Sunday, February 1, 2009

New Ice Skates

New Ice Skates

Lola got new ice skates via UPS a couple days ago. We decided to get the adjustable skates so they’ll be easily adaptable as her feet grow. She was so excited and could hardly wait to try them out.

Today we went to the ice rink and she spent quite a bit of time making minor adjustments, but finally got out on the ice. I was in the midst of lacing up my lovely rental skates (the skates I had purchased for myself the same time I ordered Lola’s were not true to size so they had to be sent back for an exchange. Sadly, I was stuck with stiff old brown rental skates for yet another week) when Lola came back from the ice and said, “Mom, I fell down already! These skates are not working!” I finally got my skates laced and went out on the ice with her to observe her in action. She took a couple strokes and seemed to be ok, then when she put her right foot forward to gain speed, the toe pick caught the ice and down she went on her tummy, not unlike a penguin on one of those nature documentaries on TV.

By this time poor Lola was so frustrated she said she wanted to stop skating and go home. We sat down for awhile and I told her what I saw happen and explained that she needed to tell her feet to step higher because the blades on her skates are now similar to hockey skates - - there is at least an inch increase in blade height due to the plastic casing. We went back out to skate, this time on center ice to work on skating backward. She was fine with that and I thought if she works at that her feet will adjust to skating forward as well. After a little while we were advised to leave the ice due to ‘zamboni time’. I LOVE the way the ice feels just after the zamboni has smoothed it out!! It is an amazing feeling! After the ice was nicely polished we went back out and suddenly she realized she knew her feet were adapting to the new skates. “Mom, I can now skate easily on these! I really love these skates!”

While we were skating I saw a man who appeared to be in his early 40’s struggling to teach himself to skate backward. He pushed his legs out and forced them back in and it was evident that he was exerting excess energy to do this, but he appeared to be the type of guy who was going to learn it if it killed him. I have seen him almost every weekend since we began skating, so to me he was a familiar face. I skated over and said ‘Hi, I’m teaching myself to skate backward, too. My daughter’s teacher said the easiest way to learn is to wiggle your butt! It sounds funny, but it really works!” I demonstrated as best I could, even though I’m not very good at it yet. He tried it out to see if it was a little easier. He then spoke to me and I detected a familiar accent. I asked him if he was from Russia, and with a bit of surprise he said yes, from the south part. He said he has been in America for 20 years. I saw Lola and introduced her to him. His name was Boris. Lola was a little shy at first, but then took the initiative to help Boris master the art of skating backward. How cute is that! She hovered over him to make sure he understood, speaking to him in Russian. Later on when we left the rink we saw him with his wife, son and another woman. We waved farewell and told them we would most likely be seeing them again soon.

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