Life Talk


I follow USBSF (United States Bobsled & Skeleton Federation) on Twitter. For a few years when I was a teenager, my dad and I spent almost every winter’s weekend volunteering at various sporting events – mostly sliding (bobsled, luge, skeleton) in Lake Placid. I learned to love the sports then, especially skeleton. My favorite event was the one where I had the job of cleaning the sliders’ shoes before they went down the track – any debris attached to their spikes could interfere with their starting run, and slow them down or even throw them off. I was so nervous at first that I wasn’t going to do it properly, but I soon got the hang of it, and LOVED it – being there at the start with them, feeling all professional, like I was really an important part of things!

(Usually I got stuck with parking lot duty. Important, but boring.)

I even got to clean Jimmy Shea’s shoes that competition – now that’s not something everyone can say!

As you know, I’m a figure skater. But there is something thrilling about the sliding sports. One of my dreams is to someday go down a track on a skeleton sled. I’ve seen it with my own eyes – I’ve heard the whoosh of the runners biting into the ice – I’ve felt the excitement build at the start of the track as the sliders prepare themselves and then take off – I’ve been at the bottom when they come in, still buzzed from the adrenaline rush. And yes, I’ve seen enough crashes to know how dangerous it can be. I don’t really care. I still want to try someday, just once.

I remembered that again today when USBSF mentioned about the sleds sounding like bullets going down the track in St Moritz. I replied to them, saying I wanted to experience that someday. They said? Absolutely must try sometime!

I don’t look like your typical thrill-seeker, and there’s a lot of things I won’t try – I’m not even a big fan of roller coasters. But I don’t know, something about skeleton, it just makes me want to throw off my inhibitions and toss caution to the wind.

(I also want to do this someday, but both my father and husband panic every time I mention it –

photo courtesy of
so I don’t talk about it much anymore.)
Do you have anything on your bucket list that seems out-of-character to people who know you? What do you think it says about us as people, our desire to seek thrills? If I ever do get that chance to ride a skeleton sled, who’s coming with me? It’ll be AWESOME!

6 thoughts on “Thrills”

  1. The skeleton thing scares me every time I watch. I keep thinking, "I hope EMS is close by." As for that twirly thing with the ankles? I say go for it but please wear a helmet. It won't go with your skating outfit but I'll be able to sleep better…

  2. I feel like I have an answer to this question, but I can't think of what it is at the moment. I know there are weird things I have hidden daring streaks about. Also I'm a morbid person, which may have some effect. But… man, this is frustrating me. I honestly feel like I have an answer to this, somewhere! Well, if I see something crazy I want to do, I'll let you know…

  3. Connie – Yeah, I can only imagine how my littles will react when they're older and see me wanting to whizz down that skeleton run. "Mo-THER!"Lydia – Don't worry, I can tell you from personal experience that trained medical professionals are nearby at all times for any sliding events. Actually, skeleton is by far the safest of the three, for all that it looks the most dangerous. In luge and bobsled, if you fall, you get the crushing weight of the sled atop you as well, whereas in skeleton the sled usually just skitters out away. Plus you actually have more control over the sled in skeleton than you do in the other two. Rockinlibrarian – hidden daring streaks is a good way of putting it. One of my biggest fears in life is that I will become predictable and boring – those hidden streaks of adventure-seeking are what keep me able to constantly surprise people!

  4. I've never had a bucket list, per say, but I have created and worked through an "I'm afraid of" list. Performing as a street singer surprised some of my friends and loved ones. But my ever supportive mom simply sent me a box of her old hippy clothes. ;)I'm new to your blog, and dig it! Wow… You're a FIGURE SKATER?? I tried plain old ice skating recently after a 2 year hiatus. Let's just say it wasn't pretty! I look forward to more fun posts!

  5. August – thank you for visiting! I am impressed that you performed as a street singer – now that's probably too much of a "thrill" for me.I haven't taken figure skating lessons in years and years, but it's my goal to get back into lessons, for nothing more than my own satisfaction, in the next few years. I love it and am rarely happier than when I'm on the ice.

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