Skating Through Spring Break

The kids’ spring break comes to an end. I took a week vacation to tidy up the house. The first day went well. I reorganized the living room. For the rest of the week, I failed miserably. I was overwhelmed with the things we had accumulated, thanks to the one-click purchase and two-day delivery. I took the kids to ice skating, read, and just hang out. That’s a good staycation for me. Other than spending money on skating admissions and food, we saved a whole lot not renting a beach house.

Speaking of ice skating, we’re now having lots of interest. My nephews are taking lessons. My wife and her sister are starting out as well. On Friday, I booked 10 admissions for all of us. We took up 12 percent of the rink’s capacity. Its COVID restriction had increased from 65 to 85 skaters. With private lessons and 85 skaters, the rink is getting crowded. Practices have been a challenge.

Xuân is a natural skater. He just started out, but he skates well. I showed him how to glide on one foot and he could hold for 10 seconds. I showed him the cross-over. Instead of bringing his right foot over his left, he made a hop. I would fall on my face if I tried that.

Đạo is doing really well with his lessons. He started Gamma last week, but he can already do hockey stops, 3-turns, and Mohawk by watching me practice. He just needs more practice to perfect them.

Đán is doing Gamma/Delta. Last week, his instructor taught the class the bunny hop, which required the toe picks. He couldn’t do it because he’s using hockey skates. He tried out figure skates, but he refused to use it. He is now too comfortable with the hockey skates; therefore, he kept tripping over on figure skates because of the toe picks. He can’t take anymore ice skating lessons if he doesn’t want to make the transition over to figure skates. He wants to go into hockey instead.

Đạo and I will be making the transition over to figure skates. The break-in period will be painful, but we’ll try. It took me months to break into my hockey skates and now I have to go through it again. I am not sure yet, but I might be finished with lessons after completing Gamma. I am too old to do the jumps and spins. Then again, I kind of like the challenge.

At the beginning of Gamma, I was having trouble with the 3-turns and the Mohawks. Through determination and practice, I have overcome them. Our instructor threw a whole lot of techniques at us, but I only focused on one at a time. I practiced one technique over and over again until I could feel the flow for it before moving on to the next one. What I loved about ice skating is that once it clicked, it felt so natural. I don’t have to force myself to do it.

As for rollerblading, the kids seem to lose interest. As the weather is getting warmer and nicer, the skatepark is also getting crowded. One of the reasons the kids don’t like going to the skatepark is too much swearing. They are right. These teen skateboarders and even young scooters around my kids’ age cussed like sailors. Most of the time, I focused on skating and zoned out the noise around me. These days I noticed more and they cussed so much. I let my kids stay home and I went myself. I fell once in a while on the curved ramp, but my arms and butt were no longer in pain like before. I am also working on a backward swizzle. Other than that, I haven’t done much. I need to set up some kind of goals for rollerblading.

I still love these two sports, but I am leaning much more into ice skating. I still like to keep my options open. These days, skating is the only form of exercise that I am doing.