How Ice Skating in New York City Inspired our Graphic Tees and Sweatshirts

How Ice Skating in New York City Inspired our Graphic Tees and Sweatshirts

I was not planning on going ice skating this winter, but New York City had other plans for me. The nature of this city is to surprise and delight; to entertain and enliven those that become a part of it. When the air starts to chill, the holiday atmosphere of the skyscraper lined streets littered with twinkling lights and decorations begins to take shape. Ice skating rinks began to pop up and open to the public in well-known hot spots such as Bryant Park and the better-known Central Park.

“We should go ice skating!” my friend said. I was both intrigued and apprehensive. I had not been ice skating since childhood and my last known recollection of the sport was seeing an old coworker come into her shift with a missing front tooth after visiting the local ice rink. This could be dangerous, I thought, but danger can be rewarding if you overcome its perils and come out on the other side. I watched videos of Snoopy skating circles around Charlie Brown on a frozen pond, effortlessly gliding to soft instrumentals. ‘I’m ready,’ I thought.

I made a reservation for two at the ice-skating rink at Bryant Park’s Winter Village. After a short subway ride to 42nd Street, we entered the park’s former common grounds that have been transformed into a North Pole inspired winter wonderland. We walked through rows of small gift shops, food vendors, and hot cocoa stands before reaching the main arena: a large oval ice rink surrounded by crowds of visitors.

We could see others skating on the rink, some looked like experts while others clung onto the perimeter walls with uncertainty. I felt nervous, but ready to see what it felt like to be out on the ice. We made our way through the line of people and up to the skate rental kiosk where we chose skates a whole size smaller than our shoe sizes so that they fit snug on our feet. We laced up our skates with care, making sure they were tight around the foot and ankle. Christmas songs played loudly around us, and we walked to the opening of the rink.

I held the top of the outer rink’s wall to find my footing on the ice after leaving solid ground. It felt very strange at first, you need to find your balance and then figure out how to move forward. I heard another skater say “Step, step, glide.” So that is what I did, and to my surprise, it worked. I stayed close to the wall, and it took a few tries to start to build confidence in my movements. My mantra had become ‘step, step, glide’ which would prove to be my saving grace out on the ice that night.

I watched people around me fall hard and fast in different directions. Most falls could be attributed to a failure to maintain your center of gravity and relying on someone or something else to hold you up, instead of finding your own strength. I started to realize that ice skating is a lot like life; you’re on your own out there and If you fall, you must get back up and keep going until you figure it out. If you try to cling to someone else, you could take them down with you. I skated around the rink gaining more and more trust in myself that I had found my footing.

The reality of ice skating is that you have willingly stepped onto frozen water with sharp blades strapped to your feet. I knew that If I didn’t learn fast, I would be risking injury and embarrassment. There is an audience of locals and tourists all around the rink sipping hot cocoa and laughing at the poor souls who thought ice skating would be easy and were proved wrong. Day one of ice skating taught me a valuable lesson; nothing is ever as easy as it seems, but I am capable of figuring it out.

If skating taught me anything, it was to commit to something without giving up. I watched myself improve with each practice session. I think this explains why sports were so fun to me as a kid – learning something new, challenging yourself, overcoming obstacles and seeing the rewards in yourself.

Ice skating and New York City inspired Apparel designs: 

NYC Skyline Tee

New York City Skyline Premium Pullover Hoodie

Ice Skate Premium Pullover Hoodie

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