My grandmother, Mary Kelly Berry, used to tell me of skating on the canal in Ottawa. She had loved to skate and we would watch Peggy Fleming together on TV. It was only natural that she thought I should ice skate too and I was anxious to learn.
When I was seven or eight she came up with an old pair of stiff black skates that I suspect had a dull blade. We went to the rink at Burnet Park and she walked around the edge of the rink so I could hang onto her as I desperately tried to learn. Oh, how my ankles used to hurt! We went several times but I was never able to get the hang of it. I think my inability to skate was a great disappointment to her. At some point I received a brand new pair of white skates and I tried many, many times to learn to skate, even after Grandma's passing in the fall of 1970.
There used to be after school roller skating parties in the gym and I did marginally better. I could generally stay upright but I was never graceful and the only fun I had was socializing with friends.
My kids can roller blade and had ice skates when they were younger. My grandkids are just starting to learn to skate. All these years later I still can't skate.