I’d venture that virtually every avid adult skater has ideas about improv-
ing adult skating, skating culture more generally, and the contexts in
which skating happens. A privilege of writing this book is to offer some
of mine.
Spread the Love
Gliding is heavenly; skating is like sex or it isn’t. Whatever grabs you
about the act of skating itself, enjoying it depends on the other people
around. At every stage of venturing into adult skating, kindness, gen-
erosity, and support kept me coming back. There was the woman who
introduced herself at a public- skating session and helped me with the
crossovers and 3- turns I was learning. There were program directors,
coaches, staff, and skaters, at home and as I ventured out, who invited
me to make their scenes our scenes or who, when I was passing through,
made me feel like a welcome visitor.
None of those things just happen. Many tales of adult skating describe
us as the bottom- feeding crumb- seekers barely tolerated in the skating
world.1 In contrast, while I sometimes encountered coldness and disre-
spect, I often received even more gestures of respect than I wanted, in-
cluding, at both my home rink and club, solo opportunities usually re-
served for advanced kids that I sometimes experienced as exercises in
bravery and graciousness more than desired attention. I cherish what
they stand for anyway.
A friendly environment requires active work, including sharing in-
sider knowledge that is easy to forget you have. “Aha, the skater wear-
ing the pinnie is intentionally skating to the music.” “Why do you think
I need your help with my ‘stroking’ and why are you telling me here?”
“What do you call it when the coach coaches from behind the rink wall?”
ConClusIon
If I Ruled the Rink,
or Make the Rink by Skating
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