Learning to balance on eight wheels sounds difficult to a first-timer but it really wasn't. My older brother and I were roller-skating together since I was five, both outside and inside of the apartment project. After learning to travel over stones and bumpy concrete outside and rarely falling, my need for Iodine and bandages became less and less over the years. Indoor skating was different though. As we rolled through the hallways of the apartment, mom and dad would pretty much start screaming but what was a couple of young boys supposed to do when there is all that open floor tile and linoleum?
My first set of skates was the ones with straps and clamps on the front. They would grab around my sneakers and I had to tighten the clamps up with the skate key. At times, the skates would slip off because kids are always in a hurry and the science of these moving platforms was just too simple.
"Lace them up tight" my father said sternly to my brother and I.
"You boys don't want to get hurt."
I followed my father and brother unto the ice and found this to be a totally different experience then roller-skating. Regardless of me holding on to the support areas on the sides, I still found a way to fall on my butt. Not only was I cold but now my knees, gloves and butt were wet. This was not enjoyable. My father patiently stood next to me as I pulled myself together. It was difficult to stand and keep the blades perpendicular to the ground but I forced them to straighten out.
My father and brother re-tightened my laces, gave me pointers and encouraged me as much as possible but my ankle was not listening. I was in too much pain. After one more try, I sat gloomily and watched my brother and father while they moved around the rink with increasing agility.
Next weekend, I returned to the rink with thicker socks for support but it made no difference. Once we returned home, that was the end of my illustrious career as an ice-skater.
To be continued .......