Like many Californians, I teased myself with the notion of commanding a stellar presence on ice. After all, I could roller skate. How hard could a blade on some ice be?
From the very first time I laced up a pair of skates, I dreamed of joining the ranks of gold medal figure skaters Dorothy Hamill or doubles World champ Tai Babilonia.
That dream faded at the end of that first lesson, with the knowledge that I simply had no business trying utilize my already weak coordination skills by combining slippery surfaces with cold hard ones. Let's just say that I'm still not over the bruising my body took.
Fast forward to this assignment, when I'm sent to cover a League of Women Hockey players, who are taking the sport by storm.
Sitting in the locker room with the Danbury Battle Axes as they laced up for practice was exhilarating. We're talking about women well into their 50s giving it their all.
There's no "checking" in this league, but the game takes no prisoners. We're talking hockey - that mean, tough sport that stereotypically features toothless athletes going at each other. They're a bit tamer than that. But they are big talkers and dared this reporter to put on a pair of skates and give it a whirl.
I did. And quite frankly, I'd have to say, I've found my coordination in adulthood. It's a little different than figure skating. For one, straight-line motion is pretty straight forward. I did that pretty well. And I got up to speeds that I was quite impressed with.
The problem came when I tried to stop. Braking you see, is the tricky part, because there is no toe-hook or toe-brake or whatever you call the thing on the front part of the skate that helps you SLOW down!
And there I was again, an 11-year-old, wiped out on a sheet of ice. Only this time, instead of falling on my derriere, I fell flat on my stomach.
What a way to face your fears, nose to to the ice-cold surface that is a hockey rink!