After four months of recovering from a broken foot, I have returned to ice skating, to a sport that is my passion, joy, peace, and connection to my beloved sisters. Elated to be back on the ice with my skating pals and teammates, I know the process will be slow. Per advice of my coach, I wore my skates around the house and got used to the feeling of the skating boot. My foot and legs are weak after months of low activity and will need to build up my strength.
I stepped on the ice, huge smile, pushed one foot, then the other, glided on the beautiful slick surface, felt the breeze through my hair, and off I went. Surprised by my agility albeit slow, I stayed a short time. Encouraged by my fellow adult skaters, I was back home on the ice. Not wanting to leave, I knew it wise and take the process step by step. The uplifting feeling cemented back in my soul!
Four months is not long, but for me, skating is such an important part of my life on so many levels. Ice skating provided the piece to share my sisters with others that forbade me to do for so many years. Celebration of Sisters, the ice-skating fundraiser, offered the backdrop to envelop my sisters back into my life, complete and continue my journey of comfort, continue my circles of comfort.
The skating arena opened many doors to me with introductions to people from all over the country and world. The lessons learned from skaters of all ages pushed me to do things I never though or believed myself capable of. I skate for me, Margie and Jane, and the crucial centrifugal force skating ignites.
When I skate, my head needs to be clear of all my old insecurities. My head must be clear of questions of doubt. How do I look out there? What do others think? Another piece is letting go of judgement I felt whole life transferred to my skating ability. I need to focus on how I feel. That is the moment I skate with freedom, fun, and confidence.
From the moment I carry my skates out of my home, into the car, the feeling of serenity and excitement surrounds me knowing I am going to any rink to ice skate. As I place my feet into my white boots with the shiny blades and lace up my skates the calm, and tranquility continues. Sometimes I am alone or often with fellow skaters chatting about a sport with shared passion and support. As the Zamboni clears the ice to make the smooth surface for our session to begin.
As I step onto the ice, it is life a magic like the song from Aladdin, “A Whole New World,” shared by my sisters and me. My happy place, my sanctuary, my safe place.
Ice skating afforded a theme throughout my life. Wherever I seemed to be in my life, ice-skating fed the central line to my comfort, my identity, and my peace. Ice skating is the connection, the chord, and the strings that bind me to my sisters. The smooth, shining ice is a mirror to look in and vividly see my sisters and me.
Judy Lipson, is the Founder of Celebration of Sisters, an ice skating fundraiser established in 2011 to commemorate the memories of her beloved sisters to benefit Massachusetts General Hospital. Judy has published articles for The Open to Hope Foundation and The Centering Organization. Massachusetts General Hospital and SKATING Magazine featured numerous pieces on Judy’s philanthropic work. Judy appeared as a guest on The Open To Hope and The Morning Glory Podcasts. Her passion for figure skating secured the recipient of U.S. Figure Skating Association 2020 Get Up Award. Judy’s memoir, Celebration of Sisters: It Is Never Too Late To Grieve, released December 2021 by WriteLife Publishing.