Despite my Wisconsin upbringing, I've never been much of a skater. Maybe it was because we lived in the country and the nearest water was the Wisconsin River (which froze in some places) and there was, I think I remember, a rink in town, but it wasn't an Altenburg Thing to Do I suppose. I never felt it was anything out of the ordinary until my city-bred friends were astounded that I had gotten to my fourth decade and didn't really know how to skate. Being a child of the 70s I do (well, did) know how to roller skate but it's not quite the same thing, is it?
I went out out to Wollman Rink in Central Park a few winters ago with friends from the Gay Men's Chorus - it was an afternoon where men skated arm in arm and one of the Chorus' drag queens gave a good show to all the families unsure of what to do with this sudden turn of events. I was pretty happy with my progress but I didn't follow it up.
These days every morning I go to work I pass by the 30 Rock ice rink. The other morning I watched with great interest the Zamboni machine work it's magic and another morning, I saw this, a crowd already gathered at a time when humans should barely be awake much less out and skating (and I'm just talking 9am).
It occurs to me that one can go through life and merely watch it happen or one can step into one's own life and participate. I think I'm pretty good at participating but I've still not gone skating more than that one time at Wollman Rink and while 30 Rock may be a little too touristy for me to actually skate at (sometimes the line is worse than a ride at the Disney parks), the opportunity sits and stares at me every day and says 'if not now, when?"
So I challenge you to this - in the next week identify that thing that you've been putting off doing. It doesn't have to be anything as dramatic as skydiving or getting a tattoo, but if you've always wanted to skate, get outu and skate even if it's just to fall on your ass but know that you tried. Try a new dish at your favorite restaurant or submit a story to the New Yorker (these are things I'm telling myself to do btw) .. but don't wait to long.. because eventually, the ice will .. well, it'll melt and then you've missed the opportunity.
And of course, if you do that thing that you've always wanted to do, write to me and tell me what it is, because I'd love to hear your skating stories..