Yes, I was very specific and asked for hockey skates this time around. There was no lesson last week (due to that minor holiday involving fireworks and food), so I had to find my confidence again. With hockey skates.
This is probably where I should explain that my ankles aren’t great. It’s been an issue since I was in acting school, doing stage combat work and had to change from my soft Saucony sneakers to the heavier, more molded types. I thought that hockey skates would help that, but in trying to stop on the ice (sliding one or both my skates horizontal), I really strained my ankles. I have to get better and keeping the skates underneath me and bending my knees (this is soon to be a mantra, I’m sure).
The day after my lesson has my ankles and lower legs feeling nice and sore.
Again, I did not fall. This is shocking because despite years of ballet lessons; I’m not the most balanced of individuals. I spent less time near the boards and did some quarter turns. Don’t get excited, I’d do half turns if I could get my body around that far. I also did swizzles where I skate forward with my legs going out and then in. I sort of feel like a carousel horse when I try that. I doubt I look as graceful as they do.
The lesson seemed short as I did a better job just skating and talking without concentrating solely on keeping my balance. I do have a bruise on my leg that I’m convinced occurred with a rather enthusiastic slam into the boards (I was pretending I was playing hockey, I admit it). It feels a bit like a badge of honor. It’s not big, but it’s nice and dark.
After the lesson, I spoke with one of the others taking the class. She had a pair of old, but in good shape, hockey skates that she wondered if I’d like. I said that I’d certainly try them. We talked about hockey a little (she played when she was younger) and then she got this look on her face.
“Are you married?”
I shook my head.
“Have a boyfriend?”
I laughed. “No ma’am.”
“My son is a hockey coach and an engineer.”
“You love hockey, teach and write and you’re single?” The disbelief in her voice made me feel really good, actually.
I just continued to laugh and listened to her talk about her son, who she was quite proud of. It was sweet and I doubt much will come of it, but the idea that my love of hockey made me worth an introduction is still making me smile to myself even now.
Hockey unites us all.