HJ-ED-DHJHerald Journal Columns
February 19, 2007, Herald Journal

Playing it safe


One morning, it occurred to me that as adults, we don’t have the same kind of fun that we used to have when we were kids.

I asked my girlfriend, “Why don’t we play in the snow anymore?” As a kid, I was out playing in the snow all the time. We would make snow angels, go sledding, and one of my favorites, ice skating.

I grew up near a lake, and my neighbors and I would clear off a small area and skate for hours, or until we could no longer feel our toes.

Now, several years later, I find myself cuddled up on the couch on those cold, snowy winter days. How boring.

Well, this winter, I had the opportunity to get out and enjoy a winter afternoon on the ice.

Wow! Talk about strenuous exercise. I had told a co-worker awhile back that I wanted to go skating and she asked, “Are you going to remember how to?”

I gloated and said, “It’s just like riding a bike.” Ha, yeah, right. It took me a few trips around the rink to actually skate without stopping every minute.

I totally forgot the balance and ankle support that is needed for skating. And I thought I was just going to step on the ice and start doing spins and tricks that I did as a teenager. Wow, was I wrong.

My girlfriend basically had to teach me how to skate all over again.

There were kids flying around the rink, falling left and right, and getting back up and doing it all over again.

How can they do that? Now, I understand why my parents would say, “I can’t do things like I used to.” In some areas, I am there, as well.

We no longer have those young, agile bodies that allowed us to run, jump, and be crazy. Now, we have to worry about breaking a hip.

As a kid, I would’ve been out there, on the ice for a whole afternoon. Now, I can only last about an hour or so before my feet feel like they are going to have to be amputated.

The experience was still wonderful. My girlfriend and I went to Buffalo’s ice rink, on the east side.

There is a lighted tree in the middle of the rink and a warming house t.

Parents brought their young ones skating or just sliding across the ice, but only a few parents actually participated. Now I know why.

I guess I’ll just have to make sure I go skating at least once a winter to keep up on my skills.