There was a time in my childhood when all the other kids in the neighborhood were learning how to rollerblade except me. So I never learned how to skate and I didn’t think I’d ever will until I saw this deal on a group-buying site that offered an all-day pass for ice skating at SM Mall of Asia.
One day unlimited ice skating is worth PHP 390, thanks to the deal we only paid PHP 220, inclusive of ice skates and helmet (optional) rental. We used our vouchers last Saturday, September 8. I went with three of my office mates, Ni, Rhoda, and Alchris. Upon entering, we were stamped on our inner wrists.
You don’t want to end up on your ass because you’re wearing the wrong skates. So before proceeding to the boots rental booth, you need to check out the shoe size indicator first. I learned that figure skates sizes are slightly bigger than the regular shoe sizes. My shoe size is 6 but for the skates I had to get a 5.
After taking your size, you can now claim your figure skates from their boots rental booth. As with your things, you can leave them in their locker room for only 30 bucks.
While changing to my figure skates, I noticed that the insides of the boots were wet. They also reeked of sweat and filth and the metal blades were rusty. Even so, they still work. I thought it’d be hard to stand with those skates so I was surprised when I was able to stand up with no strain. Hold on… I’m talking about standing on the rubberized floor of the waiting area. It was a different story when we finally went to the ice rink.
Taking the first few steps was the hardest. The frozen floor was so slippery Ni, Alchris, and I spent a good half hour struggling to maintain our balance at the edge of the rink. I held on for dear life as I blocked all thoughts and focused my energy to the task at hand. There was a moment when I thought I’d never leave the side of the rink, berating myself for even considering to try this sport. But I didn’t want to act like a wimp so I kept it all to myself and forced myself to relax. I also tried my best to not get distracted by the other skaters (some were several years my junior) who seemed to be having a real blast sliding around the rink.
When I saw Ni leaving the side of the rink I mustered all courage to follow suit. I told myself, there was no way I’d go home without learning how to skate. I didn’t leave the edge on my own though, Rhoda was kind enough to guide me through it.
Rhoda was the only one who could skate decently as it was her fourth time to do this. Since she was the only one who could hold her own, she took the liberty documenting via her camera our life-threatening (more like shameful) ice skating attempts.
Rhoda advised us to take little steps, starting with the left foot then right foot. And so the mantra in my head begins, “left foot right foot, left, right, left right.” It may sound funny, but I swear to you it worked. At first I wasn’t making much progress. Imagine a kid learning to walk for the first time; slow, awkward, and ridiculous. Now imagine me doing this amidst a good number of people who could skate so well, they were practically a blur whenever they sped by.
I was naturally scared. I knew I looked like an idiot barely moving on the cold slippery surface, but I couldn’t care less as I was busy trying to keep myself alive. While at it, I observed and took pointers from the movements of other skaters and mimicked them in my own pathetic way. In my attempts, I couldn’t count on my fingers the times I almost hit the ground, but thankfully I always managed to regain my balance.
In our group, everybody knew how to rollerblade but me. You think I’m the one who had the most difficult time on the rink? Wrong! It was Alchris. He was so scared he wanted to leave the rink the moment he stepped on the ice. There was even this one moment when he and Rhoda slumped together on the ground. He also left the rink early and no amount of convincing was able to drag him back on the rink. Oh well, I guess ice skating is not for everyone.
Eventually, Ni and I were able to go off on our own with little assistance albeit we were noticeably slower than the rest. We reached as far as the other side of the rink and even witnessed the falling of snow… Oh yeah about that, a closer look revealed that the snow was not made of ice but of foam… bummer!
To me, ice skating is a lot like surfing; you need balance, a dose of patience, and willingness to face your fear. It may seem too hard at first but once you give it a try, you will find that it is doable and quite enjoyable.
Ni said that becoming a figure skater was one of her dreams, which I think explains her determination to do well. I on the other hand, have no plans to be a professional figure skater, but I sure don’t mind learning more about this sport. I want to be able to dance on ice, glide with no fear, take longer strokes, spin, and do other wow-inducing tricks on the rink. Now that I thought of it, I think it’s not yet too late to add ice skating in my list of skills. What about you, have you tried ice skating?
SM Skating Rink
Main Mall, Ground Level
Ocean Drive Side
SM Mall of Asia, Pasay City
Telephone no.: (02) 556-0469 to 71