Thursday, October 23, 2008

Just a little bit so my butt doesn't hurt tomorrow

These familiar babies have been hiding in the back of my closet now for some 20 years. Yup. 20+ actually as I think Mum bought these during my last year of skating in 1985. Small town Canada has ice rinks out the Wazoo so most kids are pretty much born with these babies on their feet. Mum put me in skating to keep me out of trouble and teach me how to fail. Yes. That may seem like some twisted logic but she felt that we learn far more from our failures than our successes in this world and one must not be discouraged by failure.

My size nine Wifas with the then spectacular MK Phantom Blades cost my parents a pretty penny back in 1985. I think the boots must have been $350 and the blades almost that, then. I'll have to look and see what it would cost me to replace them today. I skated for 14 years and by the time I was 19, I'd had enough of skating. I felt there was so much more to do, like, say tennis, and that I should play it instead. I think that I've had these on my feet about three times since, the last time about six years ago when Greig and I first started dating. I still have a second pair back home with different blades that were for doing patch or figures (tracing figure 8s on ice). Do they even do figures in skating anymore? I was on of the strange girls that actually liked my patch sessions as I found them meditative and therapeutic. And after all these years, I've yet to take any real tennis lessons. Sigh...

I've a collegue who works in the Payroll Department at the College who's been trying to get me onto her Precision team for I've commitment issues. Last year they made it to Westerns. Probably not that big of a deal really when there may only be a handful teams in Western Canada (BC to the Manitoba border). It sounds impressive don't you think, being a part of a team that went that far holds some cashet for me.

Lorna on the Serenity (aka Peter) had me thinking I should try roller skates and do that Roller gurl thing with those Terminal City chicks but I've actually never roller skated in my life. Small towns don't have nearly the amount of sidewalks that cities do if any at all. Plus I as much as I'd enjoy bashing those bitches about, I've had enough of injuries and really, don't like hurting that much anymore.

So the skates are IN the closet and
are waiting and it was always such great exercise for my butt and legs that regardless of Precision or bitch-bashing, skating is still skating and I better remember how. Tonight, I went to the tail end of the public skating session at the Moody Park Arena.

Arena's have that smell, like boats do; mildew and diesel. Guess that is why the boat smell didn't bother me - it was a familiar kind of comfort. All that residual Zamboni exhaust, the smell of the ice, sweaty skates and hockey bags.I can't smell pine cleaner without thinking of mildewy, guy-stinky- sweaty, uriney- hockey lockers. Nope, it is not a smell that makes me think, "Ooh so clean and sanitized!"

No sheet of ice that I have skated on is the same. They all feel different. Some sheets are faster than others. I always felt I skated fastest on the Nelson Rink. Some stick to your blades where others make you feel like you can skate faster. There was a technique in tying my skates so they wouldn't come undone too. I always skated bare foot and had a perpetual callus around the ankles where the top of the leather met my calves. I guess I never thought that after twenty years the foam tongue would eventually break down and turn gooey. It left blue bits on my ankles!

Still, I think I am motivated to deek out at lunch time from work and hit the rink for a nooner workout. Gosh, maybe there is hope I can get that skater's backside back again.


rob said...

I used to belong to a street roller hockey team as a kid we had steel wheels and leather strap on skates, we also used a golf ball as a puck and walking sticks as "Bats" :o)) the steel wheels wore out quickly, the leather straps rotted and along with the screw clamps on our shoes which used to pull the front of the sole off eventually, I was destined to failure. I actually imported the first skate boards to the UK (as a sample) and had to make a descision to either finish building my house or import and sell more. You guessed it I finished my house :o((. I have Ice skated but I didn`t get on well with the ankle thing (perhaps the hire skates were c*ap and very unsupportive) I would really like to Roller skate and have enquired about the cost of a set of street legal ones in Brighton (£90). I think I would be too embarrassed when it came down to it. I really (having been a pro wrestler in my Youth) fancy a go at roller derby but there is only a girls league here and that is fairly low key. I believe that Canada has an active league? Take care more power to your elbow for getting up and going out and doing it! unlike us talkers :o((

bowiechick said...

Great story Rob.

I was looking up the prices and the boots now would cost about $630/pair and the blades I have on would cost about $450. Yow! And one season my parents bought me TWO pairs with blades. In today's economy that would have been close to about $2K. I still have a pair back at my parents that I could always switch out blades on should the tounge rot off entirely, lol! I can only imagine what it would cost to repair the tounges.

Rental skates were always traditionally crap for ankle support but when the moulded plastic skates came it that was an big improvement.

Ya, I'll hit the adult sessions and it should prove less likely that I would wipe out some little kid. That derby stuff is a contact sport and you have to be prepared to get the crap knocked out of you. Especially here since skating is so big in general you'd have some much more technically skilled people around you to take you down.

rob said...

"you'd have some much more technically skilled people around you to take you down" Ahh! the story of my life :o)) thanks for the advice, I guess at 65 + I should only dream about it and stick to boats ? nah! I will have a go at rollerskating in Brighton at night on the smooth seafront bike track, maybe, with padding and a helmet and probably a bruised butt, ego and wallet, :o))
take care! enjoy your adult sessions at the rink, the exercise will be great for you too.

bowiechick said...

Bah...65 years young Rob. What's a hip anyway? I say go for it. Besides, rollerblades don't cost nearly as much as figure skates from what I see in the sport store flyers. Pad yourself up and enjoy!

rob said...

The difference in cost is immense between roller and blade skates even here in Brighton (we have a small rink too, we also used to have a hockey team, the Brighton Tigers, I think). You are a bad influence Tana! I love it!:o))now if I can just get rid of this bad back and chest cough? Hee Hee.

Jamie said...

A totally new side to you; who knew? I had no idea skating had such expensive equipment ~ get yer butt out there and enjoy it!

Darla The Explorer said...

Lovely skates! I hope you do find a great rink in your area and take up the sport again. (Says this former Midwest girl.) Roller skating is also very cool, takes some getting used to, but if you have a figure skating background you should have loads of fun! (P.S. I know Lorna of Serenity, aka Peter and that's how I found your blog!)

bowiechick said...

Neat! Thanks for saying hello. I look foward to checking out your blog too, and btw, I've a thing for elephants.

I've not been skating in the last couple weeks for I have come down with Mono. So that at least explains why all those antibiotics haven't been working.

skater said...

If you need your skates taken care of, go see Jim Reid. He has a pro shop at 8 Rinks, and another location in Surrey (called Leading Edge). Jim was the skate tech for Worlds in Vancouver and Washington DC. Best thing aside from the fact that he's very good: he treats everybody well, whether they're elite skaters or adult rec.

bowiechick said...

Thanks skater. Alas, skates with skates as old as mine, it may be too expensive to replace the tongues as the leather gets old and stiff. These are now at least 20 years old. I'll look into it though.

Thanks a bunch!

skater said...

You're welcome. Even if getting them rebuilt isn't an option, if you still want to use them he'll give you an excellent sharpening at a reasonable price.