Every holiday season for the past six years, I have passed the Santa Monica ice rink at the corner of 5th and Arizona, determined to skate “this year.” Each year, even though I swore I was going to, I just never got around to it.
I came close when I went to the opening night celebration last year, but I chickened out again. This year, I decided to write a story about my experience about skating at the ice rink, so I would actually do it.
I have not skated since I was seven years old (um, about 45 years ago) and really did not know how it would go. I rented some skates and purchased a pair of socks. Socks on. Skates on. Now, lace the skates. I needed help from one of young men who worked there, insuring that I was laced tight enough around my ankles.
I gingerly stepped on to the ice. It was pretty surreal – it was 85 degrees, sun was shining, palm trees swaying, amid a thoroughly frozen ice rink. I held on to the outer wall of the rink just to get the hang of it. Standing in skates, that is.
With the skill of standing in skates behind me, I started to move. Slowly at first.
Hanging on to the wall for the first lap around the rink. Second lap went a little faster, hanging on to the wall only when I needed to. Third lap, and woo hoo! I am skating without touching the wall. Slowly, but I’m doing it. I’m skating.
I must have gone about seven laps, getting more confident after each lap. I found out that it’s great exercise for your legs, ankles, tummy, feet, and heart. I found out first hand – after I finished, a couple of hours later I could feel pain building in my ankles, feet, and legs. But it was a good pain.
I loved to skate when I was a kid. When I was on the ice now, I felt like a kid. Off the ice for a couple of days was a different story. But still, so fun. Anyone who hasn’t skated in a while should do it. And don’t wait as long as I did to do it. It’s magical.
The ICE at Santa Monica rink will remain open through Jan. 19. The cost is $15, which includes skates.
General hours of operation are as follows:
Monday-Thursday: 2 pm – 10 pm
Friday: 2 pm – midnight
Saturday: 11 am – midnight
Sunday: 11 am – 10 pm
For more information, visit www.downtownsm.com/ice.
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Barbara Bishop is President of Santa Monica-based BBPR, Inc. For comments or suggestions, email [email protected]