It is always best when you have a good day doing what you enjoy.
For the first time since last May, I was able to get on the ice and I didn’t play any hockey, but I got to skate.
My sister came by and picked me up and took me to the one and only remaining ice skating rink left. It was during public skating hours and many people were there to get out of this atrocious heat and cool off for a while.
What was probably more fun than anything was the thought of being able to skate along side my 7 year old nephew as he has been learning over the summer how to skate and also how to play hockey.
But once I got there and I was ready to go, I jumped into my sled and got dragged onto the ice. Once I hit, I took off like a jet!! I didn’t even see my nephew until after I had been on the ice for a while. And because I’m really out of practice, I was a little tired by the time he did show that it was getting to the point where I could not keep up. Okay, okay…. A LOT tired.
I was lost in time though. I had so much fun on the ice. But it didn’t come without its dangers and perils and close calls.
Because of the fact that it was a public skate session, there were a lot of bodies on the ice. Some skating, some doing spins, others just standing on the ice, and even more others hugging the walls for dear life!
There were no hockey pucks involved. The hockey nets were removed. So all I could do was skate, skate, skate.
It was just a little bit challenging to have gone in and out of lines of people, three or four deep, only to try and get around them somehow without plowing into them or into someone else with my sled.
As I did lap after lap after lap, I began to notice a group of young children who were curious. They skating along side of me for a while. Some of them asking questions about why I was in a sled. Others asked how I moved around on the ice, and some were asking me if my legs were broken. Over and over again.
After doing this for a short amount of time, I decided to skate over towards the wall and take a nice little break and give my arms a rest. When I turned around that last orange cone, the children who had been following me didn’t notice that I had broken away from the path and was up against the wall.
Children came flooding over to me. They stood there all around me, asking all sorts of questions. They wanted to see the skate blades underneath the sled. They wanted to see what kinds of sticks I was using to move across the ice. Some even asked if I played hockey.
When the questions had died down and I was rested up a little bit, I blasted off again and went back into the routine of doing laps around cones.
I heard behind me, “THERE HE GOES!!” and as I went around that first cone I noticed that all of the children who had been hanging around me were actually chasing after me and trying to catch up.
These children had to be between the ages of 7 and 10 years old. Certainly no older than 12 years of age.
I heard a few other comments like “LOOK AT THAT!” and “WATCH HIM!” and the like. There was one little girl who had for the most part hung out with me on the ice for as long as I was still on it. When I took a break, she took a break. Then some boys did the same thing.
But as time went by, things got a little crowded on the ice. There were a lot of times where I would narrowly skate right by someone’s leg as I was trying to pass them because they were either standing still or going slower than I was.
No matter where I went or where I had stopped to take a break, I had that one little girl and at least one or two more children that would be there wherever I went. And when I started up again, they wouldn’t notice that I had started skating again and they would run like mad to catch up.
Some of these older kids (I want to say probably in high school) stood there in their little herds and would never get out of the way.
I ended up taking out one little kid as I tried to stop myself from running him over. I saw that he was going to fall on top of me and I threw my arm out and broke his fall. Once he bounced off of my arm, he gracefully came down upon his knees and was not hurt. All of this had to happen because these older kids weren’t moving and I tried to go to the outside of their little pack and I nailed the poor child.
The skate guards clearly were not doing their job. Not cool.
Random question: Why couldn’t the ice be filled with good looking women? I could take them out, having them land on my lap and then they can tell me what they want for Christmas. Just saying. Don’t you think that is a really cool way to “pick up chicks”?
Once I got off the ice, I took off my gloves and helmet and got back into my wheelchair. And then the cold, harsh reality of the innocence and ignorance of children were apparent. They saw me sitting there in the wheelchair, even though they were talking with me and having fun skating. Once they got a glimpse of me sitting there, they avoided me and just stared.
Oh well. Children can’t be blamed for something like that.
And I must give props to my nephew for cutting in front of me once. It had stopped me from going forward and I simply fell over to one side. What a goober!!! I got him back good though when he was misbehaving in store afterwards and when his mother attempted to give him a swat on the backside, he defied it all by saying “That didn’t hurt.” So I flicked him on the ear.
Yeah, I’m a mean uncle. Whatever. Shut up.
Nonetheless, I had told my sister that I was going to show some of her old co-workers something that they had never seen before. And it turned out that I had educated a lot of small children about what I do and how I can skate on the ice… just in a different way than they do it.
It was fun. Lots of fun. And yes, I am sore. But I am sure that come tomorrow, that soreness will be a lot worse than it is right at the moment. That’s just the way it is.
I’m supposed to do it all over again this Friday with the other assistant captain of the sledge hockey team. Just get out and skate and probably have to dodge people some more. Then he and I are going to talk some business about what he and I think the team should work on for the 2012-13 hockey season.
Fun times indeed!!