Tuesday at 11:45 is adult skate at the arena. They play 1950s rock and roll because most of the skaters are my grandparents’s age.

Last week was the first time in at least a year I had skated. I felt a little more confident today. Still sore though. My back, in particular, even with lots of stretching beforehand. It’s barely 9 now, but I just want to go to sleep.

Almost all the skaters bring their own skates. (I rent. It means figuring out a new fit every time.) Almost all the skaters are better than me, fast, sure, carefree whether skating forwards or back. They have conversations while doing crossovers, while I’m just trying to keep my balance.

One woman skates backwards in never-ending curves, the build-up to a jump that never happens. (Figure skaters have their own separate time.) I feel anxious watching Olympians make their jumps, but waiting for a jump which never came is a brand-new kind of anxiety.

Despite the skill and talent on the ice, today I saw the biggest number of crashes and falls. The alarming thing is they all came from the best skaters. I suppose that’s the lesson to be learned here:

Once you get good, there’s no guarantee you’ll be good forever. That’s why we practice.