ICE SKATING. When most people think of those two words together, pictures of elegant, lean women gliding flawlessly across the ice rink come to mind.
But for me, the thought of staggering across a solid, hard, wet surface with little control of my gigantic feet was not my idea of an ideal summer activity.
My one attempt at roller-skating when I was five ended with a broken bone and a full leg cast.
But as they say, if you fall off a horse, you need to get back on.
Well, 17 years later is not too bad.
My mother even farewelled me that morning with “break a leg”.
Stepping onto the ice as one of the first people to ice skate at the Shoalhaven Entertainment Centre, I was certain I would also be the first casualty.
Joining about 30 other keen skaters, we looked a gawkish bunch, as people of all ages stumbled around the edge of the rink, holding on to the barricade.
But just as a newborn foal learns to walk for the first time, soon the skaters, me included, had ventured from the edge.
That’s when the real fun started.
As everyone built their confidence, the speed increased, and it became a game of dodge the child.
The sound advice to “relax” and “stop looking down at my feet” from the more experienced skaters on the rink really came in handy, as did using them as a human shield.
There were plenty of laughs to be had and the top 40 pop soundtrack created a fun, holiday vibe as skaters worked up a sweat.
I did take one massive spill, which I managed as gracefully as I could.
But there were plenty of helping hands to get me on my skates again.
One little boy, who must have been no more than four, stopped to ask if I was alright.
I was glad that I faced my fears and came out of the ordeal relatively unscathed with bones intact.
Now I just need to work on not looking like such a numpty.