I’ve wanted to learn how to ice skate for a long time, just because. For fun. I realized that right now, going to a school with an ice rink and a student discount, was as good a chance as I was going to get. But I also know that, typically, new skills of coordination come hard to me. Learning how to ride a bike took forever; I had to work awfully hard to learn to juggle. I thought I would never be able to get my hands to do to distinct and separate things when playing the piano. So even while I knew I wanted to learn, I also anticipated a battle.
Well, today I went. And I did a lot better than I expected I would.
It didn’t hurt that there were two elderly gentlemen there who obviously knew what they were doing. I scoped them out. One seemed too professional, intent mostly on ignoring the imbeciles while he practiced his graceful art. The other one, I was pretty sure, was good natured, and would be willing to pass along advice he if thought it would be appreciated and followed. I might have made a point to smile at him every time I staggered by.
Sure enough, he decided to pass on encouraging advice. Mainly: Bend your knees and lean forward; DO NOT lean backwards.
Thanks to his sage advice, the number of times I fell was relatively few. Bending your knees and leaning forward is apparently an excellent way to safely come out of incidents that would like to be spill.
Towards the end, though, the ice was getting pretty gouged up, and my untrained skates started getting caught more and more often. Although I usually managed to employ the “bend and lean forward” advice and avoid the fall, I more and more frequently was caught so off guard that I did fall. Most of the times I managed to mitigate it, but at least once my feet were out from under me before I realized what was happening. I did fall—backward—hitting first my butt and then my head. Oy, my head. Two ibuprofen seem to have taken the edge off of it, but I hope it’s cleared by tomorrow morning.