Saturday, December 27, 2008
The ice skating experience
The skating rink has been around downtown for awhile, but I didn't have the courage and company to attempt something I never have. So finally today with exceptionally warm weather(18 degC, would you believe it, a swing of 28 degC!) and enticing Ch to accompany me, I tried it out.
After the walk to the rink via East Exchange, we(I) took out two pairs of skates for a rent of $2. The blades are as thick as the hardbound cover of a notebook(in India) and distinguising left from right took some trying on. The size I picked was too tight, so I had to come out of the rink, change to my shoes, go back and exchange them for a looser size. The left-right conundrum was even worse for this pair, being confirmed only after stepping into the rink and checking standing on one foot if I was wearing the right one.
Being a beginner, both of us were sidelined to the barriers hanging on for dear life. Walking outside on the special rubber matting(so that the blades don't blunt) was easy but not comfortable; skating on ice was beyond that. 'Walking' by landing on the back of the blade and pushing forward with the tip wasn't working; so by observation and credit to TV, the trick is to push sideways - and keep a forward centre of gravity. If it falls back you will be swinging your arms struggling to regain control.
If you somehow fall forward and you get your hands on the ice -it's the ultimate fall. Recovering from that pose, with hands on the ice, is very very difficult for the simple fact that friction doesn't give a damn. Thank goodness for the volunteer who got me back on my feet.
And then Ch was banged into by a tiny kid, which led to her moving to the barriers where she sadly lost her footing and slightly sprained her knee. She was fine, no problems there, but it took some time traversing the barrier all the way to the exit excusing ourselves through the non-starters clung to the barrier. After a 5 min break where she removed her skates for good and felt walkable again, I felt I hadn't had enough and headed back to the rink.
It was better now; I could accelerate well; I did have to head to the barriers occasionally to gather my confidence and do a few more circles.
A couple of circles later I was done and moved to the exit, where I fell and nearly twisted my knee. On the rubber. It's embarrasing enough to fall, but moreso on the rubber rather than the ice. Blame it all on the gentle slope-step out from the rink. Nothing more than pain for a few minutes.
And that was the end of a memorable first time trip to the skating rink. A few photos around the German market, carousel and Christmas lights later we took the walk back home... with a smile.
I can skate on ice!!
PS. The ice is maintained by a refrigerating unit with pipes running under the ice, not by natural formation.