While recently going through an old jewelry box I found a charm bracelet I hadn’t seen in years. On it were 2 skaters and 3 pairs of skates-figure, hockey, and inline.
I had forgotten that I had this bracelet and decided that it shouldn’t be relegated to a box but should be worn instead. My 5 year old daughter immediately noticed that I was wearing it, and as a multi-discipline skater herself, was excited by my “re-find.” We went through and identified each charm and when we finished she said “You really love skating Mommy.”
On any given day I may wear all three pairs of skates. Whether I am figure skating for myself, teaching an inline skater how to maximize their stride, or surrounded by 15 high school pungently smelling hockey players, at some point in the day there are some kind of skates on my feet.
A few weeks ago, in between skating lessons, I was running late to substitute teach for a lunchtime chair yoga class at a downtown law firm. To make matters worse I misjudged the proximity of the parking lot and class. With the lunchtime rush looming I would probably never find a closer parking spot and figured I better go on foot. With my yoga mat tucked under my arm I started to make a run for it but after 5 steps or so I remembered that there is always at least one pair of skates in the trunk. As the trunk popped open I was relieved to see that the pair inside were inline and not ice! I quickly put on my skates and tucked my yoga mat back under my arm and deftly maneuvered through the lunchtime crowd and made it to class just in time.
Since chair yoga is often for older folks or for those who may have difficulty sitting on the floor, I was surprised to see my class consisted of 30-50 somethings who did not looked at all physically compromised. They also had seemingly missed the memo in regard to wearing appropriate and comfortable attire to class and were all in their work clothes; panty hose, silk blouses, and all! On a less judgmental note, that’s the great thing about yoga- anytime, anywhere. Anyway…. It was just after 1pm when I finished teaching the class and as I skated the 15 or so blocks back to my car I began to reflect on the class, the office setting and the women awkwardly stretching in their business attire. With amount of grace city sidewalks will allow, I rolled passed all the full bellied and well dressed 9-5ers heading back to their offices. As I negotiated people and curbs I became lost in thought as to what it would be like to have to dress up in more then stretch pants and a pony tail and go to the office every day. Thoughts like this become more prevalent on days when I am running from one rink to the next living my life in 30-60 minute increments hoping that my lessons will show up and waiting (with no pay) when they don’t. Switching gears between skating styles, terminology, age appropriate verbiage, etc. Hockey. Figure. Yoga. Inline. Yoga. Inline. Hockey. Figure. Different everyday. Different every hour. On crazy days when my day is split up and I am in the car as much or more then I am actually teaching I often wonder what it would be like to be employed at the same place each day, to work regular hours, and to know what it would be like to receive a reliable paycheck (my husband often wonders this as well…).
The crowds thinned as I continued on my way still lost in the fantasy of the perfect job that I might be missing out on. Then suddenly, as clear as the streets had become, it came to me. Here I was in the middle of the afternoon with skates on my feet and a yoga mat tucked under my arm. I just might be on to something. As I made my way back to my car I couldn’t help but grin. All the years I skated for myself, all the education and exercise related college courses I have taken, the many skating and yoga trainings and workshops I have attended have given me the opportunity and experience to do what so many people wish they could do -make a life and living doing what they love the most. The paycheck may not be consistent or particularly big, but I am certainly leading a rich life full of freedom and fun.
As I look down at my bracelet I think of what my daughter said to me and what I should have said immediately back to her. “Yes, you are right honey, Mommy loves to skate!”