What Happened When I Tried a New Thing in Alaska

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If you’ve ever discussed winter sports with me, you’ve heard me say that I think ice skating is dangerous. That’s because ice skating is dangerous. It’s basically walking around on knives. Why would you do that?

But when we decided to move to Alaska, I determined that I would try all the winter things, and that includes ice skating. Sure, I’d been skating one or two times before, but it was a a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away. I looked like this:

verity ice skating
Yes, that is me, wearing a denim skirt and a puka shell necklace and a beret at an ice skating rink. I was the coolest. My friends were the second coolest.

And on that day, one of my not-pictured-friends tripped on the ice and had her hand skated over. There was a lot of blood. I was mildly traumatized.

That’s why ice skating lessons for me and my two totally-new-to-skating kids sounded like a really good idea. I figured I’d just knock that fear right out of me. Google to the rescue, and I found a few sets of “all ages classes” conducted at the same time over four sessions in August.

Now, when you live somewhere that outdoor, winter things are just a way of life, you’re probably not going to encounter a lot of adults who are totally new to any given basic thing, like ice skating. I was nervous about trying this new thing. I thought that I would look like a fool who should know how to ice skate already, for the love. But the classes were advertised as for children through adults, so I knew I would be in good company.

And I was. There were lots of other students.

And when class started, the only problem seemed to be that because I was so tall, I was in the way while their moms tried to take videos of them.


Yeah, that’s me in the blue, three instructors and my classmates. The next oldest student? David. (He’s 7.)

But it’s cool, because they put me in the advanced class right away … with a six-year-old. Neat!

The lesson here? Sometimes trying new things is humbling. Sometimes it is super humbling. And that’s OK … as long as you try anyway.

I had a good time, I didn’t fall flat on my face even once and, yeah, I’m a little better at ice skating. So that’s a win, right?


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