Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Ice Capades

You know how you have those brilliant days and then there are some days you just can't believe how miserable you can be. This year winter has been getting to me.

I realise that the stark scenery of winter is beautiful and I know that the secret to loving winter is staying active and doing some outdoor activities like skating sledding or skiing and I used to love to do all of those activities.

When I was in elementary school I went skating every single day after school for hours. I was so happy to go back and forth and if the snow was as high as the boards I would go as fast as I could and let myself fall in the snow. I would skate around the outdoor skating rink at the park backwards, doing spins and jumps fantasizing that I would someday be a figure skater convinced that I was an amazing and talented skater.

When I had kids skating became something I took them to do. My daughter played hockey for a few years and to practice her skating I would lug myself and the two kids and their gear to the arena to skate. By the time we walked there (about 20 minutes) with me carrying; my skates, my nine year old daughter's skates and my 3 year old son's skates and helmets too and got the kid's skates all laced up and  rushed through lacing up my own because the kids were hot and impatient sitting there with their helmets on. When we finally got on the ice I was all sweaty and shaky from the preparation it took to go skating and skating became alot less fun.

One of those fateful days I was holding my three year old son's hands skating backwards on borrowed hockey skates which I just wasn't used to because I usually skated on figure skates (for those of you who don't know the difference: hockey skates=no little ridges in the front and figure skates=little tiny spikes in front)  so I just kept on sliding backward and started falling forward. To save my little son from being crushed between myself and the ice I pushed him backwards a little bit and tried not to fall on him.

I almost made it except that by pushing him back he fell on his bum and my crotch landed with a resounding thump onto the blade of his skate. I fell so hard and it was sooooooo loud that combined with the echo of the arena the maintenance guy at the top of the steps in the arena heard it and came to check if I was okay. Once the stars cleared and the birds stopped chirping and my hearing came back I reassured the maintenance guy that I was fine.

I crawled off the ice, yes on all fours and told my son to do the same because he was crying at this point and just sitting where I'd left him on the ice. In the meantime I just lay on the side of the ice for a bit trying to reassure my son and daughter that everything was okay but that we'd have to go home now. Being a single mom with just my youth, strength and bravado to get up and go do things I had not planned for this kind of occurence financially because I never imagined that anything could happen to me so I had no means of transportation and no money.

I had just spent the last $3.50 or so that I had to take the children skating so I could not take a taxi OBVIOUSLY and couldn't even afford the city bus to get home so I had to walk home feeling very green and weak with my fully loaded bag of equipment. Needless to say it was a long way home and the bruise that I had on my private part lasted for months. The bruise was like nothing I had ever seen before. It was not blue or green or yellowish in color or even a deep purple it was actually BLACK PITCH BLACK. It looked like a large rotting potato was growing there and was about to disintegrate and fall off my body!

My son is now thirteen and ever since that day if ever I lift something heavy or do too much gardening it swells up. When I finally went to see a doctor about it a few years later he told me that not resting right away or getting treated right away caused a hernia and that from now on and for the rest of my life I would have to be careful not to lift heavy things, etc. I still cringe and grimace a lot when I think of that moment in time when I landed on the blade. OUUUUUUUUCH!

Since that day I was afraid to skate and consequently my son doesn't know how to skate.  I never ever took him again! About two years ago I went skating with my partner to get back into the swing of it before I take my son on another skating trip. I thought I used to love skating so much I should try again so I can impart that love to my son as well as my daughter who is already hooked.

But after my most recent "Icecapade" I ended up spending about seven hours in a clinic to make sure I didn't have a concussion (because I had one before and was told that I almost died because I didn't consult the last time when a sewing machine fell on my head)  because I fell backwards and my head hit the ice so hard that my partner S told me that I passed out for a few seconds and that when I opened my eyes they weren't looking straight anymore. So my skating adventures are postponed for now.

I used to love skiing as well and I am sure that I still would but I just don't have the opportunity to do so. I've never hurt myself skiing the problem is more about finances. I am no longer a single mom and I do have more money than I did before but it is still unattainablefor us.

I am turning around the pot here because I have to admit that I feel like I am giving my self bad "money karma" when I admit that I can't afford it. I feel like you should never admit that you can't afford something because it's like giving up on the idea that it would ever be a possibility.

If I could afford to go skiing in the very near future, I don't have any equipment anymore. My son dropped the ski boots I have been lugging around for 20 yrs and one of my bindings broke. I'd also have to get there and that would mean that I would have to have a functional registered vehicle at my disposal which is easy but the "at my disposal" is the hard part.

I calculated: total cost to ski for a day or evening about 30 bucks then for equipment rental about 30 bucks gas to and from hill 30 bucks so who has 100$ to spend in a day just for yourself that doesn't involve a new wardrobe (which is about 10 years overdue for me)? Also I have a partner and 4 kids if I talk one or two of them out of coming or paying for themselves at least for the ski pass it would still come to a grand total for 4 of us let's say count it baby 1 day of skiing 300$ not so bad you can do that!!!!???????????? WHAT???????????? It used to cost me just as much to go to Maine for the week with all the kids and we are sitting on a beach baby. Ofcourse that was before passports became mandatory which costs as much as the trip to Maine so no more beautiful Maine for us.

Sometimes when it's still early enough in the morning to be dark enough for the Christmas lights to glow and there is a new dusting of snow I actually feel my heart swell a little bit at the beauty. But on that same day I may wait on the platform for the commuter train to arrive for over an hour. I have to put my hands on my cheeks because when it's -14C with the wind chill bringing the temperature down to something that resembles -30 the wind smacking my cheeks is like a bunch of little pin pricks with a fat thumb tack.

During these lovely times I am envisioning going to the hospital and having pieces cut off of my frostbitten thighs.When the train finally does arrive it has no heating and takes an hour and a half  rather than an fifty minutes to get into the city and by the time I get to work I am a half hour late and my teeth won't stop chattering...

For all of these winter wonderland times I just want to say:  "I HATE WINTER!"

"I hate dirty salt from the streets on my clothes" 

"I hate wearing boots!"

"I hate carrying hats and mitts around let alone putting them on"


"I hate slippery sidewalks"

 "I hate gross wet buses, trains and metro stations with everyone's snotty boot gunk"

"I hate the smell of wet hats and mitts mixed with sweat on those buses, trains and metros"

I hate it I hate it I hate it... but I know that's not really true I know it all depends how you look at it and I must not have the right angle. Maybe I should go sledding?


  1. Ouch that sounds really awful and humiliating. I hope you've healed!

    Thanks for letting me know that the link didn't work. I have fixed it now. Let me know if you can't get it again!


  2. I hate winter too. We tried to ski at Mont-Ste-Anne on Sunday but at -30 it was just too cold. We were supposed to stay until Tuesday - we packed up and came home on Monday.

    I hate carrying hats and mitts around so much that I have opted for potential frostbite instead. Luckily for me, I drive to work.