Wednesday, 15 February 2017

Meat and Potatoes!

Hello again readers!

The title isn't really all that relevant. It was my failed attempt at making a clever title. I am quickly learning that it is not easy to think of a good title for every entry, so you'll have to forgive me for my shortcomings in that department for now. So then! On to the meat and potatoes of this blog. Ah crap...found my title! The last paragraph is basically going to be irrelevant. Confused yet? I am.

I tossed a post up today on my facebook page and asked my friends what to write about and while I only got one response. It was actually a really good one from a friend whom I have a lot of respect for. She suggested I write about how skating is different from everything else I've done and the specific reasoning on why I chose skating. An excellent topic madam! I'll break this up into two parts to make it as straightforward as I can.

Now, when it comes to the many interesting (Interesting to me anyways.) things I've done. I've been around the block a few times. If I include from when I was kid up to now the range of things I've tried and done has been pretty varied. Soccer, Baseball, Horseback Riding, Percussionist Ensemble (Public school, I still drum these beats!), Pottery, Gymnastics, Skating, and many other things! I'm a person who loves experiences and trying new things. To me, at the chance of sounding a bit cliché:

Variety is the spice of life.

Why should we go through life having just done one thing? I want my life to be full of experiences and meaningful ventures. No regrets. The same goes for skating. Except skating is a bit more special to me than other ventures. Much like horseback riding, I have a history in it and this kind of places up pretty high on my 'dedication' list.

When I think on all the sports I've done, horseback riding included. There is a big difference in skating from them. They all require skill, but skating requires a bit more than that. Not talent, not fancy outfits (Well...maybe a little), and not just a curiousity. As many of you know, I'm a guy. It's not exactly the most common for guys to simply jump into a female-dominated sport. This has been the biggest difference, for me.

It might seem silly, and trivial to most. But this has driven my anxiety into overdrive. It's been different in the respect that I am not used to eyes being on me in the way skating more or less demands. At the club, I'm literally the only guy on the ice amongst a sea girls. With all the other sports I've done, they were fairly varied in their gender range. Not that I'll let this scare me off. Being the only real 'adult' and the only guy when I skate also makes me feel...unique I guess? Perhaps that's a bit vain. Oh well.

There is also the fact that skating requires a VERY different set of muscles than most people are used to activating. My first few skating sessions and lessons I find everything below my last aches from top to bottom and muscles I forgot I even had are like 'HEY! What are ya doin' ya crazy git!' Evidently my muscles hail from Britain. This has been a huge factor for me. I was sore when I got into horseback riding, but that alongside everything else I've done doesn't come close to what this feels like. But I digress as it is not a 'bad' pain so much as I know I'm activating those muscles. It's kind of cool actually.

So all in all, those are what I feel the big differences have been between getting into skating when I compare it with other things. It's been hell on my muscles and anxiety. But I don't think that's enough to send me packing. Even if I do flee from public skates T.T

Now I have touched base on 'Why Skating' before in a few previous blogs. But lets get into the down and dirty bits of it. WHY skating? Well, I did it as a kid. Is that not good enough reason? Well, I guess it's because my fondest memories I have of doing a sport (Other than recent horseback riding.) have been of skating. I remember a sense of happiness and accomplishment that I've never really felt anywhere else and admittedly, I kind of crave that as an adult. We lose so much as we age that feeling that way is not the easiest thing to come by anymore.

Skating is also a unique skill. Sure, plenty of people can skate. But can you skate like a girl? Because seriously. They rock it. Although I can't say much because some of the top skaters are men. I won't lie, I hope I can only skate half as good as the girls. Maybe even look half as good. But it's not a skill everyone can say they have. It's not the most common. Which is nice. Again, variety is the spice of the life and skating does not fail to provide. Figure skating, Power Skating, Ice Dancing, Skills and even competitions for those who want to pursue them. There is so much to do in this field that it'll be hard to get bored.

Now, I'd always kind of tossed around the idea of getting back into skating in my head. Privately. Because it's not something I generally advertised out loud. Even to my fiancĂ©e, whom supports me through everything. But that's more or less where it had remained. In my head. It was only recently after meeting a good friend at my place of work that things kind of materialized in front of me. This friends daughter is big into figure skating and posts about her were constantly popping up in my news feed. This helped as a catalyst for me to really start considering going back into the sport. Just seeing her success made me smile. I will forever be thankful for the pair of them. Thank you Roxanne and Jocelyn for indirectly/directly re-igniting my passions. (No last names. This IS the internet after all.)

Now, this alone may not have nudged me into it. But I also have a rather special cousin. Who has pursued and followed his dreams no matter what gets in the way. He's gone from a teenager going through life to someone who has found his true passion and something I'm sure he will be successful at. It is his success and passion that also helped me decide to go back into skating. It's funny how the drive of the young can help us adults be brave enough to pursue our passions! So to my cousin, Brandon. Keep on keeping on bud!~

Jeeze, this is awfully sappy yet again. My bad. So then. My last post mentioned the 'freedom' on the ice. There is a certain freedom from the world that comes with skating and my other hobby, horseback riding. When I push myself out there and focus on the skill I find that for that while I can forget everything else. There is a certain solace in getting lost in a hobby and while some might see that as trying to escape reality, I disagree. We all need an escape once in a while, something to make us keep smiling and make the rest of world tolerable. Then there's the glide. That smooth motion as your skate moves over the ice. THAT feeling can't be reproduced anywhere else. Sliding on ice or something slippery just isn't the same.

Hopefully this is an interesting insight for some of you reading! That's about all I've got for tonight. I really enjoyed writing this. Thanks Rachel for the excellent idea!

Ciao for now!



  1. Hi there - "icedancer" from skatingforums here - nice blog!

    Skating is a unique sport that is for sure - it always kills me when you are doing a survey or something and they ask you what sport you are involved in. They almost never mention skating and so I always have to check off "other". LOL

    Also interesting that your other sport-avocation is horseback riding. There seem to be a lot of people who both skate and ride - I used to ride as a kid. As an adult although I thought I might be interested in taking up riding again I found that I really did not,,,

    Have fun skating!

    1. Hello Icedancer! Nice to see posting up on those forums does have some purpose <3

      I can imagine that is always a bit annoying. I can't say I've run into that situation with skating but with horseback riding it definitely comes up a lot! Gotta get some recognition for our preferred sports darnit!

      I haven't ran into any myself, but I have met more than a few online that do both. Apparently they really work well with one-another. Balance is key in riding and skating really focuses on balance and core strength (Also essential) so it makes sense to me.

      Did you try to get back into it?

      Thanks! I have had a LOAD of fun! My next lesson blog is coming soon <3