I grew up in the small town of Weston, and luckily for me the property behind us was owned by Betty Davis and was named the Betty Davis Nature Conservancy by my cousins. What this meant was it was our outdoor playground all year long for hide-and-seek, mushroom hunting, camping and of course ice skating. There was a small pond on the property that would freeze over every year, and because there was little disturbance in the area, the ice was almost always smooth as if a Zamboni had just resurface the ice.
My sister and I and my cousins would treck the 1 mile in the forest to get to the pond, bringing our used skates, sticks and home made goal to play a game of hockey or just practice shooting at the goal. It couldn’t have been a more idyllic experience for kids who couldn’t afford to go to a full fledged ice rink. We learned more than just how to ice skate, we learned how to determine the ice was safe, how to navigate to it through the forest, and how to be trusted by our parents to do so, leaving us with a priceless feeling of independence.
Flash forward 30 years, and here I am in Nederland, CO donning skates again. In our little town of 1500, we manage to have enough kind volunteers to run a full size outdoor ice rink with Zamboni. In 2017 the weather in the Rocky Mountains was so mild that despite being at 8500 feet, the rink could only stay open for one month. 2018 has luckily been cooler with the rink opening in time for Christmas. So we bought our locals ticket and I rented a pair of skates. I got on the ice and was wobbly, but a smile spreads across my face like a shooting star across the sky.
Memories of my time as a kid flash back with immense appreciation. In about 30 minutes I feel the groove again, not hockey skating standards by any means, but comfortable enough to test out crossing one foot over the other or going backwards. The next day the soreness of my legs was a welcome feeling and now, I’m hoping for a long and cold winter.
For 2019, one of my New Year's Resolution's is to volunteer and take advantage of the stick and puck sessions and Women's hockey get togethers. What is your New Year's resolution.