Some people may roll their eyes at team building days at work, but last week our team participated in an event that was actually fun. The company booked a private function room in Melbourne at an ice skating rink. We did some activities, had a bit of a laugh, and then it was time to get on the rink and have a crack at skating. I was a little daunted at first because I have no experience with any type of skating, but once we got into that cold rink area, I couldn’t wait to have a shot. The first step was putting on the skates and practicing to walk on a rubber mat. This helps you get used to the feeling of the skates on your feet and getting your balance. I felt a bit like a clumsy penguin but it was a good laugh.
When we finally got onto the ice, I was eager to start doing laps like those graceful figure skaters on TV. The reality was nothing like that. As soon as I tried to stand on the ice I slipped and fell backwards. The team erupted in laughter. Then the instructor came by and showed me how to practice walking along the edge of the rink, holding onto the fence until you get the hang of it. Soon my confidence was building again and I was able to release my hold on the rails. I was wobbly, holding out my arms like an unstable aeroplane, but finally I was skating! The trick is to bend your knees a bit and lean slightly forward. It’s also important to keep your body loose and relaxed, because when you’re rigid you quickly lose your balance. I never thought that I could learn ice skating as an adult but I was wrong. It was a rewarding experience in which I learned a new skill and had a boost in self-esteem. I also had a great time bonding with my fellow team mates through laughter and games. It was such a fun day, and my body had a good ache afterwards!