This week my paper did a feature story on people learning to ice skate at the local rink. I thought it was appropriate to write a column about the subject.
*Once again, kudos if you get the reference in the title.
As a native Chicagoan, it’s probably fair to say I’m more acclimated to winter, and everything that comes with it, than most people. That’s why I was shocked, offended even, to learn that many of my co-workers and neighbors have little to no interest in hockey and even worse, legitimate fears of ice skating.
The sports staff at the Mercury has made its indifference to hockey known on several occasions, so I won’t bother with those poor, lost individuals. However, I was more surprised to find that ice skating brings about anxiety in several Mercury staff members.
During the weekly meeting, our editor Bill Felber suggested an ice-skating story to reporter Paul Harris. Harris was open to the idea but made it known that he and ice skating don’t mix. He noted that the ice is hard and when he inevitably falls, he must also worry about a hand being sliced by and errant skate.
It was a little dramatic.
News editor Javier Gonzalez and reporter Bryan Richardson, two Houstonians, also admitted wariness toward ice skating. Richardson bragged that, at the very least, he could avoid falling (so long as he goes no faster than a snail’s pace around the rink), while Gonzalez seemed to want nothing to do with frozen sheets of water.
This was all strange to me having grown up in the suburbs of Chicago where high schools have hockey teams and every other town has an ice rink, including my high school and my home town. I learned to skate at a very early age, such an early age that I had to call my mother to get an approximation.