Wednesday 7 November 2018

Not too tight

Good day eh.

I was born in Toronto Ontario and have lived in various parts of Canada my whole life. There have been short trips to countries that have warmer climates and once to England. That is pretty much it. For some reason I feel that I need to apologise for not being more well travelled. That is the Canadian in me coming out I suppose.

Now, being Canadian there are some things that are expected of you. Being polite, apologetic, a love for beer, back bacon, maple syrup, snow shoe wearing, saying “eh” and a deep predisposition to love the game of hockey, which are things that go hand in hand with being a Canuck. I would have said being genetically predisposed to excel at hockey, except I am painfully aware that is just not true. I was never very good at hockey. I tried, but I even sucked at road hockey and the only reason I was picked for a team is that they needed warm bodies to make up the teams. They gave me an oversized stick and put me on defence and every now and then that large stick would manage to deflect the ball on a break away, allowing a good player to get back into the action. At least when a window was broken no one ever thought that I had made the shot.

I couldn’t even tie my skate laces tight enough so that I could stand up straight and not on my ankles. There was one Christmas that my brother and I got a full set of hockey equipment. I have a picture to prove it! For some reason they were Montreal Canadien outfits. I can’t be sure what I was thinking when I was eight, but I lived in Toronto and I’m pretty sure that I was a Leaf fan when I was little. I guess dad was a Hab fan. Who knew?

Five years ago I was lucky enough to spend an hour or two every week while Tornado’s daycare had skating at the local rink. When three year olds “skate” it is more crawling and falling down with some licking of the ice surface thrown in. It was suggested that I wear skates so that I could keep up on the ice. I dug my skates out and tried them on. Well, I couldn’t get them on. It had been a long time since the last time I went skating and twenty years of delivering mail had managed to spread my feet out. Actually, if I remember correctly, those skates were never comfortable. They were made in a time that footwear manufactures believed that shoes and skates would mould feet to fit. They were mostly leather and sot soft leather. I wore street shoes to help Tornado on the ice.

Just recently I once again had to take Tornado to the rink. This time it was because he had a hockey game and I had to help him get ready. I was assured that he could do everything himself. Well, I just had to make sure his skates were tight enough. Shit! Fifty-five years later and I still had no idea how to lace skates properly. Thankfully, we now have the internet which told me that I should lace the skates tight but not too tight. Thanks internet!

For those that care, it turned out fine because Tornado could feel if the skates were too tight or loose and he managed to score a goal or two.

However, since those daycare days I have been thinking that as an adult Canadian male I should have a functioning pair of skates in case I have need to make an escape across an ice field or my granddaughter asks Poppa to take her skating. Unlikely, but you never know. I thought about it for the past five years and last week I took the plunge. I bought a pair of skates at my second hand store for $20. They weren’t leather and had the look of modern skates. I have since found out that they are low end skates that can be found at big box stores specializing in selling crap. Perfect for me!

I got them home and squeezed my feet into them. The only way I can describe the feeling is that the skates felt like an instep borer from the middle ages. I was in too much pain to think where it hurt. Well…shit!

It turns out that the internet is good for something. I Googled how to adjust the fit of skates and there were several Youtube videos telling me how to make my skates into articles of pleasure not pain. What a revelation! I wonder if I am the only Canadian male that didn’t know this was possible? I followed the video and wonder of wonders; I can now get both feet into the skates without any pain what so ever. I am sure that once I go skating there will be some find tuning, but I can live with that.

All that I have to do now is wait until it gets cold enough for outdoor ice rinks to be made. I am a skating purist after all. There is still the issue of tying those skates tight enough so that I can stand and not break my ankles. Lucky for me there is Youtube.

… I should lace the skates tight but not too tight.

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