You know all those cheesy romantic movies from the ’80s and ’90s that have a scene that shows a happy couple holding hands, awkwardly ice skating (in New York, usually) and laughing, while an appropriately corny song plays on the soundtrack? I wanted to be prepared for that moment, so, for the first time in my life, I went ice skating.
Awkwardly skating and laughing at the same time is tougher than it looks. I can do one or the other, but not both simultaneously. This was the first time I’ve ever tried anything requiring more balance than walking in a straight line, and it wasn’t pretty. I spent the first hour of the session getting intimately familiar with the railing at the side of the rink, while everyone else was skating circles around me and seemingly doing triple axels. When I finally summoned enough courage to let go of the railing, my skates, sensing newfound freedom and rejoicing, started going in opposite directions, and forced me to contemplate whether I was ready to do splits.
After some more practice, I was able to skate (with my left foot forward only) and to make turns (right turns only). In fact, I got so good at making turns that I’d do them without intending to. This caused some confusion to the other skaters as I’d spiral out of control and start going in a small clockwise circle in the middle of the rink, without being able to get out of it. Everyone else had to dodge out of my way as I was doing my involuntary holding pattern. I also made quite a few lovely thudding noises as I skidded into the (thankfully padded) walls of the rink.
At the end of the night, I lost my gloves somewhere. It was a good day.