has been a friend of mine for as long as I can remember. Stubbed my big toe? Place an ice pack around it. In the mood to prank my sister? Slyly drop ice down her back. Drinking lukewarm Coke-a-Cola Put ice cubes in the cup.

I learned early in my life that ice was always a solution.

Naturally, at the age of nine I figured that actually skating on ice would be a good solution for my exuberance, creativity and my epidemic disorder of “having-way-too-much-energy-for-my-parents’-own-good.”

As I made my first steps onto the ice, I failed to notice the warning signs put up in the arena that read, “BEWARE. ADDICTION TO ICE MAY OCCUR AS A RESULT OF SKATING. PLEASE CONSULT YOUR PHYSICIAN BEFORE UNDERTAKING.” Thank goodness I forged right past it because I discovered that the ice is not only a solution, it is a sanctuary.

Ice is something that seems relatively easy to describe: slippery, hard, wet, cold…emphasize the cold part. But when you really experience what it’s like to glide on the ice, it truly transcends reason. I guess you could call it physics, but I call it miraculous.

The ice becomes a sanctuary when you stroke across the rink and your blades carve the ice with perfect ease. The ice becomes a sanctuary when you skate so fast you can’t help but think invincibility is a mere possibility. The ice becomes a sanctuary when you step onto it and all of a sudden all the crap you may be dealing with just goes away.

If people don’t get what I’m saying I have an analogy. Think of the reason why people enjoy going for a run: It’s a way to stay active, get the blood flowing, and an outlet to recharge. Whatever fuzzy feeling you get from the endorphins released by running can be multiplied by 1 million and BAM— That’s what it feels like to skate.

Not convinced? I may be bias as a skater myself, but one day I will conduct a highly scientific study that will prove my theory that skating is just good for the soul.

I guess all I know is that something about the ice is sacred. It rises above the concept of the here and now. The ice allows us to move in such a way where time actually feels like it stops (case in point: running a 4.5 minute long program can actually feel like an ETERNITY. NO LIE). The way we glide, skid, turn, twist, jump, carve, slide, and spin just doesn’t feel like time has any part in it.

Yet what is also so fascinating about the ice is that there is a component rooted in time. Just like Shakira said about the hips, the ice doesn’t lie. Every glide, step, and turn is carved into the ice providing a report card for every single thing we do. Moving across the ice may feel as though we are Superman, but the edges etched onto it remind us that we are still Clark Kent.

I’m not sure if anything I said remotely made any sense (re-read this post at least four times today and it should start to sink in…slowly), but I don’t think it has to. The ice and I just have a special connection that doesn’t have to be explained. It has seen my vomit and my sweat. It is a dear friend to my rear end as they  meet up with each other frequently.

But most of all it is the most personal place I go to unwind and to wind myself up. It is where I go to feel. It is where I go to imagine. The ice is a sanctuary and all are welcome.

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