Climbing and treetop adventures yesterday, and today, ice skating!
I haven’t skated for quite a few years, and was last onto the ice, because I was slow at lacing my boots. So, stepping onto the ice, I was on my own. Mr M is a natural – he can skate backwards. He’s so cool at it.
There I was, watching him whizzing round, and watching the kids, who were wobbling about like newly born horses, and I was clinging onto the edge for dear life, laughing. A man in front of me pitched backwards and almost took us both over. I was as nervous as him, and we hobbled along the rail together for a little while, telling each other how funny this was, and how we’d have to get better at it or it would be a long two hours.
I stopped to wonder how on earth this was possible. How do you do this? I wondered. I know I’ve done it before. I can remember sailing along in the middle of the ice, loving it. But how?
Mr M came to fetch me, took my hand and helped me round for a few turns. But still I was thinking – but how? How do I get that confidence for myself, that ease?
I remembered something I’ve learnt in yoga – finding the balance between strength and softness – Sthira sukham asanam. As I understand it,* this talks about living and moving in the perfect space of just enough tension and just enough sweetness.
I decided to apply it to ice skating. Which muscles would I tense, I thought, to make this happen? OK, core muscles ON. What would I relax to make this happen? OK, mind OFF, fear OFF, tense shoulders OFF. Is that how? Will it work? I pushed off, getting further and further from the rail with every round. Oh… maybe… oh… yes!
It worked! Be free. Try it. It means you will be able to ice skate! I was so delighted.
I skated with abandon (maybe not elegance, but you can’t have everything) for the rest of the morning.
I did wipe out right at the end,* and slid across the ice in dramatic style. When I scrambled to my feet, that man from the beginning saluted me, chuckling. Cheeky man! I didn’t care though, and waved back. I wish I could go back tomorrow for another go.*
*Do correct me if I’m wrong. I’m not a yoga expert!
*Literally in the last minute, as I skated to the edge 🙂
*But it is doubtful whether I’ll be able to even walk tomorrow, never mind skate.