March 22 -24, 2007
Achieving The Dream!
Thursday March 22
Today was definitely one of the most memorable experiences of all my 57 years! In my wildest dreams as a teenager, I had dreamt of competing as a figure skater in a major event and knew it was virtually impossible. I never thought I would actually DO IT, particularly in my “mature years”. How wonderful to actually LIVE that dream!
Since arriving in Calgary on Sunday, I had slept remarkably well - better than I do at home – which is unusual since I usually sleep poorly on the road. However, the night before competition was FILLED with weird dreams **SIGH**. I DEFINITELY could have used a better rest….
I was up early and took a cab to the rink to register and hit the Skate Canada boutique only to find that the boutique didn’t open until 9 a.m. PFFFFT! (<-that’s a raspberry!) With practice at 11, I decided not to eat and to come back to the hotel for awhile and rest but “rest” didn’t happen. I relaxed as best I could, did my makeup, and headed back to the rink by shuttle with my skate bag at 9:30. I visited the boutique, spent some money on “event wear”, and then found my coach. She outlined the day’s plan so I would know what to expect, we did a walk-about of the facility to learn where everything was and planned to meet up again before practice.
Practice went well. Coach had some tips that made an immediate improvement to some of my moves (particularly turns) and the 30 minutes of ice time was plenty to thoroughly warm up without tiring myself out. My right ankle continued to cause me some twinge but I hoped it would hold through competition. Coach went off to tend to her other skater and I spent the next few hours “wandering”. Meandering about the complex seemed to help allay developing any severe nerves and spending a few minutes outside, away from the commotion, in the sunshine and fresh air, really helped me “ground & centre” myself (surprisingly quickly). I grabbed a light snack and spent an hour or so with my iPod up in the stands, listening to my music and imagining my program on the ice, just to reacquaint myself with my music and know where I should be and when (relative to the music).
Coach and I met in the dressing room about an hour before my scheduled competition time but the event was running a bit late and my competition time got pushed back from 3:50 to 4:17 so we sat and talked for awhile. I touched up my makeup, made a final trip to the bathroom, and put on my costume. Coach had me hold off on putting on my skates until about 20 minutes before my skate time, then I booted up and we went to the waiting area as the previous group of skaters was finishing. I wont give away any of my coaches “secrets” about event strategies (but she has some).
I really surprised myself in the warm-up – god what a ham! I wont give away any of my event strategies either (but I have some) - I made sure the judges got a GOOD look at me and that I stood out from the group.
Being the last skater in the group gave me time to relax (“relax”?? Ha-ha!) before my turn to take to the ice.
Surprisingly I managed to keep the nerves under control (pretty much) as I skated out to my starting position, struck my opening pose, and gave a little nod to the music man.
My opening had all the judges smiling (GOOD START!) and got the crowd going (also good start). Unfortunately, the ice was much harder than I expected and I wasn’t as confident in my edges as I should have been but other than that, the program went well. Coach said some of my elements were the best she has seen me do but others were not up to my normal level. Still, I had no trouble covering the Olympic size ice (nerves = adrenaline = coverage?) and kept good time with my music. I managed to play to the crowd and hide my nervousness behind a BIG smile (most of the time). I wasn’t as winded as I usually am at the end of the program but I knew I didn’t skate as well as I should have/could have (hello Jeff Buttle! You’ve got company – LOL!) when I took my place in “the kiss & cry” with my coach and awaited the marks.
Skate Canada 2007 Adult Championship
Women’s Pre-Introductory Interpretive
And I also passed my Pre-Introductory Interpretive test :-) The test judge had some wonderful comments on my test form and all her criticisms were justified (considering the way I skated).
My feelings at the end of the day?
HOLY SHIT! I did it!
I actually skated at National competition, passed a Skate Canada test and did it pretty well considering I have only been skating 14 months!
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