Today I started my third installation of skating lessons. This was the first time I took lessons in January, as one year ago I had to forgo skating for three weeks as I recovered from hernia surgery. The class this morning was larger than my past two September classes. There were by far more adults who had never been on skates before than in either of my past classes. Maybe they had all received skates as Christmas presents. It was funny to see about eight of them daintily tip-toeing around the rink holding onto the sideboards for dear life. I had the same instructor as before and it is pleasing to admit that he has taught a more advanced level each time I have enrolled; thus I had improved each time I have taken a new class.
When I arrived at the rink I met a young guy who was sitting around all laced up. He reminded me of myself when I arrived at the rink a bit too early for my own good back in September 2009 before my first ever lesson. Back then I didn’t know where the rink was located in the recreation centre; I didn’t know where the changerooms were and I didn’t know how long it would take me to lace up. I had given myself too much time to get ready and thus had to sit around, off the ice, for far too long. This guy was just sitting back and I chatted with him. Turns out he was from Syria and had never been on skates before. Then along came another man, perhaps a friend of the first guy, and they started to chat in Arabic. The second man was from Lebanon, and they were both new to skating. They were both in the same class and I watched them as they adjusted to walking and gliding on skates, and they took a few tumbles in the process. I reassured them that they will definitely fall while they are learning, and not to be afraid of falling as it is the only way to improve. I still wear a helmet at my lessons, however I leave it at home when Mark and I go out for recreational skating on the weekend. My lessons last until March, however for the first time ever I will have to miss one class, as the date of the final class will find me and Mark in Florida.