At International Adult Figure Skating, we do not fear to tread on dangerous turf, which is why today we will address a perpetually thorny issue: Relationships!! Namely, how can you maintain a peaceable relationship with your non figure skating significant other in your life?
What activities did you attempt in order to impress someone you were either actually dating or hoping to snag? I took up running to impress my then boyfriend and eventual husband (21 years this past May). He used to laugh at me since I was incapable of running longer than 3 ½ minutes, which was the length of a Senior Silver free skating program. He is a natural born distance runner and I was used to expending every ounce of energy in 3 1/2 minutes and often without benefit of oxygen in the last 60 seconds. Lucky for him, I was wheezing so hard I couldn’t “thank” him for his encouragement!
Instead, I persisted, joined a running club, and over the course of the next year, took 10 minutes off my 5km time and started winning medals — revenge is sweet!
In the course of my research, I read a nifty article about what happens when one half of a couple takes up the activity of the other, and some of the pit-falls to avoid. It’s relevant to our discussion, since it profiles a (very courageous) husband who took up figure skating to spend more time with his wife! He even cut back on his golfing time to do this! Is that love or what???!!
Bernstein writes “Relationship researchers have long believed that couples who try new interests and recreational pursuits together—especially active ones—are happier. Shared experiences bring novelty to a relationship and help prevent boredom and complacency. New experiences also can activate the brain’s reward system, flooding it with powerful neurochemicals related to pleasure and bonding—the same circuits triggered when a person first falls in love.” Hmm… when you put it that way, it kind of takes the magic out of it, don’t you find ?
The article goes on to describe what happened when a very brave husband named Stanley Bernstein, “decided” to take up figure skating in order to spend more time with his adult-onset-avid-figure-skater wife, Vivian.
“He asked his wife to golf with him. She gave him a pair of ice skates. Mr. Bernstein admitted he was scared. Ms. Bernstein took him to a rink where he would be unlikely to see anyone he knew. She taught him to “walk like a duck” with a side-to-side glide. He was practicing in a corner of the rink—”crouched down, my heart racing, petrified of falling,” he recalls—and a 10-year-old boy skated up and said, “Hey, Mr. Bernstein. You wanna race?” Behind him was his snickering father, an attorney Mr. Bernstein knows from a rival firm.”
Mr. Bernstein, we salute you! You have stuck with it and, by all accounts, have become not only a competent adult ice skater who goes on skating date nights with Mrs. Bernstein, but a fan of the sport as well!
And did my significant other ever try figure skating? Several years ago, he decided it was time to give it a try; he even tested and passed his first two ice dances. And I sure came to appreciate how a great partner can make a difficult dance easier and a newbie partner can make the easiest dance darn near impossible! He didn’t continue since he has become more involved in other sports, but even now continues to learn more about figure skating and has a great eye for detail. He understands the International Judging System and I think he would make a great judge, should he ever choose to go that route.
Watch the video for a musical suggestion to tempt your non figure skater sweetie out onto the ice. As an added bonus, the tempo is slow enough for a beginner and gives you an excuse to wrap your arms around each other.
Has your significant other tried skating? What sports did you try to impress a prospective beau or belle? How did it turn out?