For some people driving is freedom. The wind I used to generate while skating around a rink at top speed used to make me feel like a bird in mid flight. But, I hung up my skates years ago when chronic pain in my spine made it uncomfortable to walk.
As I walked the path towards the rink in Riverbank State Park, I thought about lacing up a pair of skates to see if I could still perform. But, I wasn’t there for me. I was a Disney Voluntear helping with the Figure Skating In Harlem show.
I stood at the door leading to the rink handing out wristbands while my friend Alicia scanned the tickets of proud parents and relatives. For an hour and a half straight, we worked as hard as we could to clear the crowds and people to their seats. I also made sure attendees knew where the bathroom and concession stand were located.
As we traffic died down, a woman came in with a little girl.
“Can I see the princesses here?” The little girl asked as she twirled around in front of us.
“Yes, the princess will be flying on the ice.”
“Yeah,” she exclaimed. “Will they be doing this and this she said as she spread her legs like she was doing a split? Then, she spun around.
“You want to do the stuff the princesses do?”
“Yes,” she replied.
“You know I started skating when I was small like you and I kept going until I was almost as big as I am now. But, I learned to play hockey.”
“My brother plays that,” she snapped. “I’m going to be a princess.”
“I bet you will,” I said with a smile. “I’ll watch you in the Olympics someday.”
The girl eagerly waited at the entrance for her mom and brother. Then, all three disappeared into the crowd.
I will skate again, I thought. Even if I don’t maybe that little girl will follow her dreams and rule the ice.
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