When I first moved to Colorado Springs in 2006, I was determined to take up a new activity, try something that the locals might do. I contemplated skiing for about 2 seconds. Nope! Too expensive and I’d like to stay alive. With my poor coordination I was sure to break at least one bone if not all of them if I tried skiing. Hiking? Well, I don’t mind a nice stroll, but I’m certainly not a interested in hiking a 14er. I prefer to get to the top of mountains the way that God intended me to. In a car or on the cog railway.
So what were my other options? I debated a number of things and finally decided ice skating was the sport for me! After all, we didn’t have ice–EVER–in southern Arizona, so I figured it’d be a new and exciting opportunity for me. I promptly signed up for lessons through the city of Colorado Springs and began a 10-week session at the Adult Basic 1. I was pretty sure I was going to be the worst person in my class. But it turned out, I at least wasn’t afraid to stand up on the ice, which could not be said of everyone else in the class.
Every Thursday night I’d make the trek down to the Sertich Ice Center. Most Saturday mornings I did the same, just for some extra practice. I needed it too. I was never very good. I could only marginally skate backward. I think I was too busy worrying about falling on my bum. But I certainly had a very healthy appreciation for the guys and gals who have mad skills. I loved going to the public skate times and seeing the kids sailing around the ice. Jumping and dancing and practicing their routines. I made me wish that I’d started skating before I was 25.
Anyway, in 2007, I was back in AZ visiting the family. One night I was flipping channels and stumbled on the men’s National Figure Skating Championships. I just happened to catch Evan Lysacek perform the routine below to the music from Carmen. It was thrilling and beautiful and the music so haunting. (The performance also prompted me to go see the opera Carmen when it came through the Springs about a year later. Bad move. It was terrible and had absolutely no redeeming characters. But the music was good.)
Anyway, about a month later I heard that Evan and Ryan Bradley (a skater, who trains here in the Springs) and others were performing at the Four Continents Championship at the World Arena. So I packed up after work and went to see the show. Two nights in a row I went by myself and I actually got to see Evan perform the same program that won him the gold medal at Nationals. His performance was so beautiful and I was so sucked in that halfway through I realized that I was crying. I’d never seen anything so beautiful before.
I’ve been thinking about that performance lately. Not sure why, exactly. I was just remembering how fun it was to feel so weightless on the ice, so free to fly. I had a vacation day to use last Friday, so I called Sertich to see if they had public skate times. Sure enough they had a matinee for $1.50, so I pulled out the skates that I haven’t worn in over 6 months and headed over there.
It was everything I remembered. So fun. Zig zag. So freeing. Swizzle, swizzle. So … uncoordinated. I’ve lost a step or two, for sure! But then in the mail that afternoon I got the brochure for the upcoming Learn to Skate sessions. I’m seriously thinking maybe it’s time to sign back up and get back into the fun of it! Remembering how much I love how cold the rink is and how rosy my cheeks are on the ice until next time. -LJ