We arrived a few minutes before the session started, paid our entry fees, and started lacing up. I was not worried by the large crowds arriving, toting hockey skates. I had my good ole figure skates from a by-gone era. Back in the day (10 years ago) when we went skating on a somewhat regular basis, I could hold my own in a crowded rink. I certainly would not have been mistaken for an Olympic hopeful, but I could confidently make hard turns and weave my way through the beginners.
Then I stepped out onto the ice.
Have you ever been in the video store and seen the cover picture on the DVD for the horror flick "Scanners"? That's what I felt like. I clutched the wall as little kids sailed past me. Guys wearing hockey skates and iPods used me a part of an obstacle course. Tentatively, gingerly, and carefully I eased out away from the wall. Every tiny muscle in my feet and ankles screamed at me. I inched around the rink in slow laps, making frequent stops at the trusty penalty box when my feet hurt too much. Of course, my husband took off confidently like we had never missed a day of skating. At least he didn't use me for an obstacle course as he zoomed past.
After an hour or so, I felt a little more relaxed. Now I can resume my former skating style, ( I thought) bold and confident, weaving and bobbing through the crowd, passing all the newbie skaters. That's when I fell down and ingloriously slid back to where I had started the day: the wall.
Later that night, it was Advil to the rescue. Perhaps it is my advanced age that made the day so challenging and my body so sore from what seemed like a very moderate level of exercise. At least I wasn't bored.