People keep asking me that, so I guess it is time to answer.
Last post I mentioned that I was going to U.S. Adult Nationals to pit myself against other ice skaters at my same testing level and see if I could better my finish from last year.
Last year my best placement was 5th out of 6 skaters. I skated the best I could at the time. But it wasn’t enough.
This year I was determined to do better.
This year….I also placed 5th. But it was 5th out of 15 or 16 competitors. Trust me, that feels WAY different.
I was so proud!
It wasn’t the best skate of my life. but it was good enough to place in the top third. That felt good.
But it was only the beginning of my week at Nationals.
My husband Martin and our daughter Ginny had come along for the fun.
Or maybe I should say “fun” because for that first day Martin’s time was almost completely occupied with trying to convince Ginny to come into the arena and let him watch the skating. Ginny is an active child. She loves to skate…but will tell anyone that she hates to just watch skating.
The second day we spent away from the rink (sorry fellow competitors, sometimes a mommy has to pay attention to her family) and it really helped. But the third day mommy needed to compete again and Ginny wasn’t thrilled….UNTIL somehow she got to be on the list of sweepers.
For those who don’t know, sweepers are the kids who get to skate out between competitors and clear the ice of all the flowers, teddy bears and what-not that gets tossed onto the ice after each performance.
Once Ginny (and Martin) became a sweeper, she got to be involved, useful and entertaining (since she made faces at the various stuffed animals and giggled along with the crowd as she picked up each one) !!!! All of a sudden, the termagent who wanted nothing to do with the rink couldn’t be pulled away. Martin had trouble getting her to even stop long enough to eat.
She was the hit of the week. Seriously. She got a medal for her volunteer work and random strangers came up to us in various restaurants to shake her hand and thank her for the great job she was doing!
Anyway, my program that day was my dramatic skate to a song from the Prince of Egypt movie. It is called “deliver us” and is basically Moses’ mother singing as she gives him to the river.
It is an angst ridden program and I remember almost collapsing into my Coach Davin’s arms afterwards. I wasn’t quite crying, but I know I was shaking. I did okay, but the program had some spots in it that could use work, so I had no expectations of high placement. I can still (over 2 months later) feel the shock that went through me when I saw the score sheet and realized I was going to get my first ever National Medal – a silver !
It didn’t feel real until a team member asked me how I did. I held up 2 fingers and grinned like an idiot and we both squealed and jumped up and down like silly cheerleaders. Thank you Annette for sharing my joy in that moment. That was special and I know what it cost you.
The next day Ginny could have had a break from the rink, but she wanted to be a sweeper again, so we let her do it again. and she loved it. all day long.
Day five I got to compete again. One more program. One more hour of Ginny being a sweeper before she and Martin had to leave on a plane to return to Atlanta and the “real” world. They had to miss my third competition. One more chance to perform. My light entertainment piece. Known in our family as “Trixie”
Trixie is a dog. Trixie is also a drama queen. Trixie likes to act tragic about it when her owner leaves her alone…..for just one minute.
The program is funny. IF you get to hear the voice-over at the beginning which sets the scene. The only other time I had competed this program the sound guy had turned the voice-over WAY down…..nobody got to hear the set up. And without the set-up, it is really really hard to appreciate the joke.
This time I was blessed. The audio was up and clear and the audience GOT it and was screaming with laughter before I ever even moved. I’ve never had anything like that happen in my life. Merciful heavens what a feeling!
It is a tremendously fun program to skate and even though I fell at the end I managed to work it into the story. Sure my jumps could be higher, and my spins could be faster, But I came off the ice so high from audience reaction that I honestly didn’t have a care in the world. If that is what it feels like on a good night for theatre actors, no wonder they are addicted! I would tell you in precise detail just what that much adrenaline feels like, but this blog could be read by children one day, so….I won’t.
I got to wait for a while for the scores to come up and in the meantime I was privilidged to be a witness to my friends Keri getting her first ever National Medal (bronze!)
Very cool moment.
and then…I eventually found out that I actually won. Very very cool, but nothing compares to getting on the ice, somehow knowing I was about to own it. and then having it actually come true. I loved that feeling.
(This post was hiding in my drafts folder from 2014. I have just started blogging again and realized that I never published this. So forgive the hugely out of date news, but this was a big accomplishment for me and I wanted to post it.)