Saturday, January 21, 2012

A little Time on the Ice...

First Comp age 4
Occasionally, I do spend time thinking about something other than food!  One thing that keeps me busy is driving to and from the ice rink or arena.  As some of you already know, my now 8 year old skates a few days a week...  Actually, last week, it was 6!  But that was an anomaly, normally it is 3 or 4 days a week.   Currently, we are preparing for the upcoming Lynn Hetherington Memorial competition, which is also now the Vancouver Island Championships, and just a week away!  It has been exciting to watch the noticeable changes in her skating since Christmas break.  At the last competition, in October, it was her first time in Pre Preliminary...The first time that not everyone in the group gets recognition for their performance.  Top 6 only (and there are usually 10-12 in a group).  We came 9th out of 10.  After her skate, I knew she wouldn't place very high.  While she had a wonderful performance (if there is one thing she can always do its put on a show), she missed the three key elements for pre preliminary: Her lutz jump, her flip jump and her camel-sit spin.  Other skaters in her group, while they weren't as fast nor were they as bright and sparkly or light on their feet, had all completed the jumps and managed 3 rotations of each position in their combination spins.  Yes, she had the highest spiral, and the biggest smile, but Pre Preliminary is about the elements first, the show second.
Age 8

As a former skater, (and an active member of our club's executive), I have a bit of knowledge that allows me to sit there and think, "Oh dear."  but then you are prepared to deal with the child's disappointment later, when the results are posted.  It reminded me of her first competition, where I don't think she knew there were going to be medals until the actual moment they were given out.  And she whispered to me "Mummy, maybe I came first!"  I said, "Maybe you came 5th!"  in an excited voice, but she shook her head and said, "no I think I came first"...This was at four and a half.  She came 5th, but  was more disappointed that her friend (who came 6th) had a purple ribbon while hers was green.  Interestingly enough, she spent the next two years coming 2nd or 3rd (no, never first), and was always very pleased with herself.  She developed such poise.  And given that she was always in the youngest group (in her category), we logged more than our share of early morning starts, which can mean being privy to some technical difficulties.  One time, she had to start her solo four times, because of music problems.  Each time she went out with a huge grin on her face and a big "ta da!  Here I am!"  only to be returned to her coach on the boards to wait.  She came 2nd that time.  Another time, someone blew  a fuse in the arena and it was the one for the music system.  She (and all the kids in her group...cannot say girls, because there were two boys as well) had to skate to their music played on a portable CD player!  She came 3rd that time.
Age 7

So, in the past few weeks, I can see a marked change in her skating, and preparation. This is in part, I am sure, to growth both physically and emotionally.  It has me excited to see how (in a group of 12) she will be in competition next week.  I would never share this much with her, however.  That is not her style, so I keep my comments to recognition of hard work and great jumps and when I notice improvement.  I let her coach funnel the psychology part..
Her focus this weekend though is on the televised Canadian championships.  Last year, Nationals were held here on the Island, in Victoria, and I spent a week down there volunteering.  She was able to be there with me for a portion of it (at 7 she was not old enough to volunteer), and she got to watch the Senior pairs practices.  What a treat to meet the likes of Dylan and Kristen, and Rudy and Paige, Megan and Eric,  and they were so silly all the time (that is what made the biggest mark on her), and yet they worked so hard.  She found this amazing, and much more fun than watching the ladies practice (it's so quiet Mum!).  This year, Nationals are in New Brunswick, so we are watching them on TV (and the internet!  Thank you, Skate buzz!).  And they are providing so much inspiration for this skating household!

Happy Packing!
First Comp as Pre Preliminary


  1. You must be proud. What I love about sports is not only the technical skills (which in and of themselves are impressive), but the life skills kids learn - success through perseverance, dealing with failure and diappointment, working as a team. That's what I get most from this post.

  2. Exactly. It is the gift of perseverance and the ability to get up, dust yourself off and start again. They can learn so much from the opportunity to experience competition.


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