My Nerve Skated Away

I used to ice skate.       

In the beginning, I remember my father pulling me around on the ice. I remember once refusing to get up after a fall and spending a long while making an “ice angel” on the white ice. By the time I got to first grade, I would hold my father’s hand as we skated around back yard ponds.

At about the age of ten, I developed a routine. I remember it well. Traversing a pond, climbing over a snowy culvert and skating up and around another pond to an island just before the cove, where I would stop to say hi to the ice fisherman. (There was always at least one ice fisherman.) Then, I would skate back to my boots.

I also remember that long after my hot chocolate, my feet stayed numb and my toes itched. Looking back, I realize my “woolen sox” were acrylic. Ouch. Even so, within days, I would be back on my ice skates.

In my early teens, I took figure skating lessons on an ice rink. I recall ice shows at which I would skate as part of a chorus. My personal fan base would far exceed those of the the soloists. Knowing how many people came just to see me is likely how I survived the performances without tripping!

Fast forward decades: I’m afraid of the ice beneath my skates. My knees shake. For so long, I had looked forward to free admission for those over sixty-five at Massachusetts State Skating Rinks. My father skated into his seventies. What happened to me?

Thinking about skating, I remember my father assuring me: “It’s OK to fall, as long as you fall gracefully.” 

TATTOO—Journeys on My Mind by Tina Marie L. Lamb

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