Yesterday I attended my first skating lesson. It took me 25 minutes to get from my house by bike to the rink, and be all ready with my skates laced up. I overestimated the length of time it would take me to get there and I had to sit off-ice for a long time until the lessons started. One of the instructors came out early, yet when I asked if I could take to the ice until the lessons began, she had to tell me no, that for “liability reasons” she couldn’t allow me on the ice unless an instructor was there. So there’s no need for me to get to the rink so early next time.

This was a beginner course for adults. I was one of sixteen and there were three instructors who put us through twenty minutes of drills and exercises in order to evaluate our skills. The instructors then divided us into three groups and I was one of four in the lowest level. This is exactly what I expected to hear, however I must say that of the four I am the most “advanced” skater (which isn’t saying much). Two of the beginners in my group had never even been on skates and they were inching their way on the ice, taking baby steps yet barely getting anywhere. I am happy that my group is so small; that way each one of us can get more personal attention from the instructor.

I learned where to focus my attention when I skate, how to move my shoulders and keep my hips aligned, and how to place my feet. We had a lesson on how to stop yet I failed in all my attempts to stop correctly. I am still dependant on the side boards to stop me. One day over the course of these thirteen lessons I will have a Hallelujah moment when I finally master the art of stopping.

We were taught some exercises to do while off the ice, in order to strengthen our thighs and hamstrings. I feel I am already strong in these areas since I do so much cycling, yet perhaps I need to train these muscles since I will be using them in a different way.

I am very excited that I will be able to say at the end of these lessons in mid-December that I Can Skate!

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