Tuesday, January 3, 2012


I've been riding daily and writing about it not quite daily, albeit not here but HERE.  But this post is not about cycling.  Happy New Year, by the way.  No, this post is about something I hadn't done since March 29, 2011, the day I broke my ankle -- ice skating!

It seemed important to return to the ice during the calendar year of the accident.  December 31 was the last chance and I had to take it.  The entire family went back to Oakland Ice Arena, the scene of the calamity.  Honestly, I was apprehensive about putting the skates back on, in no small part because my left ankle is bigger than it was before and I worried about inability to put the skate on.

We went inside, I put on the skates and rushed toward the ice.  I strode from the plastic edge of the rink onto the ice, leading with my left skate.  Just as I pushed off with my right foot to step onto the ice, my right foot slipped on the plastic and I lost my balance, nearly falling before I had a chance to skate.  That was mildly frightening, but I regained my balance and found myself gliding on choppy ice that had been in heavy use for an hour and a half.  Not the kind of ice on which you'd want to figure skate or play hockey, but good enough for cautious recreational skating.

I was cautious for the first lap.  It was completely uneventful.  Encouraged, I picked up my pace, beginning to do turns and cross-overs.  For several years, I worked and rode with Mike Abel.  Mike was at the rink also, so we skated together for a while, catching up, and I entertained him with the tale of my ankle.  Then Sophie and I skated together, doing our best pairs skating impressions.  At the end of the session, Jessica and Sophie skated together and I just let it loose, skating fast and turning hard for a few laps. Just as I was exhilarated by my return to cycling, I am thrilled to be back on the ice in good form.  But I promise, no more skating sessions after 90 minutes at VeloSF.  Or maybe it was such a freak event that it could not happen again...?  Hmmm, let's not find out.