When I was a little kid, maybe about four years old, my dad took me down the street to a small frozen pond. He helped me lace up my first pair of used ice skates and put me on the ice. Before long I was skating confidently, feeling the cold Chicago wind rush past me as I glided around the pond with the hockey players and other ice skaters.
Every year, my dad and I would go to a frozen lake or pond and skate. When I was a little older, I took figure skating lessons to learn how to stop and push off for more speed. I enjoyed it so much that I continued moving up through the ice skating levels until I was learning different types of spins and jumps. I’ve never been an incredibly athletic person. I’m fairly short, so I don’t excel at sports like basketball and volleyball. But when I figure skated, it came naturally to me, and I could learn and advance quickly.
I grew up in the Chicago area, so cold weather was part of the deal for many months. It was nice to have an outdoor activity during the winter months. Here in Colorado, winter sports are definitely popular, but skiing and snowboarding reign supreme. I enjoy skiing as well, but for me ice skating is more fun. So, if sitting in traffic, driving up the mountains, and fighting the crowds at the resorts isn’t for you, ice skating can be a nice winter sport alternative. Also, it is quite a bit more affordable than skiing and snowboarding. To go skiing, for example, you need ski boots, skis, poles, a helmet, and goggles. The only equipment you need is hockey or figure skates, which can be purchased used, or rented for a small fee. And many rinks are free, unlike ski passes, which can be very costly.
In addition, ice skating provides a lot of health benefits. It is a great workout that improves muscular health, balance and coordination, and even mental health through exercise-induced endorphins. It is also a good source of cardiovascular activity. It may seem like a difficult sport to learn, but there are videos on YouTube to help you learn the basics, if you do not wish to take lessons.
While the weather is still cold, consider trying out ice skating to stay active and get outdoors! There are many beautiful ice rinks in Colorado to take advantage of! Here is a list of a few of them:
• The Downtown Denver Rink at Skyline Park (admission is free, skate rentals are $9 for kids and $11 for adults)
• The Evergreen Lake (admission and skate rental is $20)
• The Rink at Belmar (admission and skate rental is $10 for adults and $8 for kids)
• WinterSkate in historic downtown Louisville (admission and skate rental is $13)