Yesterday I went speedskating for the first time in over four years, this time with the Northern California Speedskating Association. I wore my long-track skates with huge ankle supports (the mark of a noob) and fell on my knees twice within two minutes. I forgot how sore the lower back gets after several laps, and I forgot how to turn left without tripping over myself when crossing my legs. At least I can still go straight.
My plan was to keep a low profile and fail privately, but Margaret skates up to me and says, “Hey, you’re new here!!”
Call it an exercise in humility: getting schooled by kids less than half my age. There wasn’t much hiding I could do inside a borrowed ice hockey rink anyway.
Speedskating is still considered a bit of a fringe sport in the United States. Will it ever reach the mainstream in my lifetime? I’d be thrilled if it did.
I’m the only person in their early 20s at practice for now. Odd, because I thought going fast on ice would be a great outlet for all the other anxious twenty-somethings in the Bay Area. Most of the club members present are either half my age or 50 years and older — and still trying to beat the national and state records for their age group.
(and they have a good shot at it, too)