Stay Young

Xuân and I started our first ice skating class last Tuesday. I enrolled Xuân in the second level for toddlers. He did really well even though he didn’t take the first level. He followed his coach’s instructions and he was able to do forward and backward swizzles. He enjoyed his first lesson with three other kids around his age. They looked so adorable and made ice skating look easy.

I began the Gamma level with the same instructor from the previous class. Two fellow classmates returned, but one lady didn’t. We had two new ladies join our group. On the first day, our instructor threw a lot at us. We had to skate on our edges (left and right, inside and outside, forward and backward). Then she launched into the 3-turn technique on one foot. I could barely turn 180-degree on two feet.

On Wednesday, I took Đạo and Đán to practice and spent an hour and fifteen minutes on just trying to do a left-180 turn with both feet. I didn’t get too far. I kept on tripping. I went home, searched up on YouTube, and found a video from coach Mary Dung Nguyễn. Her instructions were easy to follow and she demonstrated the 3-turn with effortlessness.

After a long day of work on Thursday, I went to the rink myself since the kids went over to their cousin’s house to play. I practiced turning 180-degree with just my right foot. After about half an hour, I found my groove and it just worked. What I have found fascinating about ice skating is that your body just goes with the flow once you get it. I also discovered that my left foot is even better than my right foot even though I always started out with my right foot. Once I have the right foot down, I can easily transfer over to my left.

I hardly walk or jog anymore. I am not the type that workout in the gym; therefore, skating is my form of exercise for the moment. I still have a lot to learn and I like the challenge. I am the oldest student in the group and probably even older than my coach. Like Art Blakey said, “I’m gonna stay with the youngsters. When these get too old I’ll get some younger ones. Keeps the mind active.”

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