Leading off "Life on the Outside Edge of Skating" is a short dissertation on miners:
Conventional mining usually takes place underground and is done for personal gain, not for the love of digging a hole. Armed with shovels, pickaxes and a firm belief that they will strike the "Mother Lode," miners set a goal, stake their claim, figure out a path and then start to excavate. If they are young and inexperienced, their digs are unsophisticated and amateurish. It takes years to hone the proper skills.
Smart new recruits observe the more proficient practitioners. They take mental notes; they make preliminary tests to see where the ground may be softest and they can have the most success in the shortest period of time. They save playing with explosives until they feel well prepared.
So, what does this have to do with skating? Think about it for a moment. It should be quite obvious.
The next time you are at the rink, at a competition, on Twitter, Facebook, a fan board or just being a casual observer in the stands, see if you can identify the miners. Some of them are very obvious with their psychological shovels and verbal axes; some of them are a bit more difficult to identify, but usually they are digging a hole somewhere and trying to cover it up along the way.
Being a miner is a dirty business.
But sometimes, when they least expect it, the roof caves in - or something blows up in their face. Best rule to always remember: Keep your distance so you can experience this..