A few weeks ago we had the opportunity to skate on the ice at US Bank Arena.
It was really great, because there were very few people and so we practically had the ice to ourselves.
Shannon has only been on ice skates once in her life, and that's when she was about 4. Needless to say, that particular experience did not end well. Scarred for life comes to mind, to be honest. Twenty years from now she'll probably be in therapy revealing the trauma that was the ice rink in Monroe Michigan when she was four years old, but being the good sport, she humored me. Actually, she really wanted to give it a try.
We borrowed hockey skates from our friends and headed downtown for some frozen fun. Keep in mind that Shannon has only been on skates once in her life. I have skated since I was a small kid, but always on figure skates, and normally on "pond ice". You know (well maybe you don't if you didn't grow up in the "Great White Nort" like I did) what that's like..... rough, bumpy, not generally too slick because the wind and weather take it's toll on the surface. There weren't any Zambonis on the ice of St. Mary's Academy pond or the Plum Creek when I was growing up, but it was fine and we still had a lot of fun skating outdoors in the winter.
Shannon lasted about ten minutes on skates and literally became "one with the boards". While there was no drama nor trauma, she wasn't a fan and quickly changed out of her skates and put my sneakers back on and proceeded to slide around the ice.
Seeing as I have only ever skated on figure skates before, I learned one lesson really quickly (like in the first 60 seconds....). Never lean back on your heels on hockey skates. You can do that on figure skates because the blades are straight. Hockey skates have curved blades to give the skaters the ability to make really super tight turns, but if you lean back on your heels, you'll be looking at the arena lights. Been there, done that. I got a unique view of the Jumbotron from directly below with my back on the ice! After that it took me a few minutes to adjust, but then it was super fun. I have never skated on ice that was so unbelievably slick before. I have a whole new appreciation for hockey players after an hour on that ice. Not that I didn't appreciate them before. . . .
I really wish that there was a place that had convenient open skating time. It was such fun and really good exercise. When I was growing up, girls didn't play hockey. Now women compete in the Olympics in hockey. Too bad there aren't hockey leagues for middle-aged moms. I could really get into that as long as they didn't make me play goalie. Goalies are insane. I love them, but they're insane.
Speaking of hockey, how 'bout dem Red Wings? The Winged Wheel shall carry on for another round....