Sunday, October 12, 2014

Ice Skating and Face Planting

I walked into the rink yesterday with skates in hand...slightly nervous.
It had been over 3 years since I last put on a pair of skates...the thought of face planting worried me. The skate shop was like many I had seen over the years, the rink pretty much like the next one, the hockey kids still running around like the owned the place, and the snack bar had several bored parents waiting around it staying warm.

As I sat down to lace up my skates years and years of memories flooded over me. Memories of my Dad standing in front of me, pushing on my skates as a little girl, lacing them up just right, and letting me roam free on the ice. Memories of hockey games all around the WNY and Canadian border. The french fries, hot chocolates, and hundreds of hockey tournaments of my life. 

You see I was what they call a rink rat. Google defines it as:

"a young person who spends time around an ice-hockey rink in the hope of meeting players, watching practice, and spending time on the ice."

I knew all the players, my dad was the coach, and brothers team mates. The practices were fun to watch but no nearly as fun as screaming at the top of my lungs during a game. And spending time on the ice - that couldn't happen often enough. 

Stepping onto the ice yesterday all my nerves went from fear of falling to flash backs of skating freely at the rink before my Dad's game. Saturday nights growing up were family night's on my Dad's 35 and over league. After the Zamboni cleared the ice, before the teams entered, we kids had roughly 10 minutes to enjoy a freshly paved ice rink. With no more than 10 kids on the ice I had the freedom to skate, spin, and attempt to finally learn that hockey stop. 

It took me a few laps to get my bearings on the ice - okay really it took a few steps. Yesterday I realized being on the ice was a part of me. I might not skate all the time or may miss years of opportunity, but being on the ice gives me the feeling of flying. The very core of my heart soars when I hit the ice. Hopefully it is something that can happen several times this year.

Leaving the rink yesterday my cheeks hurt, I couldn't tell if it was from smiling so much or the cold of the ice, either way I left a happy and refreshed skater. 
Even after I face planted.



  1. Aww. Great story! I have never heard of a rink rat! Learn something new every day!

  2. You have a super cool job. I am sure it is tough, but the impact you are making is invaluable. You might like the book Glitter and Glue, it's about a women's experience as a nanny in her twenties.