It’s been over three years, my MARtians, since I laced up my competition skates and actively skated for myself as a good form of exercise. Having won both regional and sectionals over two decades ago, I always love returning to the ice for some fun. Those of you who also used to participate in a sport know that our bodies just don’t bounce back the way they used to as we get older. I discovered that I’m no different when, three weeks ago, after receiving a clean bill of health from my doctor, I returned to the ice to do what I love.
I wasn’t surprised to find that I have left my triple jump days behind me, but as luck would have it my double jumps and combination spins were all awaiting my return. Okay, so I had many, many challenges at first. For example, the endless falls from that first session, then the pains that followed for a week as my muscles recovered. Yet today became a milestone, as on only my third time on the ice I landed my double toe loop! (Truth be told, I landed poorly, but I landed never the less!) “Hello my friendly double toe!” I said to my coach as she replayed the iPhone video, “Where the hell have you been?” Needless to say, although it was not perfect, it was a familiar jump that I lost touch with so many years ago.
So here I am, a man of my age (over 25 – and let’s leave it at that, shall we?) back on the ice doing what I love again. It all seems so right, yet sometimes the jumps and spins feel so wrong. You see, my mind can clearly recall the feeling but my body is saying something totally different – more like “Are you crazy?”
Figure skating provides me with a workout that surpasses any other exercise I have done, and that includes my jogging days. Skating was the foundation that propelled me by teaching me the importance of building confidence, dedication, and goal setting, not to mention the importance of understanding the ups and downs of competition. So, it’s no wonder that so many years later I would find great comfort in returning to the ice.
Today the world of skating has evolved to nothing more than quads and triples, with less focus on the art of grace and technique; and I’m sure my buddy Dick Button would agree.
Being back on the ice these past weeks provided some wonderfully nostalgic memories. So stay tuned, my MARtians, as I continue to work on landing ALL my doubles by the end of this year. Today I had my Starbucks with me, but who knows, maybe I’ll even invite my first and favorite Starbuck – Jo Jo Starbuck that is – to join me and do pairs with me. (I’ll make sure I ask her former Olympian pairs skating partner Ken Shelley for the inside scoop and permission first.)
Here’s to getting back on the ice! Whether you want to cheer me on (or smile along with me as I get back into the groove), some of my best skating moves are on my social media channels, so check them out.