Having Fun

Dylan sat on the benches overlooking the rink watching the kids below him skating their heart out. These kids were having fun. He tried to remember when he'd last had fun on the ice rink. It must have been several years before he quit competition. As a kid it was his dream to become a champion skater. Ever since his Dad first took him onto the ice on the lake behind his house. He spent every spare hour skating and as soon as he could he started to take lessons. He quickly distinguished himself from the others and was soon entering championships. That was when he met Brian. Brian was one of the best skaters in the club. He was destined to become a real champion. Dylan knew he would never beat Dante. So when Brian brought Sheila along to the club, he started skating pairs and soon they were taking the county by storm. Brian was being tipped to make the Olympic team the next year. As for Sheila and Dylan they were still young, so when they only finished fourth in the trials, everyone knew their day would come. But Brian he was the big favourite. Dylan watched his last warm up before he went out onto the rink, just slowly going through some of the easier figures, getting himself ready. In any case, his program was an easy one. Brian had already mastered a triple salto and also a double Lutz, and was hoping to perform a quadruple salto for the Olympics.

All it took was that one simple jump to put an end to everything. Brian went up perfectly but then Dylan saw the concentration go out of his eyes. It seemed to him as if Brian stayed in the air for several minutes, prolonging the agony. Because Dylan knew exactly what would happen. And when the crash came, it was a terrible one. Not only would Brian never skate again, but he'd never walk. That was the last time Dylan ever held a pair of skates in his hand... until tonight. Now, looking down at the kids having fun, Dylan forced himself to put the skates on. His dream of ice-skating fame was forever banished, but he sure could still have a lot of fun.

9 comments:

My son's name is Dylan so you immediately had my attention - wondering what adventures were instore.

Iceskating always reminds me of watching Ice Castles as a teenager - but I digress.

It takes real guts to get up and do something again, after someone you admire is struck down doing that very same thing. I admire Dylan's ability to look his shadows in the face and skate again.

Thanks for sharing Paul.

18 January 2008 at 09:18  

This brought the image of Ice Castles to me too. And having spent hours on the rink floor myself in practice back in the day, it definitely hit me inside. Nicely done.

18 January 2008 at 15:00  

A really nice piece. Pleased to hear he didn't give up!

18 January 2008 at 16:59  

Never give up! I liked that attitude!

18 January 2008 at 18:16  

Before I had children, my brother would try to explain what it was like taking a walk down the street with his then-three-year-old son. Now that I've got my own boys, I get to experience the world through the mind of children once more, and I think that's what this story is about. For Dylan, skating can become just skating again through being with the children. Life is so much simpler and easier to enjoy that way.

18 January 2008 at 23:44  

I'm with pjd on this one. As adults sometimes we lose sight of the joy of the things we do, becoming so wrapped in the drive to be the best, or become better. This is probably why I am still an aspiring author. I decided that writing with the goal of being published was more of a stumbling block to my craft than a motivation. So now I am a writer that writes simply for the joy of doing so. Sure, someday I wish to be published, but it's not why I write. Perhaps Dylan's wake-up call was not the stumbling block he believes it to be.

19 January 2008 at 02:47  

How odd that my son is going ice-skating for the first time tomorrow! I liked your story, especially the description of Dylan watching Brian in the air before the fall.

19 January 2008 at 07:17  

I agree with Catherine, I like the prolonged moment during the jump, were Dylan can see what is going to happen, but is powerless to do anything other than watch it.

It's probably in that moment that the decision to give up was made. As others have said though, sometimes you get so wrapped up in the goal of something, that sometimes you forget that you do actually enjoy it. I hope Dylan keeps on skating for the sheer joy of it.

20 January 2008 at 16:05  

unlike adults, children have so much optimism in them...three cheers to Dylan for getting back into the rink for more fun! Beautifully told. thank you.

22 January 2008 at 20:46  

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