Saturday, January 12, 2013

Unsung Ice Rink Heros: Skating Moms

I skate at a rink that is a 'no drama rink'. Based on TV shows, and horror stories from other rinks, you'd think there would be at least some kind of fireworks, but no. Other than the fact we have amazing ice, it's just like any other minor league rink in the boondocks. Oh, except we have three skaters going to Nationals (one in another country).

Today I went to this low-key, middle of no where, dinky little Nationals skater producing rink, to skate on the same freestyle ice as a senior skater doing triples. In a freestyle that was mostly adults.  And we were all polite, observed skating etiquette and kept our eye on the senior skater and he kept his eye on us.

I handed my $9 for a half hour to the ice monitor and got straight on the ice since she didn't have the book out yet.

I know what you're thinking:
Where are you skating? Fort Knox?
So I skated for a half hour, starting with swizzles, and other two foot skating to warm up my bad knees, then proceeded to forward stroking, alternating forward and backward crossovers, some hesitant FO3 and mohawks, and basic edges. Let's just say, I've lost a year of skating with the collapse of my knees.   I can't do dance 3's anymore, just freestyle 3's. My inside edges are marginal, can't straighten my legs for extension---oh, and no power. Sad.

So, I get off the ice and the ice monitor grabs me on the way out. She hasn't seen me in almost two months and has forgotten my name for the book. As I fill out the book I mention I heard her skater had done really well at Regionals.

"First place," she said proudly,"And now Nationals."

That shows how disconnected from the rink I'd become since my knees went kablooey. I had no idea. So I congratulated her and we talked briefly about the skater's travails with a certain jump, coaching changes, and the rest of her skating kids (three now, the littlest just got skates and is in LTS).

I said, "You know, you're a rock. Everyone depends on you, I hope they appreciate how hard you work to make them successful."

And a funny thing happened. The ice monitor leaped up from her chair and hugged me around the shoulders. When she stepped back, there were tears in her eyes.


  1. Great anecdote.

    I just found your blog, Googling for wrist guards and figure skating. (I see others have done this too.) I am so glad to find advice and thoughts by an adult female skater! Right now I'm waiting to hear back from my doc, if I broke my hand after a fall. It's discouraging. However, your brief thoughts above about continuing to skate after some knee problems is comforting in a way, although I am sorry for your problems. It's very relatable, and it reminds me that I may be down, I'm not done. Onward. Keep writing!


    1. Welcome! Sorry about the break. I was off ice with a broken ankle in 2009.

  2. I've been an ice monitor; it's a thankless job. No one ever says "thank you", but you're the first person they look for when something goes wrong. You have no idea how much I appreciate what you said to that person. On behalf of ice monitors everywhere, thank you.

    Hope you're back to "normal" (is there really such a thing?) soon.