Back on the Ice

by Mary on May 1, 2021

I’m still here, now freshly double vaxxed along with the rest of our family. We’ve had an easier ride than many this past year so I can’t complain. My husband has been working at home and two of our adult kids are living with us. It’s been great being able to be together, and now the new era dawns.

I’m back on the ice but I’m not really sure what I’m doing out there. I didn’t skate for 7 months except for two heavenly weeks last summer outdoors at Sun Valley. In December Harlick sent my new skates and I got the itch to try them out, but the ice rinks in our area weren’t requiring masks on the ice and I wasn’t comfortable with that. By the end of January, though, the state changed its rules and the rinks began to require masks. There was a beautiful new rink open near me with hardly any customer base, so I started skating again. I’d look ahead on the booking system and find a slot where I’d have private ice or close to it. I broke in my Harlicks half an hour at a time. Now I’m skating an hour most weekdays, still a lot less ice time than I used to have.

I’ve taken up my old hobby of birding. I’ve been a birder all my life but it’s taken a back burner for about a decade due to skating. No more. Birding was a great pandemic hobby. Now I’m not sure what to do. I could continue on as a half-assed birder and half-assed skater or focus more on one.

I’m really enjoying my new Harlicks. They were my easiest break-in ever and needed no modification at all. It helps that I now have more normally shaped feet that are easier to fit. (As I mentioned previously, I had acromegaly which changed me a lot, but now that I’ve been in remission many of those changes have reversed.) I don’t have a big skating project right now, which is a bit confusing to me when I’m out on the ice. I lack focus. And with using this new, hardly populated rink I still haven’t seen most of my skating friends.

My coach Kim retired to protect her health and has no plans to return. I think her grandkids and her garden are keeping her busy and happy. My other coach Sharon is still coaching. I started taking with her again in March. The idea of driving an hour to the rink where she works was less appealing after a year at home but I did it. But the ice at her rink is more crowded which, even with masks, was making me feel unsafe. That was my motivation to find waste prevention COVID vaccine for our family, which I did near the end of March.  I stopped talking my lessons until I felt confident that I had some good antibodies from the vaccine. I’m about to go back. Wish me luck figuring out what I’m doing out there.

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Marcia May 2, 2021 at 11:47 am

I’m so glad you’re back on the ice Mary! How nice to have new skates you love too. The past year+ has been a crazy time. It’s great to hear you and yours are doing well. Don’t worry about the next skating project. It’ll come to you in it’s own perfect time. Until then just enjoy the ice and the movement.
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Mary May 8, 2021 at 2:51 am

Thanks Marcia! I have to remember how great it felt at first just to be out there at all.

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George A May 3, 2021 at 11:03 pm

Hi Mary: I think a lot of skaters have plateaued during the pandemic. Rinks near me closed for several months but have now come back on line with limitations to the number of skaters on the ice for a given session. Having said that, my rink has just closed for two months of annual maintenance–just as we’re turning the Covid corner. I have developed a wonky knee and may not bother to look for ice time at other rinks. Might be better off resting it for the duration. For the past couple of months I’ve been asking myself if I was still having fun. Sometimes the answer is yes but a lot of times, not so much. Glad to hear that your new boots are cooperating during break in.

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Mary May 8, 2021 at 2:58 am

Wow, what bad timing on the maintenance. And two months to do annual maintenance– really? That seems so long, I’m sorry the fun is elusive. For me part of that has been the greatly reduced amount of social contact at the rink. I wonder if that’s a factor for you too? Another part is the lack of upcoming events, though that will change. Good luck on that wonky knee– and I say that as I’m resting, off the ice for the last couple of days with a cranky back and quad.

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