Every week we send our brave USC ambassadors to try out a new activity. With Christmas on the way and the weather turning cold, we’ve checked out our latest ice skating partner in Cologne…
What is ice skating?
’Tis the season to get your skates on and glide over the ice at rocket speed. Professional ice skaters are admired for their ability to move technically and artistically with leaps, pirouettes and turns on the ice. We could only try our best…
What can you expect?
Lentpark is a huge complex right in the centre of Cologne. The place is special because of its colossal ice rink which spans over two floors. You can skate
around the entire complex on the upper level balcony.
There’s a real community feeling to the place with lots of families and groups of friends enjoying activities. We went down to the basement of the complex where we hired some ice skating shoes and put all our stuff in a locker. We then took a lift up in our skates to the balcony floor.
How was the workout?
Our first steps on ice were precarious. It took a while to get used to the slippery surface under our feet. For the first 15 minutes Fritzi and I clung to the railing
for dear life. Young children glided past us as if they were born to skate – we, however, staggered and lurched forward with the same level of elegance as two bags of potatoes.
“Ice is just so slippery,” I remember saying to Fritzi; a profound nugget of information that I’m sure would have blown her mind if she wasn’t so busy concentrating on staying upright.
Slowly we were able to let go of the railing and start moving with some coherency around the rink. It was still terrifying but after a little while I was able to get used to the sensation and wasn’t so afraid of falling over.
After about 20 minutes I suddenly realised I was enjoying myself. Although I wasn’t able to ice skate very quickly I was able to move in a motion that resembled gliding rather than stumbling. As people sailed past me I realised how amazing it must feel to actually be good at ice skating. It must feel so liberating to speed around on the ice.
After about 45 minutes without falling over I decided it was best to quit while I was ahead and I exited the ice rink unscathed.
How did I feel after?
I felt light and happy. It’s a real mood-booster to glide around on the ice. I also felt a real sense of achievement having tried something new and it felt good to have improved so quickly.
Benefits of ice skating
There are tons of health benefits to ice skating, including improved balance and joint flexibility and it’s excellent for your leg muscles. Not only that but I was genuinely sweaty after my 45 minutes on the ice – whether that was through fear or because it’s a great cardio workout, I’m uncertain.
Don’t forget to bring…
Bring gloves and make sure you’re wearing socks and warm clothes. Other than that you can rent everything you need at Lentpark.
If you’d like to try ice skating take a look at USC’s ice skating partners to see the closest venues to you.
And take a look at Lentpark’s website to find out what activities are on offer.