I can check ice skating off my list now. Been there, done that.
Paul got off work early and joined me for my birthday skating adventure. It was a little scary I have to say. I calculated it had been 15 years since I was in ice skates. It was one of the kids' birthday parties at the Tandy Center in downdown Fort Worth. That place no longer exists. So, it had been awhile.
We headed out around noon. We both were determined. Gonna do it. Blood thinners be damned. Back surgery? Hernia? We laughed. Nothing could stop us. We were unstoppable.
We parked and wasting no time, speed walked to our destination: the ice rink inside The Parks Mall. A short ride down the escalater, I turned right and Paul kept walking straight.
"Paul!" (no answer, he is still walking)
"Paul!" (louder, still nothing)
"Stick!!" Paul turns and looks at me.
"It's this way" My dear, dear husband is sometimes directionally challenged.
Eighteen dollars later we are putting on our skates. They feel unnatural. Stiff. Paul laces up my skates. Sweet. It brings back Northern memories. Now all that stands between us and this great experiment... I mean adventure, is the Zamboni machine now cleaning the ice. We walk gingerly toward the rink.
Doors open. Paul is inside, he's on the rink which looks like marble flooring coated with thin layer of water. I walk on blades, lifting my right foot over the door jam. Left foot follows. That's when it hits me. I am ice skating!!! I used to live on ice rinks. Even just before we moved to Texas, there was a rink at a neighborhood park where I would skate as often as possible. It's liberating. It's almost like flying. Unencumbered by mere feet.
Back to reality, I head for the side railing and begin to ice shuffle. We begin our circular trip around the ice rink. It takes a few minutes to get my brain and feet synchronized. I imagine my brain working madly to access memory data. Then it just clicked! I was skating, for real. Paul was attempting to get me to slow down. Ha! Not possible. I was skating. I thought I heard him call my name but it was too late. I was skating!
I must have been an impressive sight because just ahead of me I see this little boy, around 6, pointing at me. I wave back. Then he speaks.
"You're going the wrong way!!"
Oh. Apparently, there's a right way and a wrong way to circle the rink. I thank the lad and turn around. There's Paul shaking his head. Ok, so I, too, can be directionally challenged.
The adventure felt like forever. Forever fun. Forever exciting. Forever familiar. In truth, forever was more like 30 minutes. By the third rotation we could feel the back of our thighs and calves. By the fourth rotation, muscle cramps were beginning to hold our feet hostage. Paul's back began to object soon after. We agreed on one more rotation, then called it quits.
It was an experience we both will not soon forget. For real. The next day, we still could feel it.
I still loved every second of the experience. It took me back. It shook my memory base in a good way. For that, it was worth it. Way, way worth it.