I found myself watching the Winter Olympics quite a bit this year.  Maybe because it’s been so snowy here in the northeast, or because I’ve been invigorated by our winter hikes, or because I spend too much time in bars with TVs and there’s no baseball on yet.  For two weeks I was mesmerized by obscure sports like curling and biathlon, held my breath watching ski jumps, and was (surprisingly) floored by figure skating.  Historically I’ve not found watching figure skating all that interesting, with its tinny soundtracks and theatricality.  But this time I focused on the skates.  Wow.  It dawned on me that the costumes and music are just a bit of watch-the-birdy, when the real action is where blade meets ice.

So when Michelle took the day off to go skating at Sky Rink, I invited myself along, hoping to (albeit awkwardly) experience some of that same exhilaration of being out on the ice.  The weather played along, and despite 8+ inches of snow I easily made my way to Chelsea Piers, thanks to the MTA.  It was my first visit to the “new” Sky Rink — as a kid I’d been to the original location on W. 33rd Street, and remember the novelty of skating 16 floors above the street.  The old Sky Rink closed in the 1990s, and was reincarnated much closer to the ground at the sprawling Chelsea Piers Sports Complex shortly afterwards.

I laced up my ill-fitting rental skates and stepped gingerly on to the smooth surface.  Michelle patiently guided me through the basics, and soon I had mastered enough to take off on my own, slowly circling around the rink.  It was tough on my legs, still recovering from kettlebell the night before, but I got enough out of my few spins around to be satisfied, and happily watched Michelle zip around the rink and really enjoy herself.

With the close of the winter games I’m ready for Spring, but a Friday afternoon at Sky Rink was a great way to end the season.

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