Here is how I knew my legs were still attached to my body when I got out of bed Sunday morning — they hurt like hell.
I worked hard the day before on the Lockport Y-10 course. It wasn’t just about how hard I worked, but the challenge of the hills, the weather conditions and the slippery footing. Every part of my legs whined with soreness. So I did the only logical thing.
I went ice skating.
My new home is about a mile from a fantastic park. I heard rumors about an outdoor ice pad and on one of my runs last week I discovered it was true, noticing it as park employees were shoveling off the rink. There was no way I was running today. A light bike spin would have been good and a yoga session would have been excellent. But what I really wanted to do was check out this ice skating pad. So I layered up, grabbed my skates and took off to take a looksee. (Confession: I didn’t need to grab my skates. They live in my car. Because, well, you never know, right?)
I was the first car in the parking lot and discovered not one but two ice pads — one reserved for hockey and one for family skating. I laced up my skates and promptly fell twice on snow-covered ice as I made my way from the bench to the rink. The ice was pretty clear despite a light snow that was falling. It was a bit choppy in parts, no doubt the result of refreezing after a brief respite from polar vortex temperatures. But overall, it was in good shape. As I started to skate, my legs felt better, enjoying the movement and change of pace.
An SUV full of young boys arrived with their dad chaperone. They shared the ice with various degrees of skating ability and at one point were more interested in crashing into the snow banks. Hockey players started arriving at the second pad and soon the occasional ping of a shot off the goal post provided my skating soundtrack.
Before I knew it, I was an hour into skating around in circles on the outdoor frozen pad. My legs were a tad less sore but more than that, my spirit was smiling. Because I was home.
I will always have my family home, the ancestral structure of the Mothership where I grew up, learned and occasional beat up my little brother. But home is a place you create. It’s a place where you can embrace your passion or curl up for recovery. It’s a place where you dream and fuel and plan and change the plan. Home is the place of possibility.
And it helps when it comes with an outdoor ice rink.