So this was always going to be known as Fat Bastards Shouldn’t Ice Skate… and other life lessons learned in my 40′s. But as one who doesn’t mean to offend, I thought calling myself fat would be asking for trouble from some portion of the community that would prefer to call themselves portly.
I have used the word old in some relative terms… meaning people at my age rather than old. Old could well be called 70 or 80 these days. For me it means I am not acting my age and therefore to the young folk with who I am failing to act my age, I am That Old Guy.. on ice skates, on the dance floor, getting jiggy wit it on the funny dance machine or simply breaking my arse on a skateboard when I shouldn’t be on it in the first place.
There are also parts of me that are fat and some that aren’t. My ankles for example, are as slim as any cheap, heroin shooting tart tottering in heels, and pretty much anything else from the waist down could be considered slim. Where the fat starts and finishes is pretty much from my neck to what once you to be called my particulars, or if they were any use in this format, the wedding tackle!I have been known to pick up the occasional bit of ‘help’ at weddings (known usually as waiters, bartenders and even once, a dj!) and that is as much my particulars can be called wedding tackle.
Take that ice skating for starters. The 13 year old niece was coming to visit and so I suggested we ice skate – a sensible thing for a 40 something overweight bastard who also happens to have the knees of a 90 year old woman, and the enthusiasm of a 14 year old girl, to take on. Now the 13 yo is lithe, skinny and agile on her feet due to years of dance, gymnastics and other similar pursuits, at which I might have been considered adept at the same age. I on the other hand am a wine swilling glutton who is as agile as a hippo on a mountain in heels. You get my drift.
So to the ice rink we went (the 13yo’s mother in tow, as we were there clearly for her entertainment), and with all of the bravado of an advancing hun, I threw myself onto the ice shouting ‘move over Jonny Weir, this rink is mine, bitch!‘ only to land squarely on my somewhat ample arse. Well I say ample arse, it used to be – now its really some bags of skin and left over glutes hanging of a pair of osteoporitic hips! Where there once was padding, there was now only a sagging bag of cottage cheese and some denim jeans over what once was called the bum. I often pine for my ampleness…..
So, within the first ten laps I tried to make it around once without a spectacular fall. And spectacular they were.. legs and arms all about the place, screeching and shouting for children to get out of my way for fear of me killing them (imagine a train bearing down on a child care centre playground, whistles and bells blowing and hooting – and that is pretty much me on a pair of ice skates!).
I am not by any means a graceful chap, and often the language I use in mixed company could be considered like that of a wharfie (at the best of times). If one can imagine a hurtling foul mouthed overweight train rolling along towards a bunch of innocent kiddies as they happily and gaily go about their business, then you can picture me on ice, with legs and arms flailing frantically as I struggle for both balance and grace…
The end of the day I was seeking solace in a bottle of strong alcohol, some rubbing salts and a warm bath with a drop of something medicinal in it, and mulling over the fact that quite frequently my confidence can get in the way of my ability. I was also watching haematomas and bruises make their very painful appearance on my posterior region. During this session of self pity, I realised I never see something as too challenging and therefore not do it (unless it involves any sort of power tool, motor boat or 2 wheeled vehicle).. more I see these things as an opportunity for excellence. This pretty much means that most frequently I will jump arms and legs into an activity for which my body, or occasionally my mind, is not built.
The moral of the story I guess is that Old Bastards Shouldn’t Ice Skate – reminding me there are always life lessons to be learned in one’s 40′s.