Yen has been looking forward to teaching Linus to skate since we got the first test back that told us he was a boy. He’d imagined that he’d wait until Linus was 4, but after his expertise with the bike (and a conversation I had with a Canadian at work), we decided to give it a shot sooner rather than later. We went out last night and picked up skates for him. Of course he wears the smallest size they make, but it was a good sign that they actually were his size. We also picked up elbow pads. We couldn’t find knee pads we liked, so we decided his snow pants would have to do for now. And of course he would wear his bike helmet. Here he is, getting suited up.
I captured a lot of video – starting with the walk to the ice. I think it’s a really good sign that he was able to walk on the skates immediately. You can practically hear the Rocky theme playing, can’t you?
Yen took him to the edge of the ice, out of the way of the (few) other skaters so he could get his bearing.
And then, well, they just took off!
Yen had spent some time thinking about the technique he wanted to use. We are both endlessly irritated by people who use chairs or milk crates, so we knew we wanted to avoid that. When he taught me, he refused to use the technique of skating backward and letting me lean forward. It worked really well (I went around by myself by the end of the first lesson), so he tried this same approach.
Linus took it all in stride – he’s such a natural little athlete. Of course it helps that you have a teacher who is patient and takes things in stride himself – as in this video when Linus decides to lie down for a bit.
While they were down, Yen decided to work on a very important skill: getting back up after you fall. Linus isn’t quite strong enough yet to pull himself up, but he’s getting the idea.
Sometimes Yen just let him relax and skated around for inspiration.
Then something just seemed to click, and they really got moving. Yen told me later that he could feel him trying to glide.
Here’s my little champion relaxing on the bench. I took about 20 photos of this scene. I couldn’t get over how cute he was, alone all over there. Yen was taking laps, by the way.
After an hour, he seemed to have had enough. He never got frustrated, but I could see that he was getting tired. They made their way over to me.
Posed for their fan…
And then we all headed out to pick up Mina (she was with Ba Noi – we didn’t think she’d like to sit in the cold while Linus was on the ice). Tomorrow Yen’s going to sign up for weekly classes. They’ll be able to go out on the ice together, and they’ll be with other little guys his age. It always helps him to see other kids doing what he wants to do, so I think he’ll enjoy it.
Much more to come, I guarantee.