By EMMA CARLSON
I remember when I was a kid, my best friend always thought of the most fun things for us to do together. Slumber parties, bike rides, movie nights, etc. One of my favorite suggestions of hers was ice skating.
Her mom would drive us to the ice rink and we would walk up to the counter with our fluffy winter coats on and with only our eyeballs peaking over the counter, we would ask for “two tickets and two skates please.” We would shuffle to the next window and pick up our skates then try to tie our own laces up. Somehow my friend’s mom always ending up re-tying mine. She would do it really tight which I didn’t like but I never objected because once she was satisfied, we would be able to make our way onto the ice and skate around to our hearts content.
I was never really taught how to ice skate. I figured it out by watching my friend and the strangers around us whipping around the rink. Learning by experience got me by and has since my days on the ice with my friend, but there are a few fundamentals that I never learned. For example, how to stop myself without the assistance of a sturdy wall. To name a few more, I learned how to skate fast eventually, but not how to slow down without relying on friction to eventually kick in and ease me to a comfortable speed. I also never learned how to go backwards or how to glide gracefully on the turns. These aren’t things I have necessarily needed to know in order to ice skate and have fun doing it, but they definitely are valuable skills that I’d like to learn and could use to impress friends, a date or even just myself.
I’ve met many people who don’t like ice skating or refuse to go because they had a bad experience doing it in the past. Others never learned and don’t want to embarrass themselves. This has made me thankful that I got the hang of ice skating at a young age because it would be disappointing to have to turn down opportunities to hang out and have fun with friends or family at a rink because of fear or inability.
Ice skating is a fun, social activity that I think everyone should be able to enjoy. If a person learns to be comfortable on ice skates, they have the ability to take advantage of skating whenever the opportunity arises and won’t have any roadblocks keeping them from being able to choose to do so. Fear shouldn’t be a reason to miss out on fun with loved ones and it shouldn’t be a reason to not pick up a new skill!
Learn to Skate is a class offered at the iFiber Rink in Wenatchee that teaches the fundamentals of skating. People of any age and skill level can take the classes. The classes help people with skills ranging from those who are afraid to go out on the ice, to people like me who know how to skate already but want to be able to do it with more skill. With enough practice, anyone can learn how to get by on the ice, but having a teacher to show you how to balance, stop, turn or even learn a few tricks can make learning so much easier and future skating experiences much better.
Skating is a skill and it can be a lifelong one with the proper instruction and practice. Learn to Skate classes could be the perfect avenue to get a child invested in a new sport, like figure skating or hockey, or could become a fun summer activity to keep them active and stimulated. Adults could use Learn to Skate classes to develop their new after-work hobby, pick up a new skill or share a fun, new experience with their spouse.
My friend probably didn’t invite me to go ice skating when we were young because of practical reasons like it being a good life skill for us later on, but thankfully it was really fun so we went regularly and I did in fact pick up a life skill from it.
Ice skating is a blast, and in Wenatchee where the iFiber rink is a popular place for young people and families to hang out, learning to skate is a great idea. Check out the Town Toyota Center website for more information about the Learn to Skate classes offered at the iFiber Rink or learn how to skate through experience and practice on your own! Either way, consider learning to skate because it is a valuable, fun skill to learn and it provides just one more way to get out and make memories with people you love!