As a junior here at UW-Madison, you would think that I have experienced the majority of activities that are classified as typically ‘Madtown’. Stayed for the fifth quarter at Camp Randall, check. Eaten late night Mac n’ Cheese pizza at Ian’s, check. Dove into Lake Mendota in early fall and realized that the water is freezing, check. There was, however, one thing that most people do as a freshman that I had yet to experience. That was late night skating at the Shell. Every Thursday, the Shell offers skating for students. Now that I have skated there (it’s still skating even though I was attached to the wall the entire time, right?), I would absolutely recommend bundling up and trekking to the Shell for some icy fun for all ages (18-22 to be specific).
My friends and I made the plans to attend late night skate the week before and I was determined to make sure that our plans did not fall through. Reminders were sent out daily and threats were issued to those who were hesitant about attending. Thursday rolled around and after my jam-packed day of three power lectures and a two-hour lab, I was ready to get skating. But, I had to wait. It was only seven and I had four hours to kill.
Fast-forward to 10:30 p.m. and my friends and I were playing cards and gearing up to hit the ice. I began to feel a bit nervous because although my veins run with Minnesota blood, the ice skating gene is definitely missing. I never played hockey, and the only time I ever went to the rink growing up was in middle school, when my awkward friends and I had no other options and had no desire to stay at home. Looking back at this time before heading to the Shell I remembered myself to be a fairly average skater. I thought that since I was young and completely ungraceful then I would be a natural now, as I am currently completely full of grace and only fall up the stairs about three times a day. After consuming a few Mike’s Hard Lemonades, my confidence was through the roof and totally misplaced.
My first steps onto the ice were wobbly, but I happily stayed upright as I regained my frozen sea legs. I managed to have fun, but got too confident after a successful beginning, and proceeded to fall a total of six times while I was there. I ended up with a damp and bruised behind, but these tumbles did not go without laughs. Plus, none of my fingers were cut off (I have heard this has happened). Overall it was a successful trip and I was able to enjoy a goofy night with my friends. If you want to reach outside your comfort zone, try late night skating at the Shell.