It snowed today! And a bit yesterday. It’s not enough for skiing, just a heavy-ish dusting really, but the temps have dropped so that it actually sort of feels like winter. On New Year’s Eve, I joined in a yoga retreat with friends and learned from a woman named Eva (actually spelled Ewa, as she had some connection with Germany, and was a dancer) that it was possible to skate Lake of the Isles all the way through to Calhoun. Now, I haven’t been on skates in YEARS, but it’s winter and I am chomping at the bit to be outside doing wintery activity, and this option of skating the lakes sounded so… Dutch, and wonderful, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since. With the frigid temps of the last week, combined with dog-sitting a skip away from Isles (which is shallower than the others, and has a rink set up on the north side to boot!) this weekend was the perfect moment for the experiment!
The skates I bought were $50 at Dick’s Sporting Goods, nothing fancy, just your basic white figure skates (DBX Women’s 1100 Ice Skates w/ Guard to be specific). The first sharpening is included in the purchase, and so long as you present your receipt each time you go back, it only costs $3 per. I can’t imagine I’ll need to sharpen too often, so it’s a bargain.
When I got back to the house, I took the dog for a walk around the lake to scope out the rink. There weren’t too many people there, and it was being shoveled as I passed. Encouraging. To be honest, I wasn’t sure how this experiment was going to play out. I’m sometimes not very coordinated and can be a bit clumsy from time to time, so you can imagine, I was a bit nervous about balancing my body weight on pencil-thin blades. There’s also a bit of the doubting Thomasina, she likes to get in her two cents when I try something new. But she’s almost always wrong.
I went back home and, before I could think my way into leaving it til tomorrow, changed into appropriate attire, put the skates in a bag, and walked to the lake. I walked for a few blocks, then had an inspiration to have a try before I got to the rink- and this turned out to be pure genius. This was what struck me when Eva/Ewa was talking about skating the lakes, that the ice had frozen quickly, leaving it smooth enough to skate on outside the rink. I love sh!t like this, doing something fun in an uncommon way. The obvious is to skate only on the rink, but what a great little adventure to skate the lake, too. Awesome. So I put on the skates, and carefully, slowly glided around for a bit. When I had gained a little confidence, I skated to the rink and spent some time there, then continued around to the other side of the lake til I was back to where I started. There are large, cylindrical figures on the ice, all in a line, I think in prep for the Loppet, and I practiced turns around them, and tried to figure out skating backwards. All in all, I was gone for two hours, and probably an hour-and-a-half was skating. And I really had to force myself to come back to the house. Tomorrow, totally planning to skate in the morning, maybe with the dog? Hmm. That could be a bit of a sh!t show, but it might be fun!