Saturday, June 02, 2007

Leap of Faith

Have I mentioned that I, my husband, and stepson, are taking ice-skating lessons? We go every Wednesday evening to our respective classes, and on Fridays, we come for open rink time. All this, and I don't own a decent pair of skates. As awful and uncomfortable as the rental skates are, my own cheap skates, I've discovered, are worse. To get a decent pair, I'm told, involves more than two hours of driving. I should be prepared to spend upwards of $150 and three or four hours getting them properly fitted. I hesitate to do it. After all, I keep thinking, what if I get pregnant and don't skate again for years? Or ever? Do I really want to invest so literally in a life that assumes it's never going to happen? Besides, there must be infinite better ways to spend that time and money.

B~ and J~ both have inexpensive hockey skates, but they are beginners, and happy with what they have. In the short time they've skated, B~ has advanced from clinging to the nearest solid object, feet flying out from under him in all directions, to circling the rink all on his own, albeit in a nervous, chin-forward hunch. J~ has gone from said nervous hunch, gripping my hand so hard my fingers hurt, to a relaxed, upright, independent glide. Occasionally he'll move to the center of the rink to attempt backwards skating, drawing his feet apart and together again, carving slow hourglass patterns into the less-traveled ice.

I spend most of my rink time in that center area, working on figure-skating basics: the 3-turn, the Mohawk, backward cross-overs, two-legged spins. Last night, I admired one of my more advanced classmates, H~, for launching up off his left skate going forward, and coming down on the right, gliding backwards. "I think it's called a toe-jump," he told me. "If you can add three hundred sixty degrees to the spin, it might be a single toe-loop." We both laughed at that one. It's unimaginable.

H~ showed me how he first learned the jump, by practicing against the boards, placing a hand against the wall to steady himself on landing. "Use your arms for momentum. Throw your leg forward," he encouraged, and I did, leaning heavily on the wall for support. By the end of the evening, I was risking little jumps, awkwardly, not always successfully, without touching the wall. One time I tried it away from the wall entirely, and when I didn't chicken out, and didn't fall either, I was like a triumphant kid, wishing Mom was there to see.

So I made a decision: I'm going to buy good skates first thing Monday.

Who knows what the future holds. Maybe I will get pregnant, and maybe I'll hang up those expensive custom-fitted skates. Or maybe I'll find a little baby helmet and learn to skate with an infant strapped to my chest. Or even better: maybe I'll get my Mom to come along, ostensibly to hold her grandchild, but really to admire my grace and prowess on the ice.

Then again, maybe I won't ever conceive. But I'll learn to spin on one leg, and master a toe jump, the as of yet unimaginable single toe-loop, perhaps. Although certainy incomparable to the adventure of pregnancy and parenting, wouldn't that also be great?


Anonymous said...

Yes, that would be wonderful, and your mom would be delighted to witness another of your many wonderful accomplishments! Lots of love!

Katherine said...

One caveat; your feet will probably get bigger from pregnancy. So chances are that the skates will be finito once it happens.

Anonymous said...

Don't put your whole life on hold, while just waiting to get pregnant. You wake up one day, and realize all that you have missed.

Beth: said...

Yes indeed, get the decent skates. You just never know what life will bring you, or when, or under what circumstances and if having the skates now enhances your abilities, why hesitate? (Also, not all women experience an increase in foot size after pregnancy, so there's that).