Pinocchio’s Pylon

Triple Axles, toe picks, and sequence. Oh, the art of figure skating. It is fascinating to watch the skaters glide around the ice, spinning at unnatural speeds. It’s incredible that a man can maintain balance and strength on skates while twirling his partner over his head.

Kids have wild imaginations. I appreciate that they can look at something an adult can do and envision themselves achieving that outcome.

My brother was into hockey, so I thought I would give figure-skating a chance. I was an ambitious learner. I understood concepts quickly when it came to sports and wanted to apply them in order to advance. I wasn’t always great at something, but when I got the idea and applied it, I wanted to try the next thing.

Figure skating was one of the quicker concepts I picked up, the basics anyways. I was getting bored by the end of the season, after only learning three or four concepts.

Our final show was coming up. I wanted to be like the older girls with their pretty sequence outfits. But no, I got stuck with the Pinocchio costume.

The final show arrived. We skated around the ice, performing all of the moves we learned throughout the season.

As the finale to our little set was coming up, all of the kids in my class and I came together to form a straight line at one end of the ice. Considering that I was one of the tallest in my class, I was in the middle.

We started skating towards the other end of the rink building momentum as we went. The faster we got, the more my nightmare began to unfold. One by one, skaters near both ends of the line started to lose balance. They fell, pulling on the arms of the person next to them. The line began to lose formation and became more like a few of us in the middle dragging the others along.

I was one of the last ones standing. I was feeling proud of my achievement. I was holding on with all I could. I was so close to the end of the rink; just a little further to go. I was almost to the point that I could end gracefully and take a bow.

Although I thought I had it, a couple good tugs from the person next to me eventually took me down. We were all flat on our butts by the end of the segment. My little Pinocchio face was tomato red in embarrassment as I skated off the ice.

That was the end of my skating career! I decided that I wasn’t very fond of that sport and moved on to something else the next year.

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