Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Eli 8.7 And The Jabberwocky

Okay, so I'm going to have to learn how to ice skate.

I can't skate at all. I tried roller skating a few times, but always wound up looking like Fonzi in that Happy Days episode.

Eli 8.7, though, is skating his ass off.

He decided that what he most wanted to do during spring break was take ice skating lessons. To play hockey, of course.

There was a week-long clinic at the local skating center, so every day, he had thirty minutes of group instruction followed by at least an hour of free skating.

Considering he couldn't skate when he started on Monday morning, he looked pretty damn good by Friday. He passed level one and level two skating basics, and he was tooling around the arena quite nicely.

One thing I respect about Eli is that when he wants something, he will happily work his ass off. No complaining. And I know he's going to be successful, because he puts his work in.

I watched part of his free skate on Friday, then we drove out to the veloway, a 3.1 mile paved loop course in south Austin that can only be used by cyclists and rollerbladers. Two wide lanes and no car traffic, and we were both looking forward to riding there for the first time.

There was one 8% grade that we couldn't quite get up (I knew it was on the course, but it was in a different place than I was expecting, and we didn't have enough speed built up on the flat to take a decent run at it), but otherwise, we rode straight through with no problems.

Eli is so used to being around kids who ride unicycles (there are over a dozen kids in his school club, and no one is over ten, so it's probably the largest school club for kids that age in the country) that it doesn't seem that unusual to him. We had lots of cyclists passing us, though, and some were families, and he was getting lots of love as they went by.

When we finished, one girl (who had passed earlier us on her bike as she rode with her family) looked up, saw him, and shouted "HE MADE IT!" She sounded like Eli had just returned from slaying the Jabberwocky, and we both started laughing.

Good, good times.

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