I can't describe how crowded the rink was. There may have been a hundred people out there. Adults, kids, .....toddlers...., teens. Let's just assume there were a hundred people on the ice. Three hockey players, 8 figure skaters, and 89 ice tourists.
|This is what the adult regulars looked like |
when they saw the crush at the gate.
At one point, one of the other adult skaters came up to me and said, "Be careful out here." I nodded, then as he and I parted ways, I dodged a random kid and skated right into him. Yeah, it was that kind of session, there were no escape routes.
As the session went on, all the figure skaters gradually slid into the center circle. Maybe it was the fact that there were so many of us in there, doing spins, small jumps, footwork, that the public stayed out. Not even the annoying aggressive sub-teen boys in hockey skates went in the center. First there was just a coach with a student, then other figure skaters passed through for a few seconds of skating--careful to stay clear of the lesson-- but as the crush of the ice tourists increased, the figure skaters stayed in the circle a bit longer each pass through. I worked on my two foot spin and edges. Skater Guy practiced his outside to inside spread eagles. Teen girls did tiny jumps. The coach picked up her next student and the first one stayed to practice. The tension was building.
At the end of the first session, a solid wall of ice tourists swirled around the center. All the figure skaters were now confined inside the square, each concentrating on staying out of the others' way. Now there were 12 skaters in the center area guarding the center circle from the storm of rental skates. It felt like this: