Still Skating

On December 9, I completed the Adult-2 level for ice skating lesson at the Medstar Capitals Complex in Arlington, which is closer to my workplace. I had a wonderful experience. Alissa Strawcutter was a great instructor.

The day before, I started my new lesson at the Fairfax Ice Arena. I managed to recruit Đạo as well. I signed us up for the Alpha level, which included forward stroking, forward crossovers, and snowplow stop. Đạo’s first class went well. The skills were just right for him. As for my adult class, most of the students just started out. My new coach recognized that; therefore, she asked her assistant to work one on one with me. Since I could do forward stroking and snowplow stop, she worked with me on crossovers. It was like having a private lesson. I liked that.

On Thursday, I had to leave town to be with my mother. I knew it would be a while before I could return. I asked Đán to take over my lessons and he agreed. Since Đán is better than me, I requested to place him in Beta, which included backward stroking, backward crossovers, and T-stops. Although the class was already halfway through, he picked up with no problem.

While staying at my sister’s house, I went to the Lancaster Ice Rink whenever I could. The whole time I focused on getting down my crossovers. It took me three public sessions (about three hours) to get my forward crossovers down. It was hard to keep my balance, especially when I cross my left foot over my right foot.

Đán finished his Beta class last week and he will be starting Beta/Gamma today. Đạo continues with his Alpha class. Since I got my crossovers, I signed up for the Beta level so all three of us could have our lessons at the same time. I am looking forward to it.

As for rollerblading, I found the beautiful Conestoga Greenway Trail nearby my sister’s house. When I stressed out about my mother’s condition and just wanted to scream, I went out rollerblading. The up and down hills gave me great workouts. I also went to the Lancaster County Skate Park, which is across the street from the trail, to work on going down the ramps.

I even returned to the Castle Roller Rink for the first time in twenty something years. It brought back so many fond memories. We were so young and full of life. My buddy Luân was the star among us. I could barely skate, but I had so much fun. The music was always pumping. They played hip-hop and r&b hits the whole time. Inviting a girl out to the floor on a slow jam was always something us fellows always looked forward to. Holding her hand with your sweating palm and hoping the slow jam never ended. When I came back the vibe was still the same, I was just much older. I don’t recall they allowed rollerblades back then (only rollerskates), but they do now. Although I can skate much better than I did back then, I was the only one with guards and a helmet on. I am fine with that.

For years, I knew I needed to do some form of exercise to keep myself healthy, but I could not stick to anything until I got into ice skating and rollerblading. By getting myself into these sports, I hope that my kids will pick up as well—something for them to do besides playing on their iPads. It looks like we’re not going skiing this year, which I really missed. I am hopeful that we can do so next year. I wanted to try out snowboarding.