Fun Things in Treasure Valley


The best time to be in Idaho is winter time, and you are in luck. Idaho has a lot of winter to go around. As you might expect from a state in the north, winter lasts a while, which means there is plenty of time in the year to do some really cool winter activities. There are a lot of people that come to Idaho for skiing, (Which is a great past time and a good reason to come to the state) but there are so many other things to do in the winter as well. Something you might not have considered is ice skating, which is a lot of fun and best done in the winter (There are some places that keep an ice rink year-round, but they are rare as it is an expensive endeavor). While in the Treasure Valley area, you are going to be able pick from a variety of different ice rinks and even frozen over ponds and lakes, and I would encourage you to try them out if you decide it makes the most sense for you. Ice skating is an absolute blast, even if you only ever go once.

A lot of people get turned off of ice skating because they are afraid of falling down a whole bunch and looking silly and incompetent, but any embarrassment you might feel is well worth it when you can learn to glide across the surface of the ice like a swan. It should not be embarrassing at all, as pretty much everyone who starts ice skating for the first time is going to fall a lot. Any experienced skater has been there before you and will understand the difficulties that come with getting started. They should help you if you want it and will not laugh, not matter how many times you fall. Falling or not if you are out with a crowd that is likely to laugh at you your first time out, then you are with the wrong crowd.

Beyond the experience of being graceful on ice, there are health benefits to ice skating as well. If you are bored of your current workout routine and want to switch things up, ice skating is a great way to work out. Not only is it fun, where just running or lifting can get monotonous, but it exercises different muscles and develops a skill as well. If you have a set exercise schedule, maybe toss ice skating in there every once in a while, just like you might swim laps or go biking on a particular day. You can probably only do it in the winter, but at least it will not get old.

In order to try and reduce the number of times you fall and how bad it will be when you do inevitably fall, here are a few tips. First, a little bit about form and positioning. You do not want to stand like a metal post when trying to ice skate. This is a very unbalanced stance and you will do a whole lot of wobbling around (At best. You are probably going to fall down over and over until you figure out how to stand or gain balance). Consider the position you want to have for ice skating is somewhat similar to skiing. You want to put your weight forward of the rest of your body, and ideally stay level on the balls on your feet and stay balanced as much as possible. Ideally, you want to have bended knees that will keep you relaxed and in control.

Surprisingly, most of your control on the ice comes from the orientation of your shoulders and the way you shift your weight. Trying to direct yourself by changing the orientation of your skates will never get the results you want. If you want to go right, consider bringing your left shoulder forward. If you want to go left, consider bringing your right shoulder forward. Adjust how much you change the position of your shoulders based on how sharp of a turn you want to make. Of course, you cannot just use your shoulders to do all the work, but they are a core part of making meaningful headway on the ice.

You are going to fall. Just get used to that fact. When you do fall, it is best to get up in a particular way. You may want to consider not using your fingers very much. You want to keep them out of contact with the ice as much as possible. If the ice is not particularly well maintained, you can cut yourself on the ice, and you also want to avoid the ill effects of the cold. This is mostly a worry when you are starting out and you need to get up more often. You might be surprised how cold your hands and fingers may get when you have to push yourself up off the ice several times in an hour. Consider using your elbows and arms to prop yourself up and stabilize, then get a single skate upright on the ice. From there, push yourself up to standing and don't hesitate to ask for help. If you are unable to avoid using your hands, consider balling them up into a fist. Your fingers are the most precious and vulnerable part of your hands, so you want to keep them off the ice the most.

One last thing to consider. You want to make sure your skates are well fitting. If you go out on the ice with skates that flop around everywhere, you are going to fall over no matter what. This might seem obvious, but you would be surprised. If you try on a pair of skates and they feel mostly fine but are not quite there, take the extra time to get the right pair. It will probably save your time in the long run and keep you skating more than falling.

Sure, you might stroll away with a few bruises, but they will be absolutely worth it. Ice skating is super fun, and one of the best things you can to in Idaho or the Treasure Valley. Consider giving it a shot. You will not be disappointed.


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