As the downtown Christmas celebration has come to an end, I thought I would share my "expert" advice on preparing for next season’s ice skating.
First off, we must spend the next few months working on our core muscles. You would be amazed at how much you use those muscles. After spending the next three months strengthening those muscles, you should then be able to lace up your skates without over-exerting yourself trying to bend over.
Once your core muscles are strengthened, the focus needs to the legs. For such a fun activity, it sure does use a lot of leg strength. With the Winter Olympics coming up, watch the figure skaters. The amount of strength in their legs is phenomenal. I am guessing maybe a good four or five months of leg strength training is needed to be in shape to do an hour of skating at a time.
Not too long ago, two young teenagers who had taken figure skating lessons previously spent an entire day on the ice here. From my office, I watched them as they practiced all day. They did not stop; it was amazing to watch them.
Now that we have the core muscles to put on our skates and the leg muscles to handle the skating, the last part is practicing your balance. This is very important, not just for skating, but to learn how to get around the obstacles. I mean not everyone on the ice are experts like we are training to be, so people will fall. We need to practice being able to balance and maneuver to get past those obstacles, all the while staying in a vertical position.
My final piece of advice is before getting on the ice, take a good look at yourself. If you are like me, you have some extra fluff here and there. Use the fluff to your advantage. So if it appears that you are about to fall, make sure you fall on your fluff. For once, make it work for you.
I hope you have read in between the lines to realize my advice is facetious at best.
As the season comes to a close, I have thoroughly enjoyed it like I always do. I was an angel in the nativity production, which I had fun doing every time. I ice skated and even rode in the bumper cars. It was a great way to take my frustrations out on my 18-year-old daughter.
I saw people who I haven't seen in years this season. They traveled from two hours away for the events and had a blast. As I was walking in the procession during the nativity production, I heard someone call my name, and it was a long-lost friend who is like a part of the family. Needless to say, we caught up afterward.
Experience Columbia works hard to bring us such a wonderful event. It brings in lots of sales tax money to our economy and, just as importantly, brings people together. It is great to just stand in the middle of the street and fellowship with old and new friends.
It can be expensive if you aren't careful, and it can get very crowded, but it is a wonderful family event that you can enjoy and make memories that will last for ages.
So kudos to Experience Columbia for another great Christmas celebration. I know a lot of people thoroughly enjoyed the season.
Don’t forget that it takes a lot of work for them. The EC crew doesn't get the holidays off but is working every day to make sure everyone gets the best experience.
Thank you Experience Columbia once again, and I appreciate all of your hard work and time.
Now for me, it's time to start those crunches. -
Susan Amundson is the news/features editor of The Columbian-Progress.