Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I'm Learning How to Skate

     "Whoa," you say. "You post about skating often, so you skate."

      "Well, I sort of skate."

      I skate around the arena for an hour. I can turn ...sort of.  I can stop...sort of. It's a little like my bowling. I don't know how to keep score. I throw the balls and knock down some pins, but I don't know the proper technique.

    When I was a child I skated about four or five times a year. I had second hand skates that didn't fit. As a result I didn't learn to skate properly. I skated a bit with my kids. So most of my so called skating has been with the senior's group.

    I have asked two or three people to give me pointers on skating but they usually say, "You're doing all right."

    So in the back of my mind I thought of asking Bud for some tips. Bud has been a hockey coach and teacher. So the other day I asked Bud. Absolutely , he would work with me.

    "So," he said, "There are two things you have to learn: turning and putting the whole skate blade on the ice." This suggestion surprised me but once I got going it made sense.

    I had to consciously think about putting the whole skate blade on the ice. Once I did that many other things took place. First the constant tension in my legs disappeared. Second, I became much more stable and balance was not much of an issue. Third, it took much less effort to skate.  So one little change made a huge difference.

    Now turning takes technique and coordination. If you're turning left, you cross the right skate over the left skate. Now that sounds simple. If you've never done it it takes time. Once I learned to glide with the left skate while crossing the right skate over it became easier. Now I've got a long way to go but it's a step in the right direction.

   Now it took me a long time to ask Bud to show me some things about skating. So, adults are very hesitant about asking for help. I was a teacher and was used to giving out help rather than receiving help. So now I wish I had asked for some skating tips a long time ago. I'm improving my skating and it does wonders to one's self image. Why didn't I do this a long time ago?