It’s not perfect. Its actually full of cracks, with chunks gouged out by hard blades of steel, a thin layer of light powered snow obstructing these grace threatening imperfections. What I mean by that is that I almost fell, many, many, times. Luckily my frantic hand waving and leg jerking somehow kept me in balance. The lack of lighting also calls into question the sanity of skating on the canal at night, but all that aside, I really enjoyed myself the other night.
Forever alone, no one was able to skate with me last Monday night. However in my defence I was really lazy and didn’t really text many people. I think I’m developing an aversion to my phone. Trying to plan through texting can be extremely annoying if the recipient takes hours to text back. So I bundled up in my outdoor winter activity layers, and braved the -17 degree winds for a little exercise and fun. I didn’t mind. It was very nice. I could go as fast or as slow as I wanted, and I didn’t feel guilty for getting off the ice after only 1.4 km. Just a small tip, my dear audience, figure skates are a big no no when canal skating, the arches of my feet were on fire by the time I hopped off the ice, think pins and needle sensation times five.
So as I skated in my little figure eight patterns, gliding and attempting to avoid potholes and gashes in the ice, I observed. I also commented to myself mentally because I was alone. I really didn’t want people to think me crazy, talking to oneself is only acceptable when performing tasks like cooking… singing to oneself is another story. Singing is acceptable anytime, it means you’re at your happiest and most confident. Some observations:
- Medics: this was quite relieving. And they are good at their job! I unfortunately witnessed the aftermath of an accident. I didn’t see much through the small crowd of concerned family members, but the woman seemed in pain. You experience an automatic empathetical response when you witness a fall on the ice, I find. Everyone whose played on the ice can relate to slipping and landing on your ass.
- Couples: It was cute. There was hand holding and laughter. Tip # 2, canal skating would make a great date idea if both parties know how to skate
- Two winter skaters: Yupp, two teenage boys skateboarding on the ice. I just had to slow down a bit to observe better. They seemed skilled, but honestly, I had to wonder how exactly they thought this would be a good idea. I definitely foresaw falling in their future. But don’t worry, in my vision everyone was fine.
- The 1.4km mark: I was so proud of myself. Its a goal of mine to actual finish skating the canal, something I’ve never been able to do. Last time I only reached the 1.2km. (Slow but steady improvement!!!)
I suppose the lesson I learned that night was a reminder.
When I first came to Ottawa I was really scared to start a new life. All alone. Would I make friends? That was a big question. But I remember shaking my head, and with confidence declaring that even if I was alone, I was going to be brave and learn. I was going to explore, and visit museums, and try new places. On my own. Then I arrived, and meet beautiful, amazing, interesting people who became the friends whom I cherish. Ottawa is an amazing city, but it’s the people I’ve met that have helped make it so. My friends spark my happiness. Although they tease, and poke fun at my mannerisms and odd train of thoughts, its fine because they like me enough to take the time to annoy me. Apparently my reactions make it fun… humph
But I almost lost the ability to live with just me. I’m not saying I want to become a hermit. What I’m talking about is the ability to live with only you for company. Can you stand to experience life alone? I wanted that courage back, and tonight it was a reminder that I can live life alone and be alright. I can experience things and still be happy. I still have that drive that will help me to leap off the safety platform into the exciting unknown. Although, part of the reason why I can do this, is with the realization that I have these beautiful, amazing, interesting friends to share these experiences with.
So… skating anyone?
BTW some info about this cool picture, created by street artist Edgar Müller, who graciously allowed me to post his art. Check out his website for more awesome street art: http://www.metanamorph.com/