It seems almost funny to me that I could have spent most of my life dedicated to a sport and rarely talk about it nowadays. It all started when I was a kid…When I was about eight or nine, my best-friend-in-Florida took me ice skating with her. She had been taking ice skating lessons and had a few skating dresses, so, she let me borrow one, and we both wore skating dresses to the rink one day and had a blast just being kids. When I moved away from FL, we found out there was a new ice skating rink that had just been built in town, and I started taking figure skating lessons, too. At age ten, I started with group lessons, where you learn the basics (and I mean very basics) of skating and figure out if you want to pursue the sport more.
I had so much fun with the group lessons, I quickly moved on to taking private lessons two or three times a week. Two or three times a week turned into six days a week, twice a day on Tuesdays and Thursdays. On those days, I'd arrive at the rink between 6:15 and 6:30 am so I could warm up for a private lesson. Some days, I'd sleep in my practice outfit so I'd have more time to sleep and less time to get ready. I'd be on the ice at 6:45 am with my coach asking me to "go ahead and work on those double-axels."
I never did land that double-axel, but the sport permanently changed my life for the best. I learned about hard work, patience, dedication and so many more things than I can even name in one sitting. I made some of my best friends through skating practices – through triumphs and tears – through the best and worst of each other.
Now that we've all grown up and moved away, we hardly see each other. Some times, we will happen to skate the same sessions over holidays – when we're home visiting family, etc. It was the coincidence of seeing my old skating buds over holidays-past that prompted me to call an impromptu reunion over Thanksgiving weekend.
The photo above is one of the few I have from skating days long gone. My skating-friend's father gave it to me a couple years ago.
Oddly enough, of the five of us who showed up for the reunion, all four of us from the photo were there. We decided to re-create the photo for fun. The difference in the years these photos were taken is at least twelve years, though I can't remember when the first photo was even taken.
It has been mostly through the magic of Myspace and Facebook that we've been able to find each other. I even used Facebook to create an event for the reunion. I wonder if the original creators of those sites ever imagined how useful their ideas would be.
Either way, we had so much fun at the reunion. It was so good seeing everyone and catching up. We're already planning our next reunion and we're hoping that more of our old skating friends will turn out for the next event. Till then, I'm hoping to hit the ice and get some good practice in and brush up on my skills. I doubt I'll be skating at 6:45 am in the morning any more, but we'll see where the road leads.