I have deemed ice skating to the be great equalizer in life. People have argued that education, guns, mortality or nuclear weapons deserve this distinction. They are wrong. And I will tell you why.
Lest you grew up in a Nordic country (read: Minnesota) sliding around on ice is not easy. It’s bizarre. There is nothing natural about tying sharp pieces of metal on your feel and then going on a slick surface that is generally avoided. No helmets, pads or cushions are there to break your fall. Just the cold, cold ice.
The ruthless forces of gravity can literally bring a grown man to his knees. A tiny tot who can’t even go to the bathroom by themselves can skate circles around everyone else.
As I alluded to last week, I recently went ice skating. It was fun. I managed to not fall or freeze. My favorite part was the people watching. So here is my list of the five people you will see when you go ice skating.
- The couple holding hands. I’m not a fan of people holding hands in public spaces. And it’s not just because I am single and jealous of their love. (Okay, well maybe a little.) It’s because they are so difficult to maneuver around. It’s like when people walk two wide on the track at the gym. It is inconvenient! So if walking and holding hands is not a good idea, why would skating while holding hands be? You aren’t on a tiny, romantic pond. You are at an ice rink in downtown Omaha. Little kids are falling while trying to go around you. Just stop.
- Shredder showoff. These dudes and dudettes are the coolest people at the ice rink. Like, totally. They know lots of tricks, like going really really fast and then stopping really really suddenly. Wicked awesome, except for all the divots they create in the ice from their shenanigans.
- The inappropriately dressed girl. I don’t want to pick on my ladies, but I have yet to see a gentleman wear a dress to the ice rink. This isn’t the Olympics. You aren’t Michelle Kwan. Aren’t your legs cold? Doesn’t the boot upper irritate your skin? Are your movements restricted? What happens when you fall? I get it, I get it. A girl wants to look nice. But at the ice rink, I rank warmth and functionality over looking cute and stylish.
- The Weebles. A Weeble, as in the iconic children’s toy “Weebles Wobble” is a person who falls down thousands of times yet always pops back up, ready for more skating. These can be young skaters, their bodies uninjured by the fall, or more “mature” individuals whose pride hurts more than a skinned knee or elbow.
- The confident losers. This is the category I place myself in. These are the people who don’t know how to skate, but they fake it. Lap by lap, their grip loosens on the side until they are slowly hobbling along by their own momentum. A magical moment. These are the people who cause the majority of accidents, because they don’t know any better. They are truly clueless, yet confident in their new found skating skills.
And as an added bonus, here is the person you will always see at the skate rink, but not on the ice. This person is the mom who stands on the sidelines and holds her daughter’s purse and son’s cell phone. She takes a million pictures and buys the whole group hot chocolate during Zamboni breaks. You have have seen her on the sidelines of any number of events: soccer tournaments, dance competitions, a school concert, etc.
Have you seen any of these people ice skating? Which category do you think you are in?