Image by Ryan McGinley
Have you seen his work? YOU NEED TO!
Yesterday we went ice-skating. I am thinking it may of been ten years since I skated last. And that might even be a generous estimate. We had some free passes and two out of my three are taking lessons, so we thought, “why not?”
But first of all, lets talk about my feet. They are awful. And I am not being insecure and wanting sympathy. They just, have many things not going for them. Maybe we could even include my legs on this. Because maybe they are part of the problem. At a very young age, my parents were fully aware there was something special about me. While many children would sit “indian-style”, I was sitting like a “W” or an “M”. I was pigeon-toed, flat-footed and ran with my knees knocking together. Once I remember some man running by me, stating, “I don’t know how you run like that.” But I just kept going. Really not knowing any different. I was always an athlete and I did well at most sports I competed in, despite my funny gait.
Then I began to swim competitively, year-round, and I finally felt at home. The water is a place where I am fast and no one really comments about much. When I was pregnant, I swam. Most of the time feeling like a graceful beluga. “Graceful” was not how I ever felt on land. Even when I was not pregnant.
So ice skating. It’s on frozen water. So you’d think it would be OK. But those rental skates. So painful. My feet could not take them. I need special shoes for my special feet to run in. So imagine putting special feet in average rental skates. PAIN! My right foot, the bone on the inside of the foot. PAIN! I kept going. Because I don’t fuss about these things when my three-year-old is flailing around like a monkey on the ice. But I kept thinking, “I want it to melt! I want it to melt!” So I went to get a different size, since they don’t have 1/2 sizes, which, great! I am a size 9 1/2. So I get the 9. Still PAIN! How do those figure skaters do it? My foot is in PAIN! I am trying to be graceful and I go to the center of the rink to spin around with my kids. I pretend I am graceful, as I skate to Alicia Keys. MY husband is zooming around the rink, saying “Isn’t this fun?” I smile and nod. Thinking, I WANT THE ICE TO MELT. I want the Zamboni to melt the ice! I keep watching the time, thinking it will end soon. Free skate will end soon!!
It does. And I pull my hurt feet out of their torture chambers. I realize I love watching athletes in their element. I love to race and compete in mine. But I’d rather swim in icy waters than skate on ice. Any day.