Sunday, January 31, 2016

SHE's BACK ON THE BLADES

For those of you that are new to this silly little electronic journal, I use to figure skate. I’d like to think that my parents kept me so heavily involved because of the sheer raw talent I possessed but that would be a lie. They kept me at the rink and on the road as much as possible, so that I had absolutely no time to focus on boys and dating. You see, my mother had a deep seeded fear that I’d get pregnant. I remember she use to always say to me, “you know Rhondi, once you start doing that (meaning sex) it's not like you’re just able to stop...” Guess what, she was absolutely correct!!

My skating carnival character 'Cookie'
(Appearing in Bracebridge Herald Gazette)
TAKEN: APRIL 1982
As I sit here giggling, I couldn't help but reminisce yesterday as I decided to once again lace up my skates for a Fire & Ice Festival we were having in my wonderful little town. Rummaging through our storage to locate my custom made John Knebli skates, I was trying to remember exactly when the last time was I had laced them up.

I decided that it had to of been one of Jukeboxes’ February birthday parties. If I had to venture a guess, I would say it’d been a little over a decade ago. I could still jump and spin back then but I fear those days are gone. No worries. Because at the end of the day, I am all about life experiences right now and the fact that I wanted to at least try and skate's considered a feather in my proverbial skating cap.

When I was growing up, figure skating and hockey were something that everybody had the opportunity to participate in. I'm not minimizing the expense but it could generally be handled by a one income household. Now, parents almost need to sell a  less talented offspring, as well as a viable organ on the black market, to see the amount of ice time and year round training I received. That said, I always knew from a very young age that I was on a journey my mother never had the chance to take.

The last time I skated, I mean seriously competed, was at an audition for the Ice Capades at Maple Leaf Gardens. We hit the dressing rooms after the show, then officially hit the ice close to midnight. Again, it was my mother that had discovered the opportunity for me and she bullied my oldest brother in to putting us up in the city, coming to the show, then driving us back to Muskoka in the wee hours of that Saturday morning.

After my skate that night, I was offered the ability to apply to appear with their second tier show that toured smaller cities across Canada and the US. All I'll say, is that my skate at Maple Lead Gardens was the last time I truly skated. I gave it up cold turkey about a week later and never looked back. I had finished high school and was working full-time to save. Let's just say the years of being a rink rat had run their course.

I vividly remember that time and the moment I decided to pack my skate bag up for good. I suspect if my mother were alive, she'd attribute the extremely bad decision I'd made to stop figure skating, to all the really great sex I'd ultimately yet to discover. For those of you reading that knew her, you know first hand that she was never wrong.

Peeps, relax. Thirty plus year later, ya most definitely just gotta laugh about it!