Monday 13/1/2014

Session 3

    Time on ice: 30 min
    Number of times fallen: 0
    Digits lost: 0
    Circuits: 5
    Nike Fuel: 234

    Total cost so far: £375
    Cost per hour of skating: £265

Take 2

So, 7 weeks after the injury (9 Dec), I returned to the hospital for an x-ray. It looked worse – there is now a gap in the bone, but the consultant assured me that there is new bone growth, and that I could try going in the ice for 5-10 minutes a time.

As the foot still hurts, I decided to wait until after I return from my Christmas break.

You know how once you take a break from something, it can be hard to get going again. I returned to work on Monday, and it took me the whole week to find the time, energy and courage to go to the ice rink. Well, work is busy and I am still jet-lagged.

So I went this afternoon after my last meeting of the week. Found out that they had a new instructor, and I booked a lesson for next week.

Went on the ice with some trepidation. Had that “why am I doing this?” thought as I stepped on to the ice in the new leather boot that are killing my ankles. The broken foot wasn’t painful though, so I guess I will just have to wear the boots in.

I was resigned to holding into the rail for the whole session, but one of the stewards came over and offered me a lesson. He told me to take small steps and walk like a penguin. Then gradually I will naturally glide. He was right, and by the end of the 25 minutes, I wasn’t holding on.

I will try to practise every day so as to get the most out of the lesson next week.

Session 2

    Time on ice: 25 min
    Number of times fallen: 0
    Digits lost: 0

    Total cost so far: £375
    Cost per hour of skating: £409

The End

Following my first half hour on the ice, I was all pumped up and ready to return this evening. The idea was to wear the boots in 30 minutes at a time.

At 9am, I had to cross the street to go to a meeting. No sooner had I stepped outside did my foot get caught on an uneven paving stone. My foot went over and there was a lot of pain.

I sat through the meeting but went to see the GP straight afterwards. The x-ray confirmed a fractured 5th metatarsal and the GP said I can forget about skating for the next few months.

So that’s it. My skating season has ended one day after it started.

At least I haven’t lost any fingers. Not being able to play the violin anymore would have been a far greater shame.


Day 1 Proper

The website finally announced that the rink is ready for business and will open at lunchtime today. So I rang the box office and purchased a season ticket. This is step 2 of the commitment (after the skates purchase). The only way to learn is to do it a lot.  And the only way to make me do something a lot is if I spend money on it because I hate wasting money.

I contacted the resident coach at the rink, but annoyingly she doesn’t arrive until next Monday. The earliest I can have a lesson is next Wednesday, so I will probably just have to have a go on my own.  She did promise me that I won’t be holding onto the side rail for long.  That’s encouraging, since she hasn’t seen me on skates yet…

I had brought my skates into the office in case I could get a lesson, and, now armed with my season pass, thought perhaps I might go after work.

Just before lunch, however, my friend Claire called to ask if I wanted to join her and her daughter skating at lunchtime as she was on half term. So I picked up my skates and walked down to the rink. It was as easy as that.

All the staff at the rink were friendly and helpful.  The marshal on the ice gave me some tips (walk like a penguin, bend knees, look up), and I managed half an hour before the new leather boots got the better of my right foot and I left to get lunch.  I held onto the rail for 28 out of the 30 minutes.

I think I can do this. I’ll just have to stick with it.  I will aim to go two to three times a week.

Session 1
Time on ice: 30 min
Number of times fallen: 0
Digits lost: 0

Expenses: ice rink season pass (peak) £285
Total cost so far: £375
Cost per hour of skating: £750



Opening Day

Today is the opening day of the outdoor ice rink next to my office.  Even though it is a Saturday, I went on the train and headed towards the office.

Huge disappointment – due to the warm weather, the ice has not set, and so the ice rink will not be open today.



Every winter, an ice rink magically replaces the big lawn that is five minutes down the road from the office.

Last year, the team were given free tickets and I went along.  The boots on the hired skates were the wrong shape for my feet, and I barely managed two laps around the rink.  I handed the skates back and watched from the side for the rest of the hour.

A couple of weeks ago, an email went round the office from the social committee, inviting the team to go skating again.  I declined immediately with the reply “Sorry, I can’t skate.”

As soon as I hit the Send button, I felt a sense of defeat.  I thought, this is not the right attitude! I couldn’t skate last year because those plastic boots were cutting into my feet like razor blades.  Surely if I had better boots I would be able to learn.  And how convenient to have an ice rink next door to my office for 16 weeks!

So the following Saturday, I went to a skates shop and bought a pair of basic leather skates.

The rink is opening on 26 Oct.  All I need now is a season ticket, some lessons, and a few practice sessions a week. My aim for this four-month exercise is to be able to go round an ice rink without having to hold onto the side the whole way round, and without falling over.  This will be my equivalent of going to the gym, and have the added benefit of helping me decide whether I should return to skiing.

Expenses: Beginner skates £80, Skate guards £10
Total cost so far: £90