Spread 'em!

"Turn your hips out, open your legs, and lean back," he commanded, as I followed. "Relax, it'll only hurt if you..."

"Fall," he shook his head as I came crashing down on the ice.

"****," I muttered to the cold surface.

Skating was one of those strange things that I could do without trying. I remember being three years old, and being brought to the ice because one of my cousins would rather have her birthday party in a large, domed freezer instead of the local Chuckie Cheese's, that usually smelled somewhere between stale cheese and children's sneakers. I had no comprehension of how unforgiving the beautiful white surface would be. I walked out to the ice with the rest of the children and followed them out, only to find myself, within seconds, sliding down the ice on my behind. My mother came rushing to the boards, to find me (much to her surprise), laughing. I would do this five more times before she decided to take me to the rink counter to enquire about private lessons.

So there I was, thirteen years after my first initial encounter with the ice, still being humbled by its fickle nature. One minute, I was gliding effortlessly, and another, I was sliding on butt. My coach had chosen that particular session to pick apart the slow section of my routine. He didn't feel that I was "letting go" and skating without abandon.

"Spread 'em," he would tell me, as I would perform a spread eagle, a beautiful move that looked deceivingly simple. I would turn my hips out, so that I could spread my legs and point my toes in opposite directions. It was a majestic move, choreographed to be performed exactly at the climax of my music. At that moment, however, my eagle wasn't soaring.

As I got up from the ice, my coach rewound my music to the beginning of the section we were picking apart. I picked up speed for my favorite move in the entire program, the double axel, a jump I had worked all summer to master. I launched myself into the air, and two seconds later, as Aaron Copeland's Appalachian Spring reached a small crescendo, I came down, soft as a feather. Somewhere deep inside me, my inner child jumped up and down, screaming, "Yes!"

I stroked halfway around the rink as the music began building into a big crescendo. I skated backwards before turning my body halfway and positioning my left foot forward and turning out my hips. "Spread 'em," I could hear my coach saying in my head, as I comfortably placed my left foot on the ice, and leaned my back.

My coach was right about some things that day, and although he meant for his advice to apply to skating, I know most of it applied to situations I would later encounter in life, like situations in love.

In skating, like love, sometimes it is better if you just relax, and let things flow. Perfection comes, not when you're desperately seeking it, but when you just let it come.

And, just like love, the ice was fickle. As I sighed at the perfection of what I had created, my left skate buried itself into a rut, and I found myself, once again, falling.

bals081 bals081
26-30, M
2 Responses Apr 30, 2010

I agree with the other person lmao

When i read the first sentence i thought it was dirty... :P