Life On The Edge

Last winter, in the middle of a break with sanity, I decided that learning how to ice skate at my advanced age would be a good idea.

Then being the type of person who jumps in with both feet, I promptly bought a pair of skates and proceeded to terrify myself by actually getting on the ice.

Now I am in my second winter, starting to harbour some doubts that learning this skill might not be do-able in this lifetime.

Me. Skating. Sort of.

I was out skating today with some ladies from my Seniors’ Club and as I struggled to keep myself vertical, and therefore all bones intact, it occurred to me that skating can be seen as an allegory for life.

For example – as in skating, some days our goal in life is simply to stay upright. Grace and elegance be damned. It’s a major achievement to simply survive with as little damage as possible.

As in skating, sometimes in life we can be cruising along quite comfortably, enjoying the scenery along the way, and then without warning, hit a rough patch.

If we’re lucky, we may simply stumble but manage to regain our balance. However sometimes we fall – and it might not be pretty.

Colonel Samuel Smith skating trail – it was overcast, it was sunny, it was snowing … all in the span of one hour.

A fall can be minor and we are able to brush ourselves off and keep going. If we aren’t so lucky, we might need help to get back on our feet again … with our confidence taking a bruising that could be a long while before it fades.

Sometimes those bruises are literal and the memory doesn’t fade at all.

Life, like skating, often feels like a precarious balancing act on a thin blade. Some people excel at it, able to perfect graceful spins, turns, and leaps into the air.

They make life’s challenges look effortless.

Three amazing seniors making it look easy.

Others seem to never master the art of even a simple glide … just creeping along uncomfortably, terrified that getting hurt is only a breath away.

Thanks to my great friend, Helen, for this perfect gift!


  1. Joanne, I love this post and the clever analogy. The photo of the curvy skate trail makes it look like a great place to get out into nature. I spent way too much time in the deep south to ever have any hopes of learning to ice skate, and I blame this lifelong heat for making me such a cold-weather wimp. Also, if I skated in the middle of nowhere, I’d have to have medevac on speed dial. But I can believe that in your neck of the woods that having a few outdoor activities is a necessity. Even here in KY I’m prone to a bit of cabin fever, which my jogs can relieve. Again, great analogy and post. ~James

    Liked by 2 people

    • “I’d have to have medevac on speed dial” – hahaha! That’s not actually far from the truth 😆

      Being active outdoors in the cold with the right clothing isn’t as bad as it sounds. I have the opposite problem in the summer when it’s hot and humid. I’m a useless soggy mess 😉


  2. Hey, first of all that skating rink looks amazing and I would really like to go there someday, although it has no rails so I would fall all the time. Really liked your perspective on it and it was very interesting. Thank you for that.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks Margy – what I lack in talent, I try to compensate with great gear 😆

      I agree that skating around a rink gets pretty boring after about the 3rd circle. The trail is very nice but not as long as it looks. I do like the challenge though 🙂


  3. I used to figureskate as a child, and I still love skating even though I don’t own skates and have only skated twice in ten years (this year, with my three-year-old grandson!). I can no longer do the figure skating jumps and so on that I learned as a child; my balance isn’t good enough. I would like to try a skating path.

    As a child, I would have loved to learn to roller skate, but the small village that I lived in had next to no pavement. So I started learning to rollerblade in my mid forties. I was sensible and equipped myself with a helmet, wrist guards, and knee guards. Now I live in a very hilly area, so have not been rollerblading for several years, but I still have the rollerblades somewhere in a box.


    Liked by 2 people

    • I used to envy my friends who took skating lessons. Not only did my family lack the money while I was growing up, but I also lacked the basic grace and coordination 😉

      I don’t wear a helmet while skating, but opted for a ‘halo’ instead. They’re used in curling and I can wear it under my hat. I’m concerned about banging my head on the ice. I’ve had enough falls while cycling to appreciate the necessity for head protection.
      I have been considering wrist guards since my wrists are rather weak to begin with.


  4. I am impressed. Not sure why, but ice skating was always something that I could not master. Nor rollerskating. I finally succumbed to using one ice skate and thats the only way I can do it. But good for you for giving it a go Great photo of the three women, clearly having a blast.


    Liked by 2 people

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s