Did you know that the blades on ice skates are only 3/16 of an inch thick?
I recently pondered this thought as I struggled to put rented ice skates on my niece and me before taking a spin at an outdoor skating rink just before Christmas. This is lunacy, I thought, as we awkwardly hobbled in our skates from the heated changing room to the frigid frozen oval. I’ve just strapped tiny steel blades onto my feet and now I’m going to get on a frozen, slippery surface with a bunch of other lunatics and attempt to glide across it without serious damage to myself!
Why do we do this? And who the heck came up with this idea in the first place? Are we so desperate for experiences that we’ll ditch common sense and risk our safety for a few thrills? Am I willing to sprain an ankle for this? Is my niece as trepidatious about this as me? It’s f*&! cold out here! Why am I doing this, I’m exhausted already just from putting these skates on. (Yes, all these thoughts and more were swirling around in my head.)
Throwing our fears aside, we started out very slowly as we gravitated towards the sides of the rink for some serious wall hugging during the first few laps. To my annoyance, other skaters whizzed by with ease while a makeshift outdoor stereo system did its best to pump out really bad fuzzy Christmas music in an attempt to get us all into the mood. Before I knew it, we had joined the flow of the crowd and were skating around in a big circle, talking, giggling, and enjoying the adrenaline rush of our athletic accomplishment.
Suddenly it started to snow. My niece grabbed my arm and said, “Aunt Maria, look, it’s snowing, just like the movies!” We stopped skating, let the snow fall on our faces, and the moment was magical.
Laughing and hanging out with your niece on a cold, snowy day, risking a serious ankle sprain, knowing hot chocolate and a warm fire are waiting when you finish…nirvana!
So why do we skate…because it’s FUN!