Unexpected Roads, ummm, Ice

It is funny how something so benign can change the course of our lives. Something so ordinary that you might easily have missed it. But when we look back at wonderful events, friendships, and even mishaps we can identify something. Some little thing that we did not think twice about. A fleeting moment that you made a decision and things changed. I could list more than a few here. But one event is in the front of my mind as I write this.

My daughter began her ice-skating journey in January. Ten short months ago the ice was not even on our Rader. We received a free skate rental in a coupon book. In fact, when I saw it, I thought we likely will not use that. (I cannot stand on roller skates…. I was not about to try the ice). The rink is also an hour away. I must hold on to coupons until they reach their date of expression. In this case I am happy I did.

My adventures daughter wanted to try it and she did. The skates that she rented left her feet some and scarred. I took one look at her feet and thought I she will not want to do that again. I was happy she had the experience but did not give it a second thought. She happened to grab a flier while she was there, however. The rink was having 6-week lessons and she was interested. We said okay and bought her secondhand skates. She went to the first 2 weeks and loved it. She began to ask to go every day. So, we made our way (an hour away) four days a week. At the end of her 6 weeks she passed level one and skipped level two!                                                                                                                                                COVID gave us an unexpected break from the ice. It happened to be one of the things she missed the most. We used the break to watch other skaters, discuss her goals and make plans to work toward them. We found some unexpected school lessons as well. We discussed how they keep the ice, ice. We learned why the blades are shaped the way that they are and the science behind the movements. We read about the history of ice skating and how it has grown. We watched videos of ice skaters and she developed her own style. We spent hours looking at outfits and planning to make our own. She keeps a journal of where she is and where she wants to be. She reviews her progress and sets higher goals.  Her break from the ice did not cool her passion for it. In fact, it was contagious, and I fell in love as well. (I still cannot stand on the ice)

The ice has brought people into our lives that we never would have met otherwise. The parents (and grandparents) are vastly different and interesting.  I have met some amazing kiddos. Some have become friends to my daughter, and some have taken her under their wing and fanned her passion. All have won my heart. I have met a spunky older Canadian woman who used to play hockey. She colors my wait time with colorful stories and a contagious giggle. We have also been gifted with a coach who has found the perfect balance of pushing and encouraging my strong-willed girl. Her love of these kids and her passion for the sport are inspiring.

Two weeks ago, she was able to pass her level and will move to the next. Last weekend she competed in her first competition and placed first in both of her events! We enjoyed her hard work all week. She is discussing her next goals and forming a plan to meet and exceed them. She has found something that challenges her soul and compels her to grow past her current abilities. I cannot put into words how proud I am of her and how hard she has worked. I am in complete awe the drive she has when it comes to the ice. She has improved on the ice, but she has improved off the ice as well. And to think our lives were changed by a coupon.

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