Tuesday, February 19, 2013

All Fun and Games and Redneck Skating Rinks

I grew up ice skating. We had a local arena that we skated on, my dad was a local hockey referee and when we put a pond into the backyard, we skated on it. I was okay on skates. No Michelle Kwan, but I could skate and keep myself upright. Never did learn to stop though, but that is another story for another day.

I have been in Florida for almost 30 years and it is obviously a less than perfect place to skate. I thought about it a couple of times; Daytona had an indoor rink and open skating. I just never got around to it.

Last year, while I watched the pond freeze, I thought, I really need to get some skates and skate on that pond. I decided that if I was here again this winter, I would get some skates and go see what I remembered.

The season started and I was late getting around to buying skates, but I found a set on sale at Bob Wards, so I snatched up my new figure skates.

As we were leaving, we ran past a local pond that was cleared for speed skating practice, so we stopped to see if I was keeping the skates or taking them right back. I sat down at the end of the dock and put my skates on and toddled around in a little circle. The ice was rough where I was, and I needed to get to the center to skate on smooth ice. I declined the invitation to skate to the center and skated around in a 10 foot area getting my balance. There was a step stool that had a high back that was available as a crutch.

I did not use the crutch, but I skated to the crutch. After about 15 or 20 minutes of this slogging around like Frankenstein on skates, I decided it would be fine and was ready to go home.

Once we got home, I drug the shovel and a chair out to the pond . I set up my own redneck rink and was working on clearing a 10 foot patch in order to practice before I went to the rink or one of the other skating ponds; we have several free skating parks in Bozeman.

My pond ice was sloshy along the sides and very rough. We worked to shovel it clear, and I was clomping back and forth for 10 or 15 minutes. It took a bit, but I got a bit of my confidence back and the skates started feeling familiar. I took the big snow shovel and was pushing it around clearing the snow and getting back into the groove.



There is where it all went badly.

I knew it was a matter of time before I fell. My only concern was not breaking a “way past middle age” bone. Good thing I fell on my butt. The problem was, my butt was the first stop.

I managed to knock myself out.

It had to be a sight.

I was on my back with my bright blue vest on, feet sticking straight up and a snow shovel across my chest.

Never mind; I will dig my own hole in the ground.

I was out for a moment or two and when I came to, I could not move my arms or legs. I was having wildly vivid deja vues that required me to stop and really examine them. None of them made any sense once I came to, but at the moment, they were incredibly real.

I could see my darling family staring out the cabin window at me. Blu had been barking at me to stay off the ice earlier and he got put in the house. He’s been told to stay off the ice, I guess he was telling me to get off the ice.

I did not give myself a concussion, but I did give myself a freakish headache.

After reading the signs of concussion, we determined that I did not have one, but I did crack my head with a solid thump. The most fascinating thing was the deja vu. I have read several accounts of this happening after a head injury. I do not know if it is memory loss or just jarring the brain, but it appears to be common with a hard blow to the head. As for the headache, well, of course I had a headache, I just smacked the ice with it. Am I cranky? Of course, I am cranky, I am always cranky.

Other than that, I managed to survive the incident. I do have the skates in the truck ready for use at the arena instead of the pond. The hillbilly arena is closed and now has another inch of snow on it. It is too rough to skate on and I am not going to flood it with the hose to use it. I am going to the local rink where they have medics. I am also wearing my motorcycle helmet!

It’s all fun and games until someone gets knocked out!

Julie and Blu