"All men dream, but not equally. Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds, wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act on their dreams with open eyes, to make them possible." ~ T. E. Lawrence
Once a week for a year when I was 13, my mom would take my brothers and I to the local ice rink. Even at that age I had become well-accustomed to my clumsiness and frequent falling. But there is something freeing and beautiful about gliding across the glass.
This weekend I returned to the ice. The BF and I met up with friends to play at the that same rink where I once skated so long ago. I remembered to bring gloves, but forgot that thick, long, wool socks and a beanie are also a must. Next time I’ll be more prepared than a boy scout!
BF used to play roller hockey as a kid so he skates like a champ – I was quite impressed watching him glide around like he’d worn bladed shoes all of his life. Forward, backward, one foot or two – he was completely comfortable out there. When I set blade to ice I clung to the wall of the rink, the skates threatening to slip out from under me in any direction they could. This brought a whole new meaning to the word “awkward” for me. Scenes from the Disney film Bambi come to mind – I can just imagine how that little fawn with his long, ungainly legs felt when he first stepped on to that frozen pond. And somehow, I’d hazard a guess that darling Bambi looked much more graceful than me. Periodically a squeal would creep from my lips as my skates deliberately tried to bring me down.
Over the course of our night I became comfortable enough to glide along without a death-grip on the wall. My girlish shrieks of fright lessened in their frequency as the evening wore on. My bladed shoes cooperated with me for the most part, except when I’d playfully try to catch BF whipping past me, throwing myself off-balance. But the best part of the night to me was skating along side-by-side with BF, or when he took both of my hands, and skated backwards in front of me. It’s like a dance sometimes, and though I’m not the best dancer I still loved the freedom of it.
Among our group of friends were two sweet girls ages two and seven. It was such fun to share in their first experience of ice skating. The fright, the fun, the laughter, the cold – it was all there, a first time! There’s something beautiful about seeing these new adventures unfold in children’s’ lives. Something as small and inconsequential as ice skating suddenly takes on a profound nature because there must be courage, a willingness to learn, and a determination to continue. I got a glimpse into the character of two small people who showed true strength.
Getting the chance to enjoy a childhood experience again was great, we’re hoping to return to the rink soon. And with that, is my encouragement to retry an enjoyable activity from your own adolescence or for that matter branch out into something entirely different and new. Live an adventure and dream by day!