can go skating with someone like this, then jump at the chance. You’ll have a blast as they teach you not to take yourself too seriously.
I’m not exactly sure which category I’d belong in. Having grown up skating I’m pretty confident on the ice. I love the chance to enjoy the feeling and sounds of skating around the rink at fast pace, warming my body up with the exercise of skating and then having the fresh cool breeze of the icy wind on my cheeks till they’re numb. Some may put me into the “show off” group when I start skating backwards, but I’m cool with that. It’s a handy trick for helping Miss “wall hugger” as we did two whole laps with me holding both her hands while I skated backwards.
The girls loved it so much they didn’t even stop for a hot drink and were pretty much the last off the ice.
Next door to the ice rink is the Chocolateria San Churro, so I promised the girls a nice hot chocolate there after skating for the purely selfish reason that I knew I’d be desperate for a nice hot coffee. Kids never cease to surprise me and even though at skating they kept going on about how cold it was, when they saw the ice-creams, all thoughts of hot chocolate were gone and they were negotiating with me about how many flavours they could have on their cones.
Ice skating is lots of fun, whatever type of skater you are, and even better being a mum and reliving your childhood by enjoying it with your family.
Am I still caught up in my childhood? I think I must be – I really wished they’d played the music louder! They have disco skating nights on a Friday and Saturday which would be fun, and I’m sure they’d pump up the volume a bit more for that.