Skating: Watching, Performing, Testing

by Mary on February 28, 2018

Hi skating and fitness friends! Did you watch the Olympics? I sure did. Did it make you feel like hitting the gym? It always has that effect on me. Within skating I loved Yuzuru Hanyu and Papadakis and Cizeron (how can you not?). Among the Americans I especially admired the Shibutanis (twizzle king and queen!) and Adam Rippon.

You know I’ve loved Adam’s broken-winged bird program since he began skating it a couple of years ago as a show program. For him, the program represented his time off the ice with his broken foot and his journey toward recovery. For me, I related to it while unable to skate with my back injury. At wildly different extremes of the skating world, we are both back on the ice again and grateful to be flying with our flock.

I missed my chance to see his ‘Journey of the Birds’ program live at Skate America because I was getting ready for back surgery. So it was especially sweet to get to see Adam present this program that I love to the whole world at the Olympics and gain all kinds of new fans.

Pacific Coast Adult Sectionals is a week and half away and I’ll be there. As before, coach Gary is going to put me on, though he can only be there for my first event. I’m using the same program for two competition categories, light entertainment and solo free dance. Gary has let me know that my program is not ideal for light entertainment which should be “over the top” and “overboard.” I’m pushing myself already by doing a fun, outgoing program as I tend to be more of an interior skater, so I don’t think over the top is going to happen. But I’ve been trying to give the program a little more life.

I’ve looked at the competitors for my events and there’s only one other person in my dance event, probably because this is the first year they’ve offered the solo free dance category. They’ve combined age categories and genders to even get two competitors, so my fellow competitor is a man. Quite a good skater, too, I’ve seen him skate a beautiful interpretive program to ‘Titanic’ at a previous competition. He’s likely younger than me since they’ve combined the 36-45’s with the 46-55s (I’m 55).

Given this situation, and what I find to be the randomness of the judging of the entertainment programs, the main reason for me to participate is to enjoy performing and hanging out with my skating peeps. While I’m not a natural performer I’ll do my best to enjoy both.

Despite the nearness of Sectionals I’ve been spending most of my skating time working on the juvenile moves. My chances of passing the test on April 5th are pretty low. I got a critique of my moves from a helpful judge two weeks ago, and while she stressed that she was “pleasantly surprised” by my skating of these moves, the juvenile level needs to demonstrate more power, quickness, and extension overall.

I’m making enough progress to stay engaged and wrestle with my elephants. If I posted video it would be hard for you to notice the difference from what I’ve posted before. That’s skating. I’m reminded of something Kori Ade said. She was saying that we might want to consider what had motivated us to take up such a hard sport? One where you can practice for a few months and not be sure whether you are even any better or not?

It’s been almost four years since I passed any figure skating test. I know I’ve learned and done a lot in skating during that time even without that marker, but I would sure like to pass these moves. I might punt again, I might try. I saw this perky video from Adam, and he gives as a favorite saying one that is a chestnut and yet true, “You miss 100% of the shots that you don’t take.”


{ 6 comments… read them below or add one }

Jo February 28, 2018 at 3:52 am

Mary, I just love the way this program is shaping up. The sharpness of the movement and the peppy expression is really emerging–super adorable! I like how you keep going and going–like the Energizer Bunny. Yay twizzles! I will be cheering you on from afar!
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Mary February 28, 2018 at 6:03 am

Thanks Jo! I’m really glad you’re seeing sharpness and peppiness, and I appreciate the cheering from afar! And thanks for giving me a trackback in your blog post!


Eva at Eva Bakes March 1, 2018 at 1:51 am

What a fun program! I loved the spin and the bunny hops! Good luck at Sectionals, Mary! I will be cheering you on from afar!
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Mary March 1, 2018 at 4:07 am

Thanks Eva! And perhaps I will see you in Boston?


George A March 6, 2018 at 2:05 pm

Hi Mary: After watching the Olympics I’m ready to hit the pillow–not the gym–all those late nights in a row! Best of luck with your moves test!


Mary March 9, 2018 at 3:33 am

Thanks George! First Sectionals, then my moves test!


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