In masculine company, it may be taboo to openly display an appreciation of figure skating. It seems to somehow dilute the level of testosterone that is supposed to be maintained at all times when such company is gathered. But this denial of function due to the femininity of form results in a malformed outlook at a sport that combines interdisciplinary excellence as a matter of necessity just to reach mediocrity. To speak nothing of the requirements to reach performance notoriety.
Contrast that notion to that of ice hockey. There are those that would thumb their noses at the brutality and savage nature of a game that is lost to many due to its constant crimson splatter. The uninitiated only see men, decked in protective gear constantly crouching like Neanderthals over a prey, a fraction in size and weight to one of them. The two repeatedly and intentionally, and almost always legally, bash the opponent’s team into the Plexiglas, defies logic and clouds appreciation of any sort to the sport that underneath it all requires fitness and skill.
It’s ironic, to say the least that two very articulate sports, figure skating and ice hockey, receive such negative impressions although the skill of mind, body and soul have to be so finely tuned that many try but only few prevail.
No Easy Ice
Any sport that requires the donning of a pair of blades, and sail over hard ice requires tremendous respect. It defies every instinct hone over a hundred and fifty years of evolution. To stop, for instance, we just stop moving our legs when walking or running and physics obeys our command – we stop. When skating, physics is a stubborn five-year old. Try to stop moving by stopping your legs and one would sail effortlessly into an intimate rendezvous with the wall.
It’s The Skates
The unsung hero of these two magnificent activities is undoubtedly the pair of skates. Ice hockey skates and figure skating skates are designed with a set of similar objectives – to present the owner with the gift of speed, agility and control. This translates to freedom to handle any maneuver. Ice hockey skates for example are the simplest of ingenuity. It is merely metal blades, sharpened to samurai precision and attached to boots. The attachment is made with such sturdy cunning as to defy nature’s law of not combining metal to fabric. But it is accomplished and the result is a sturdy bond between shoe leather and cold steel, resulting in trust between the skater and the skate.