Try it with Tabby: Ice skating — from wall to win in 35 minutes

“Try it with Tabby” is a weekly article chronicling the adventures of Tabitha Bower as she searches for out-of-the-ordinary and budget-friendly activities for Boise State students.

With winter quickly approaching, it seems only natural to start trying out winter activities. I have never been very good friends with the cold weather elements, namely snow and ice. As a person who can manage to trip up the stairs and slide on a hardwood floor, adding the extra slip element to any activity usually proves to be dangerous, bordering on fatal.

So this week for “Try it with Tabby” I decided to take to the ice and give skating a try, partially for the fun element, but mainly to prove if I can do it, so can anyone. After many failed attempts to hit the rink, including holiday schedule blunders and illness, I finally found my way to Idaho Ice World.

Walking in I felt a sense of excitement, until I saw the ice and skates. All at once I was thrown back into childhood memories of falls on the cold, hard ice. My hands shook and I contemplated quitting while lacing my skates, but after some necessary pep talks I decided to follow through.

Point one: walking in ice skates is not an easy task—in fact it is downright awkward. Point two: once the skates hit the ice, it is ten times worse than the floor skate walking. My initial reaction was to freeze. I grabbed the wall as my skates met the frozen floor and refused to either release my death grip or move my feet. Children who looked too young to even walk skated by me with ease and grace, as I stood paralyzed by my own fear.

Eventually though, I came to the conclusion it was time to remove myself from the wall and graduated to using the arms of anyone around me to hold myself up. At one point I event tried to steal a child’s skate assist mechanism. He was not impressed.

As I began moving, or more or less being pulled by others, my helpful coach insisted I loosen up, bend my knees and, well, actually move. Once I took this advice I was somewhat able to maneuver my way around the ice with only a few hiccups, which included inability to steer or stop.

After about ten loops around the rink I began feeling like a pro, and even tried my hand at some tricks (and by tricks I simply mean lifting one foot an impressive four inches off of the ice while singing, “I’m an Olympic Gold medalist, I win!”). While my figure skating tricks developed quickly, my attempts at backwards skating fell flat, literally.

In the end I walked out feeling accomplished, excited to go back again without the debilitating anxiety, and proud of myself for actually letting go of the wall.

Lesson for the week—let go of the wall, and never be afraid to fall.

About the author  ⁄ Tabitha Bower

Tabitha Bower

Tabitha Bower is currently the Editor-in-Chief of The Arbiter. She became involved with The Arbiter after taking a News Writing class, and began by writing for both the News and Features sections as a journalist for one semester before taking a position as the Arts and Entertainment section editor. She is double majoring in English with a writing emphasis and communication with a journalism emphasis. After college she dreams of being employed in the field of journalism, traveling the world and instructing hot yoga. Tabitha is originally from a small tourist town on the coast of Maine, but has lived in multiple areas of New England, Florida, Hawaii and Okinawa, Japan. She once spent a year backpacking, scuba diving, surfing and basking in a hammock with a drink in Southeast Asia. She also has the talent of juggling school, work, looking fabulous and being super mom to her three-year-old son, Aiden.