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Saturday, November 21, 2009

Laced Up

Once upon a time, I used to be a figure skater. A real, honest-to-goodness figure skater who wore sparkly, sequent-laden lycra dresses and to this day still has scars on her body from an unfortunate run in with both another skater's ice pick and the boards.

Figure skating was a big part of my life as I grew up. I had patient and dedicated parents who drove my sister and I to and from various rinks all over the province of Nova Scotia. At all hours of the day - and most memorably - in the wee hours of the morning. I loved skating. It became a big part of me. It was a physical outlet and kept me in good shape. It was a creative outlet that allowed me to express myself and channel my artistic energies.

When I moved away from home to go to university in Ottawa, I was able to keep skating a little bit and was fortunate enough to score a great gig coaching. Thus, skating remained a part of my life for another ten years . . . and even helped pay my bills.

So, it should come as no great surprise that I was anxious for my own children to start learning to skate. I jumped the gun a little bit and enrolled Thing 1 in skating lessons a few years ago when he was only two years old. Although it went fairly well, unless you have a ridiculously coordinated toddler I recommend waiting until the child is three or four to register them for lessons. Your back muscles will thank you, because holding a toddler in the upright position under their armpits for 30 minutes wreaks havoc on your posterior.

After spending most of last year doing nothing, I decided it was definitely time to get Things 1 and 2 back on the ice and ready to hone their skating skills. They began taking skating lessons with the City of Ottawa in October and I'm completely impressed with their accomplishments thus far.

Last winter when we skated on our community outdoor skating rink, Thing 2 could barely stand up without being held. Today he skates circles around the other children in his group.

And Thing 1, a nervous and timid skater last winter, is skulling, gliding, skating on one foot and starting to skate backwards!!

It thrills me to have the kids truly excited about an activity in which they participate. They talk about skating lessons all week and wake up early every Saturday because they are so excited to hit the ice. And mommy is secretly pleased as punch that they are not in hockey yet, as she knows exactly the schedules and demands that come along with participation in hockey.

Thing 3 is such a good sport that she frequently comes to the rink to cheer her big brothers on. And mommy cannot wait to enroll her little girl in her first figure skating lessons.



Anonymous said...

Great memories Shan! Nice to see the boys enjoying skating.Very Canadian, eh?


Donna M said...

I knew with all your skating abilities and love of the sport your kids would learn to skate with no problem! It's in the genes.

Kamis Khlopchyk said...

I was the same with my boys. We haven't done lessons for a bit though they just don't want to. And they don't want to play hockey! Score!


Anti-Supermom said...

You should post one of you *not* falling, I'm sure you were/are awesome.

Chantal said...

My D is in hockey (UGH to the schedule) and M wants to. But we are holding off a bit longer. Next winter will be skating lessons for him. Looking forward to it.

Unknown said...

Thing 3 is so cute in her coat and hat. And yay for skating - hope you're getting back out on the ice too! : )

Some kind of Mom said...

I played Ringette until I was 16. Loved it. We're signing up the boy for Canskate this year!

Anonymous said...

I did figure skating in NS in the 1980's up until CFSA level where we had to pay for a trainer. Loved it, but got too $$. Two years ago I bought a pair of hockey skates (more practical for canal skating, IMO) and it's like trying to learn to skate all over again.

Am seriously considering enrolling boys and myself in learn to skate program. ;) Skating on hockey skates is totally different! LOL

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