Last night, I had a chance to relive the glory days.
No, I’m not talking about the “high-school Alyshia” glory days. I’m talking about reconnecting with my first love: skating.
Back in the day, I was a competitive synchronized skater with Whitby Ice Fyre. A member of Team Canada for two years, our junior competitive synchronized skating team competed both locally and internationally, representing Canada at two competitions in Europe.
Our 20-member team was like a sorority – minus the Greek letters and secret handshake. We were all very different but were united by the one thing we all had a passion for: synchronized skating. (Well, that and hockey players.)
We partied together, we cried together, we succeeded together, we lost together. I formed lasting friendships with many of the girls I skated with – one of them was even a bridesmaid in my wedding.
|Just another practice circa 2005|
The year I stopped skating to pursue college, the fees were several thousand dollars and the time commitment had reached upwards of 20 hours a week. I never thought I’d
be crazy enough to skate again have the opportunity to be part of a team again. But when I found out a few girls I used to skate with were hosting an open session to gauge interest in a potential adult team, I was more excited than I expected.
It took me a few days to locate my skates and after sharpening the rust off of them (literally), I was ready to go. I hadn’t been on the ice in over six years, but somehow convinced myself I’d be able to do it.
Last night, reality began to sink in. When I walked into the arena, my cheeks flushed and my heart raced. What the hell was I doing here? What if I made a total fool of myself? I wasn’t even sure I’d remember how to stand on the ice, let alone skate.
The second I stepped on the ice, my anxiety and fear disappeared – I felt at home. The cool air nipped at my cheeks as I began warming up and I realized how good it felt to just skate.
|Our signatures are still in our old change room|
Standing on the ice with some of the girls I skated with eight years ago, it was like no time had passed at all. As we worked through different warm ups and skills, my mind wandered to memories of three-hour practices, the competitions, sneaking out to buy alcohol in Paris, and sharing secrets, tears and laughs.
It felt like nothing had changed…. until I woke up this morning and realized time had changed one thing: my body’s ability to bounce back after a skating session.
I could barely swing my legs over the side of my bed. I’m sore in places I didn’t realize I had muscles. Evidently over the past eight years, my body has taken a bit of a turn for the worse and doesn’t recover from a work out like it used to when I was 18. I feel like I have a skating hangover. The crazy part is I can’t wait to do it again.
I was proud I managed to make it through the hour-long session with only four blisters and without falling – on the ice at least. I did take a tumble (read: face plant) in the change room afterwards – evidently I need to get used to my toe picks again.
So, I’m looking forward to the session again next week, joining the team in August and making new memories…. Unless of course I don’t make the cut, in which case I’ll just tell everyone I decided against skating after all.