I have been skating with an old pair of men’s figure skates I bought eleven years ago on sale at Target. I got them on a whim but ended up using them quite a bit those first two winters. There was an outdoor rink by the public library which was a 5 minute drive from where I was living. I used to head over there in the late afternoon when I got home from school and skate for an hour or so nearly everyday – especially that first winter. I skated by myself. I didn’t really know anyone who was interested in circling a frozen pond as the daylight hours dwindled away. I was at the point in my single life that I did pretty much whatever I felt inclined to and that meant that I very often was on my own, but I was used to it.
We started skating here as a family thing and because I thought it would be a nice skill for Katy to have. A child can’t possibly develop a healthy active lifestyle if it isn’t modeled for them and they can’t have favorite physical activities if they aren’t given a few to chose from at least. But the black skates just didn’t feel as right on my feet now that I am older and they are flatter from years more of running and wider, and tad bit longer, from childbearing, so Rob suggested that we get me a pair of hockey skates when they went on sale at Canadian Tire recently. I admit that I have been tempted by hockey style skates in the past. They look more comfortable. I have very flat feet. So flat that I avoid wearing anything but runners and hikers whenever I can. I don’t do sandals or flip-flops. Dress shoes of any kind are torture. Hockey skates are wider and have a large toe box than even male figure skates and they don’t constrict the ankle as high up, and I felt very comfortable in them from the first moment in the store.
On the ice, hockey skates are another matter. It feels for the first few moments as though you have never skated before because the figure skates have a longer blade that forces you to be more aware of where your foot is just to avoid catching one end or the other and face-planting on the ice. And they are fast. It’s like being freed from invisible restraints. Movement is so unrestricted by comparison. I felt at times as though I was barely skimming the ice surface which in fact I was technically as Rob tells me that when skating we are really not gliding on the ice at all but on the water that is melting beneath the skate’s blade.
The skating season lasts until April sometime and we may be gone by then, but I think the skates may make the cut for items that travel back to the states.