Flashback: The best skating is local skating

Another great post from early in 2011.  Do you have any local skating ponds or rinks you love?

by Thomas

When I was first presented with the question ‘where is your favorite place to skate in the city’, without any hesitation I said the Rideau Canal. We are so fortunate to live in a city that is home to the world’s longest skating rink! It is an amazing experience, taking in the scenery and sense of youthful excitement that you enjoy when skating end to end on this World Heritage site is second to none. But after a few more thoughts, the Canal is fantastic, but it’s not my favorite.

My true favorite spots to skate are the little ponds, creeks and rivers that each winter we transform into local skating surfaces. There is something very Canadian about heading to the water front and shoveling off a patch to skate or play hockey on. I am very fortunate to have a pond right behind our house, where the neighborhood children play pickup hockey and the young ones learn to skate, preparing themselves for the game next winter.

These local destinations are links to the past, to simpler times. To a time where people, maybe even you, spent full days playing with friends or by yourself. You remember the days when you’d rush to get out of bed, chug down a glass of orange juice and run out the door with your mother shouting behind you ‘Be back for dinner!’… but you’d be lucky to be home before dark. On your way home praying the whole way that your dad wouldn’t mind since you were playing hockey after all and still let you stay up for Hockey Night in Canada.

These little spots, hidden from the hustle and bustle that our lives have become, are beautiful and so much more meaningful then ‘just’ a skating rink. I love the ability to take my boys outside whenever I want and watch the joy and freedom they experience when they get their skates on; the smiles that shine out from the mask of my 3 year old when he is tip-toeing across the pond; the cheers of joy coming from my 5 year old when he scores a goal into an empty net; the pride that beams from my heart as I watch these two bundles of snowsuit glide across the ice. These local skating spots provide the next generation with the ability to get lost in the joys that your own childhood brought you.

The best part of all of this? You get to share in building these memories for your own children and in turn, are creating the events which will become their own cherished memories.

Thomas is the proud father to three sons; 5 & 3 year olds and his 5 month old. Looking to provide the father voice into the parenting blogging world, you can find his personal experiences at http://thomaslynn.wordpress.com/

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