Are you in IT and stressed out of your mind? Just skate it out.

Any recreational sport will do when it comes to alleviating stress (unless you choose alligator wrestling and then you realize you can’t swim) but if you ask me I am going to push you out on a sheet of slick ice wearing sharp metal blades for stress relief because THAT is living:)  If you are game, here are all the details (note: I am a computer programmer, not an ice skating pro – this is information I have learned over the years as a recreational ice skater and it might help you get started):

As an adult, avoid thinking you are too old, too set in your ways, too gorgeous, too skinny, too freaky looking or too overweight for ice skating fun. Professional ice skating coaches know what they are doing and these coaches are able to train focused and dedicated skaters using safe techniques that slowly build up to a solid skating skill set.

If you have no ice skating experience, and you really want to learn to ice skate, then keep reading! Ice skating is not only insanely fun but the ice skating community is comprised of wonderful and supportive folks no matter your skill level, age or size.  Like many other sports, ice skating can be very dangerous therefore proper planning, equipment and training are essential.

When you are ready for the ice:

Sign up for a beginner class, they are usually once a week for a few months (and then you should go one more time per week during the public session to practice what you are learning). Don’t freak out if you are the only adult in the class, just do it, you will be glad you did. Don’t expect too much too soon. Your skill set builds slowly (it seems to go faster for children, do not let this discourage you). Expect that you will fall so always stay in a safe position when skating (knees bent, chin up, shoulders square, back straight and slightly forward, arms out to each side and don’t look at the floor) so you have a chance at a safer landing should you fall as opposed to when your legs are straight and stiff which may lead to violent falls backward or forward with head injuries.

Falling is unsettling to say the least, especially if a fall results in substantial injuries.  If you fall, and nothing is broken, then get up immediately to avoid injuring others who may be near you or coming towards you and also as a way to shake off what just happened.

Don’t worry about having your own skates for the first class, just put on what they have at the rink.  If you find yourself looking forward to each class as the weeks go by then definitely invest in a pair of your own skates.  Your coach can give you advice on the best type of skates to purchase.  Back when I started I purchased a pair of skates at a local sporting goods store for $50.00.  Those got me through many years of beginner classes and when I moved up to fancier skates I passed the $50.00 skates onto another newbie, they were still in excellent condition (I am a figure skater, this advice may or may not not hold true for purchasing hockey skates).



Technology Dreaming: Singing to the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree

I do not sing.  I somehow just know that, if I ever attempted such a thing, a horrid aftermath of: babies crying, adults screaming while holding their ears, buildings crumbling, ground shaking and meteor strikes would ensue.  I am so confident of this in fact that I do not even try to sing when I am alone, at night, driving in my car.  It is too dangerous.  I know the sound that would emanate from my mouth would be bad enough to destroy the universe as we know it.

Walking around without the gift of song, for me, is OK.  I’ve never had a desire to sing so the world has been perfectly safe and I have been quite happy listening to others sing.  All of this changed however a few years ago when I was in New York City with my husband.  He had purchased the best Christmas gift for me:  a ticket for an afternoon of ice skating at Rockefeller Center with a small group of other skaters and Kristi Yamaguchi.  The ice skating event in itself was an unforgettable treat.  But the icing on the cake was seeing the Rockefeller Center Christmas tree, in person, for the first time.  WOW!  I saw it at night and I remember laughing to myself because for some reason my first impulse was to sing – definitely a feeling I had never had before.  Luckily for the universe, I did not sing.  But I do hope the powers that be at Rockefeller Center will place a live microphone near the tree this year for anyone that happens by and has the same powerful impulse to sing that I had.

Granted, this “technology dreaming idea” comes with substantial risk of one or more of the following occurring:

  • The microphone and all other necessary equipment are stolen and pawned within the first 20 minutes by a moody tall man wearing no shirt.
  • An over-the-top political activist hogs the microphone all day long so he or she can scream about all of the injustices of the world.
  • Someone who sings so badly that the sound halts traffic and causes car horns to stop functioning steps up to the microphone and belts out 49 songs before someone wearing earplugs is finally able to take them down with a potato sack over the head and a tackle.
  • An angry city puppy gnaws through the electronics, leaving frayed wires dangling in puddles of freshly melted snow for unsuspecting participants to get the shock of a lifetime.

I think the risk is worth it for those few who will show up and sing something that is as beautiful as the tree:)

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