I have been skating exactly twice in my life. Once the other day as fulfillment of a promise I made with HRH (more to come on that) and the other exactly 35 years ago. I know, not very Canadian of me, eh? Well, allow me to explain a bit.
Here’s a shot of me during my very first outdoor ice-skating experience in 1979 along the Welland Canal by the old GM Plant 1 facility. I was all of 6 years old at the time.
Seriously, how cute am I? What this picture doesn’t illustrate is what happened shortly afterwards when I fell through the ice. Yeah, total bummer, right? I don’t recall much detail of it actually happening other then one second I was skating and the next…’splash’. I’m underwater water and everything is dark. Mostly, I remember it being extremely cold and scary as all bejesus. Needless to say, I haven’t felt the need to don skates, like, ever again. No sir, it’s one of those ‘once bitten, twice shy’ kind of dealies. Now, I realize that you can’t exactly fall through the ice at a skating rink but, still, just thought of being on ice-skates brings back that terrifying feeling of suddenly being immersed and fighting for air. Not cool.
Anyway, fast forward 35 years to this past Monday and I’m skating with the child at the ‘Rink on the Brink’ in Niagara Falls, just at the top of the falls themselves…well, not ‘on’ the falls, per se, as that would be pretty damn stupid, but off to the side at the top of the escarpment. You see, earlier this year I had made a deal with HRH that if she managed to complete her first triathlon, which she successfully completed this past July, then I would learn to ice-skate. God help me.
So, anyway, I’d be lying that I haven’t been doing my best to put this off as long as possible until Kelly mentioned that the ‘Rink on the Brink’ was hosting a free skate on Monday’s, so there was no better time than the present. A deal is a deal after all and I’m a man of my word, so I cinched up the ‘ol apple sack, rented myself a pair of skates and apprehensively made my way onto the ice. Oh Lord.
How did I do? Well, see for yourself:
Yes, I’m sure this might resemble a baby deer taking it’s first delicate steps to most Canadians, but I’m pretty stoked. The best part is that I’m still alive to tell the story. In fact, I might just give up on this whole Ironman dream and pursue a career in figure skating instead given my natural talents. Oh, and for the record…I didn’t fall, like, once. How awesome am I?