I’m listening to a Throwback Thursday playlist on Spotify as I type this and it brings me right back. Back to when I was a figure skater for many years of my life. Some pivotal, life changing years. My parents and I spent about a decade in ice rinks and driving around the Chicagoland area for shows, practices, competitions.
A couple weeks ago I decided it was high time I took my kids skating for the first time. I dug out my old skating bag from our attic, and well, I had some feelings. Summarized here in an Instagram picture I posted:
Oh hey I’m taking the kids skating and just dug out my skating bag from like, 1989. I don’t keep things, but I kept this. Time capsule. My parents did so much time and $$$ at that rink. That wallet. The tapes with the routine music!
I mean, FEELINGS.
How many times did I have to polish those skates? How often did they get sharpened and cleaned off and tied up just so. I can see the faces of the girls I skated with, spent so much time with, shared secrets with and grew up with. I used to go to the vending machines at the ice rink with money from that wallet and sneak candy bars on our breaks. Those tapes have music on them that I can remember every move, every beat, every turn and jump to go with them. I can’t do them anymore, but it’s all in there somewhere. Don’t ask me my husband’s current phone number, but I can remember these routines from almost 30 years ago. The way I wrote my name. The smiley face and the hearts. THE SMILEY FACE AND THE HEARTS.
Well, WE WENT SKATING.
My girl picked it up pretty quickly and every time her brother fell down, she started singing, “I WILL GET BACK UP AGAIN” from our very favorite motion picture of all time, Trolls.
Once my boy fell down a few times he realized it was nothing to be afraid of and it was funny to him. And to his sister and mama. But he couldn’t get a footing and he got frustrated. We took a few laps around the ice, albeit slowly, but we had a grand time. And once again, I was overwhelmed with the feelings.
These were my kids on skates.
And I was on skates for the first time in one million years and it felt, well, it felt surprisingly like home. Like riding a bike as they say, except well, riding some skates. I could still do it just like it’s programmed in my body from all those years ago. It felt like I knew one day I would be here, doing this, with these kids. And yet, absolutely mind-blowingly awesome at the same time. Like, HOW IN THE WORLD DID I BECOME THIS WOMAN OUT SKATING WITH HER TWO KIDS? I was having a major moment of gratitude abounding.
As we were “skating” – more like walking while they gripped onto me like suction cups – an older couple skated by holding hands and said, “We remember those days like they were yesterday” with a big smile at the three of us with big smiles on our faces right back at them.
These are the days. I cannot spend every minute of every day sad and worrying. I refuse. I will miss everything that’s happening right in front of me. I don’t want to miss a thing. Ice skating provided a distraction and a new adventure for the 3 of us that I can see us doing more and more of. Who knows? One of them may decide this is what they want to do. And wouldn’t that just be something.
When the world seems dim and hopeless and feels like we are losing control, grab onto each other like we did while we were skating. Hold onto what you love. Fight for it. Fight for those who are falling down and cannot find their footing. That’s the only way we are going to make it around this rink. Together. Helping each other along. Strap on your helmets because we are in for a hell of a trip. Toe-pick!
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