My New Skates

Reminiscing about my goalie skates, I was thinking back to when I received my first pair. I must have been 10 years old. Was it Christmas or my birthday? I remember they were black with white laces and the shiny silver blades gleaming. I was so happy, and they were also my first brand new skates. Before that, I wore my older brothers hand me downs player skates. I started skating at 1 ½ years old. I grew up in Northern Canada, where it snowed from September to June, some years. So skating was a second nature, where there is snow there is ice and lots of it.


I started playing goalie at 3 years old, following my father’s footsteps, wearing players skates until age 10. I don’t recall it being a huge transition, nothing memorable. I don’t recall falling all the time or anything significant. Why I am telling you this because I decided to start skating again. I have goalies’ skates and have played with them, but they weren’t the best for skating the rink. Last week I got a player’s skates. They are black like my first brand new pair of goalie skates, with white laces and the silver blades gleaming just like my first pair of new goalie skates. 


I headed to Wesley Chapel, Florida to the ice rink, to see how they felt. Me being confident in my skating ability, as I should be, and having worn player skates, I stepped on the ice. Hands in my windbreaker pockets I glided around the rink. I went round and round the rink, zig zagging around the 200 kids. It seemed like that many pushing their trainers, maybe it was 100, probably 50. I was skating precisely beautifully one might say, until I wasn’t. Hands still in my pockets all 6’8” on skates went down. My only thoughts were don’t smash your face. Having played for so many years and never losing a tooth I didn’t want to start now. My shoulder took the impact with my hands still in my jacket pockets. Embarrassment on my face, my cheeks red. Maybe I could blame it on the cold ice. Maybe no one noticed. Like a tree falling in in the forest, except I was not in a forest, I was on the ice.


Players skate’s blades are rockered in shape. They are designed for the players to go fast. Goaltender skates are flat and smooth. A point that I had clearly forgotten.

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