Summer and the Closing of an Ice Rink
By Katherine Ruch
I would be the first to admit that I have a love hate relationship with ice skating. It really seems to depend on the time of year. Summer means a bunch of different things to different people. Most associate the summer with the kids being out of school, family vacations and rising temperatures. Lots of people enjoy the slower pace of summer while others are counting down the days till the kids go back to school so that things can go back to life as “usual.” I hate to admit it, but I am one of those people. It’s not that I have anything against summer, it really just says more about the fact that my life pretty much revolves around ice skating.
The concept of summer has changed a great deal for me since I was a kid. I used to long for the day when I could have a couple months off without having to worry about school. I could do all the things I dreamed of doing and had what seemed like endless stretches of time to fit it all in. Ever since I became involved with ice skating, I have begun to associate the climbing temperatures with the annual season closing of the rink.
Everyone knows that you always want what you can’t have. I find that a great majority of my time during the summer is taken up by skating and yes I know that sounds hypocritical since I just mentioned the fact that the rink is closed. While I’m not spending hours on the ice each day during the summer months, that doesn’t stop me from thinking about skating almost all of the time, even while I’m asleep.
While I am working at that pesky part time job, I can also be found figuring out the logistics of what it looks like to keep skating during the summer. The questions that often swirl in my head involve: “where to go skating next and when? Who can I talk into taking a few lessons during the summer? Are there any conferences, seminars and competitions that I want to go to either for my own skating or to help with my coaching endeavors?” The most looming question of all has been “what possessed me to want to enter a competition during the off season and how am I ever going to get in enough practice time?”
For those of you whose rinks don’t close during the summer, consider yourself very lucky. It is quite common when the pools open for ice rinks to just close up shop for awhile. Most don’t want to go skating when they can go to the pool. If your rink is open, try to get in as much practice time as you can this summer. If your rink is not open, don’t let that discourage you. If you are a skater, talk to the other skaters or your coach about carpooling somewhere to get some ice time in. If you are a coach, round up those students and take trips to other rinks. As somebody who has skated at lots of other rinks over a number of years, it is not nearly as scary as it may seem to go skate somewhere else for a couple of hours. While each rink has its own set of unwritten rules, one thing holds true and that is that there are people everywhere who love skating. That is something that will hopefully never change!