It is important for everyone to have hobbies, no matter how old you are or what the hobby is. Hobbies are one of many ways to express yourself and grow in creativity. Some of my hobbies include tennis, drawing, home decor, dancing, playing piano, and I recently added ice skating to my repertoire!
For the past eight weeks I have been taking an ice skating class once a week. It’s through the city of Boise parks and recreation department, so many people of all different ages signed up. Back in December when I signed up, I needed to pick my skill level, from one to six. Obviously I was just starting out, so I signed up for level one ice skating. Every Tuesday I drove to the local ice rink and started practice for level one with one other girl around my age. The class as a whole is probably twenty people but during the actual lesson we group off into our respective skill levels. Like I said, level one was just me and one other person, but there were a lot more people in higher up skill levels, especially level four.
In level one, I learned how to properly lace up shoes, properly fall on the ice without injuring myself, stop, march (walking on ice), a two foot glide (which is just coasting on the ice), a rocking horse (rocking on your skates forwards and backwards), forward slalom and backward slalom (moving in a zig-zag motion), and forward and backward swizzle (imagine moving your feet between cones on the ice). From lesson one all the way to the last day of practice, learning how to stop on skates has been the most challenging aspect for me. I finally got consistent, but it took all eight weeks… practice and persistence makes perfect, I guess!
About week four I could tell I was improving in my technique, and I could tell my legs were getting stronger. It was a really satisfying feeling knowing that I am getting stronger and in shape and also getting better at something I’ve always enjoyed! I looked forward to Tuesdays knowing I would spend forty minutes or so skating with other people who enjoyed it too.
The community of skaters I got to know is super supportive and fun to be around. Everyone was having a blast, and everyone supported each other, no matter what their skill level is. There was no sense of competition, which made it easier for me to get comfortable and confident in my own abilities, especially starting off as a beginner. I admit, in the beginning it was intimidating seeing the advanced skaters glide gracefully and effortlessly across the ice, doing things and maneuvers that I could only dream of doing. As the weeks went on however, I got to know their stories. Some have been skating since they were little, but others picked it up as an adult like me. It was encouraging to know that no matter how old you are, it’s not too late to learn a new skill or pick up a new hobby.
If you are in a position where you’re thinking of taking on a new challenge, learning a new skill, or taking up a new hobby, my advice is this: go for it! Especially if you have a community of people surrounding you who will encourage and motivate you. For me, that’s my husband and family. Taylor especially played a big role in motivating me to sign up for skating lessons. He even came to the last lesson this week so he could see my progress! Hobbies are a wonderful tool to keep you active or to strengthen your brain. You will feel better about yourself and your new abilities with practice, motivation, encouragement, and consistency!