My psychiatrist says I just have to face my issues…makes sense, because if I don’t I’m out of a job. My entire career is built out of teaching people how to ice skate, so you’d think that would come easily for me. And it did, for my whole life! I was born in Canada, Banff specifically, and I used to go for walks along frozen lakes, ski all winter long and laugh at tourists from hot places who just couldn’t handle the cold. True, once it gets to minus 30 degrees no one can really handle that kind of cold, but you do what you can as a local to make it look like it doesn’t bother you.
And now I’m giving ice skating lessons around Melbourne and surrounding areas…or I was, until a few weeks ago. Look, I don’t watch many horror movies, and for a good reason. My imagination is so vivid, I can’t really sleep all that well if I’ve seen something horrific. But for some reason, I let my friends talk me into seeing The Bear Maul-ening, which is about a guy who gets mauled by a bear and nearly freezes to death. It’s Oscar-bait, so I didn’t think it’d be a straight up horror. Those never win awards, from what I can remember. But it was the scariest thing I’ve ever watched. The guy gets frostbite, and he has to do…things, to survive. I won’t spoil it, or horrify anyone unnecessarily, but it’s really quite a watch and I don’t know why anyone would put themselves through it.
Now I’ve developed some kind of cold phobia. And sure, it’s summer in Melbourne right now, but inside that ice skating rink it’s cold, cold as ice, colder than ice maybe, and I can’t face it. I know there are no bears in there, but I stepped in the door yesterday and it just brought back all the fear I felt in the theatre. I don’t want to have to bite off my own toes or anything horrible. It’s all very irrational but I can’t help it. Is my career in being an ice skating instructor over forever, all because of a silly film? Let’s hope not.