reverse threading

the path back is the path forward

skater dreams. [d.r. thursday]

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i don’t remember exactly where it was, but i remember driving my little blue vw to a hidden pond along the north shore. next to me, on the front seat, were my ice skates. i’d get there and bundle up, lace up my ice skates and spend a few hours gliding across the pond. it was silent, save for the swoosh of the skateblades on ice.

a couple decades later – when we moved to wisconsin from florida – i decided that the proximity of the ice arena left me no choice but to – finally – latch onto my dreams of becoming an olympic figure skater…clearly a dream based on reality. so i signed up for lessons.

my first lesson – with all the other eight-year-olds – was a bit of an adjustment. i wondered if i should try to find a time with just-adult-learners. i can’t remember now if i switched classes.

the instructor reviewed the skills we brought with us. i was able to crossover-crossover, go backwards (and forwards) and stop correctly (an important skill as painfully revealed to me on my first snowboarding lesson).

my next skill – along with practicing the finesse of each of the others i had mostly-mastered – was an upright spin. there are one-foot spins and two-foot spins and axels and salchows and camels and the lutz and other beautiful spinny moves. i was ready to learn. i had much to accomplish to become the world’s oldest newest-olympic-figure-skating-champion.

the day for the first spin came.

my instructor demonstrated what i was to do. it didn’t look entirely impossible so i set about practicing it on my little corner of the ice.

good lord.

somewhere – in all the dreamy fantasyland of wishing to be a figure skater – i had missed the part about motion sickness. no one had mentioned how incredibly dizzying this tiny spin would be. i mean, i was going around like twice! and the nystagmus (automatic repetitive eye movement) was killing me. i kept practicing, watching my dream dissipate into the cold-breath-vapor cloud in front of me, my brain unable to quash the dizzies. whoa.

i went back for a couple more lessons, but skipped the froo-froo tulle-skirted-skate-dressed skating recital, not wanting to outshine any hardworking eight year old. it was quickly becoming apparent to me. this was not my future. no medal platforms, no medals, no certificates of participation.

but when we left the trail and stood at the edge of the river – mostly still frozen – the snowbanks an invitation for strapping on skates – i was back on long island, jumping out of my bug, lacing those skates up and spending a few hours gliding in silence.



read DAVID’s thoughts this D.R. THURSDAY

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