Fellows on Ice

Let it be known that no medals will be won by this team, but last night a brave and adventurous group of us rose to John Bacon's challenge/invitation to join him for ice skating at Yost arena. GrahamThe good news was that John had arranged for us to have Yost all to ourselves for an entire hour. The bad news was that in order to do so, our hour began at 10 pm on a weeknight. The late starting time proved somewhat difficult for some - mostly the weak of spirit and/or those with children.

A few of us with our priorities squarely intact met up at Gail's house beforehand to watch the first part of the Golden Globes. Somehow, we allowed ourselves to be pulled away around 9:30 to head to the rink. (Fools! Fools!) We lost the Aussies along the way, mumbling something about cold and ice. You know how their people are. But John, his friend Whitney, Graham, Rainey, Foley, Gail, Chris and I decided we didn't need them for our party on ice. Here's the thing about me and ice skating. I only do it every five to ten years or so. It's just enough time to forget the bad parts and remember it with a disproportionate sense of nostalgia - much like giving birth. Or so I'm told. Anyway...Rainey ordered up a pair of hockey skates and since she's from Boston and knows a thing or two about ice, I followed suit.

Big mistake. Skating in hockey skates is like sticking your feet inside two...things that aren't very easy to manage. Pick your own analogy. Not only that, but I was on the ice for approximately 15 seconds when the truth of ice skating came rushing back to me: it's not fun, it's exercise.

Despite my stellar and much-hailed all-eighties soundtrack CD, the first six minutes on the ice were the longest in my life. How is it possible to have your leg muscles hurt that much when you're not even moving? I noted that Gail, in her gleaming figure skating skates (is that redundant?), was gliding across the ice, doing turns and not clinging to the edge like some of us. Gail & Foley

Now, I understood that switching skates would not transform me into a master skater, but I decided to try a different approch. Trading in my hockey ones for figure skates, I headed back to the ice. Yes! This was much better. I could glide along on the ice, even let go of the edge, and pick up some speed.

But it was still exercise, people. Don't let them fool you.

Bacon, of course, who skates every day of his life, was doing fancy pants moves all around the place, practicing drills and mincing across the ice like a good ol' pro. Foley held his own, although he seemed to be reminiscing about his former glory days on the ice. Rainey was brave, as always, and graduated from the wall to the middle in no time.

Graham's a good skater and was getting adorable lessons from Bacon on how to skate backwards. Just picture them holding hands and gliding along the ice and you've pretty much got it. Chris was a terrific sport, taking to the ice like a cat to water. Suffice it to say that after putting in plenty of good face time, Whitney and I wound up warming the bench for the last few minutes.

John says next time we'll do it earlier in the evening so more people can come - and I think it's adorable that he thinks there's going to be a next time!