Have you ever skated on a lake? I didn’t think I had, but apparently I had (according to my mum) when I was very little in Germany. She said that it’s where I learned to skate. But it’s been around 30 years since then, and Cedar Lake looked so very tempting with it’s beautiful groomed path around the rim, so I recently decided to give it another go.
And whilst I was outwardly breezily laissez-fare about the whole thing, it wasn’t until I got to the lake that I realized that maybe the whole idea of stepping out onto a frozen lake which could be, possibly, potentially, a definite chance of it being unfrozen in certain points, was perhaps a teensy incy wincy bit (well, maybe a lot) scary.
Random thoughts began to flash through my mind. Hearing a crack, or maybe not hearing anything, and sliding straight into the inky freezing waters before any of those ice fisherman 300 yards away even saw me attempt to frantically wave my hands. Does a responsible mother endanger her life and risk never seeing her daughter again? How cold is it really? There’s no way I could tread water with skates on. Why had I sent my husband and daughter off to Wholefoods for a WHOLE HOUR while I skated ALONE on this lake?
This is what the ice looked like.
There were all these fantastic fissures, cracks and scratches on the surface. And then you could see different ones below that, on other frozen planes. It was quite beautiful, despite looking uncertainly solid. Then there were the drilled holes where the ice fishermen had bored through the ice – which meant, yes, I had to watch out where I was going!! No looking around at the scenery or up at a flock of birds unless I had absolutely stopped. To make things more interesting you could hear all the water glugging beneath the frozen-ness. Unnerving? Uh-huh. Plus it was nowhere near an uber-groomed indoor ice rink either. It was bumpy and lumpy and you could see where the water had frozen with the tide. This is a good idea, I kept on telling myself, really it is!
This is how I looked:
(You can’t see the glint of semi-terror in my eyes!)
This is what I saw when I looked down:
And when I looked around, this is what I was actually skating on:
So, what happened? I loved it. I didn’t fall over, once! (But did almost fall over a couple of times.) I got over my irrational fear of being swallowed up by the lake and went all the way around it; skimming the thick ice enjoying the slick noises my skates made, breathing in the fresh air and getting up close to peer at the fancy houses on the far side of the lake that you never get to look at otherwise!
It was a gentle reminder for me to get out there more. Not just outside, but to put myself in situations out of my comfort zone and do things outside of things just with my daughter. Being a mum is a huge part of who I am, but I have to keep finding things that keep me happy outside of motherhood too.
It makes me a happier mama. More inspired, more fulfilled. And most importantly moving forward, on THICK ice!