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As we wrapped up our lesson this week, Coach A said with a gleam in her eye, “I want to get you outskating that boot, so you can break it down and move up to a better one.”

And I went, “Whaaaaa?” Because my skates are just over two months old, and they’ve never even been sharpened. This is Week 10 of skating for me, and I’ve logged about 30 to 35 hours on the ice so far (I’m keeping track since I know they’re about due for a sharpening soon — Coach A felt the blade last week and says I’ve still got a little life in them, but I know it’s getting to be about that time). The boots are still smooth and shiny and white, with no nicks in them yet.

On the other hand, I’ve been feeling the need to lace the ankles more tightly in recent weeks, because they haven’t been as supportive as I’d like. They’re Jackson Artiste skates, and while I don’t really understand the stiffness differences yet, I know they’re a pretty soft boot compared to the others. When I started the waltz jump yesterday, even just doing those for ten minutes I could feel that the leather was getting a workout.

Hm, maybe I should’ve started out with the Freestyles after all. But I was worried about getting overly ambitious at the outset and impeding my learning. Plus, the Freestyles would have been almost twice the cost of the Artiste. Granted, I still think I’ve got lots of life left in my skates, but it’s a bit surprising to be thinking of upgrading so soon. Ah, well I knew this was an expensive sport going in.

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