It became a fun thing for me and some friends to do - on our own, without parents - in high school, and so I bought a pair of ice skates sometime in my mid-to-late teens.
And I think once or twice in college I went ice skating.
But before Wednesday, I'm pretty sure it had been a good 10 to 15 years since I had stepped on an ice rink.
The occasion was a birthday party for a classmate of my oldest daughter, and my middle daughter was invited to skate as well.
The girls were given helmets, and crates to lean against and help them balance as they skated. It was interesting to see how young kids are taught to skate. I never learned. I was a somewhat reckless teen who kind of figured it out as I went. As a result I'm sorely lacking in certain skills...but I'll get to that later.
The act of skating wasn't new for me - it was the fact that I got on the ice with my girls that was such a big deal here. They can be somewhat cautious, my daughters, and are reluctant to try something that sounds like it might be way out of their realm of expertise. (Gee, I wonder where they get that from.) But given an impetus - like the good kind of peer pressure at a friend's birthday party - they expand their comfort zone a little bit.
The jury is still out on whether they'll agree to take lessons...but it was a successful start. They've now been on the ice, and I at least have some ground to stand on if I want to take them again. "Remember that time you had so much fun skating at the birthday party...?"
As for me, it was successful on that front too. I was never able to skate backwards, but after giving it some logical thought on Wednesday, I managed to glide in reverse a couple of times. I don't know how to come to a hard stop, but I managed to fake it well enough so I didn't have to go slamming into the boards like some of the 5-year-olds.
And of course, my biggest measuring stick of how I fared hasn't changed over the past however many years since I last stepped onto the ice: I didn't fall down once.