sparklesandsalchows

There’s something about figure skating that makes it special.
Something about the sparkly dresses, rosy cheeks, competition jitters, ice shows, and sharp blades that makes it different from any other sport. Something about the dance patterns, program music, tricky jumps, final results, and bruised knees that motivates me to wake up at 4:30am just to go to the rink. Skating takes away all my worries and makes me feel amazing. It brings me great joy and great sorrow, true happiness and true pain. It teaches me invaluable life lessons that help me grow as a person, and shows me the true meaning of determination. Without skating I don’t know what I would do, and I hope to skate for the rest of my life.

Instead of my $700 skates, I could have $700 worth of new clothes.
Instead of my $90 competition, I could have a $90 dinner at a fancy restaurant.
Instead of my $300 dollar skating dress, I could buy a new $300 iPod.
Instead of my $200 dollar weekly coaching, I could buy a nice $200 pair of shoes.
Instead of spending hours upon hours of my precious time in the skating rink, I could do hours upon hours of other great things.

But these are choices I have to make… And I know I’ve made the right ones.

I’ve just been having really good practices the past few days. Why? Because I’m relaxed.
I don’t know why, but like 50% of the time I cannot control my stress so I freak out and pop jumps and cry. If you’re a figure skater, you know exactly what that feels like. It feels shitty and it’s extremely frustrating.
Most people don’t realize how mentally demanding skating is. Yes- throwing yourself into the air with flawless technique and rotating before landing on a tiny metal blade is super duper hard, but you can’t do that unless you are in the right mindset. Basically, if you think too much, you mess up. And you really, really, really don’t want to mess up. So the little voice in your head starts saying ‘Do not mess up’ or 'Look at all the people watching’ and all these other things. And then you mess up!!!
But the past few days I’ve just relaxed and gone with the flow. As a result, I’ve been landing so many (good!) jumps, and doing some lovely spins, if I do say so myself. I’ve also been able to do my program without freaking out and missing every jump. 
My dance coach tells me about the KISS method- Keep It Simple, Stupid. It’s so important to just follow the KISS method! Do not over-think your skating, because it doesn’t help. Do not have a negative attitude about your skating, because things will go badly. Just stop thinking! Relax and take a deep breath and go for the jump. 
Has anyone else had such problems with going into negative panicky mode? Has anyone else felt as happy as I do when they finally learn to relax?  

Last week when the roads were bad and my parents told me they couldn’t drive me 45 minutes to skating at 5 on Sunday morning, I was pretty okay with it, b/c I was EXHAUSTED and didn’t want to go that much. But today I was excited to go like usual, and I got fully ready to go before they told me I couldn’t go. Stupid Canadian weather. Ugh. And my coach is going to be mad at me. I just really wanted to go.

I’m happy with how yesterday’s competition went, but I didn’t have much time to rest. Up at 5 this morning (okay, maybe I didn’t get out of bed til 5:30) and worked really hard at both morning and afternoon practice. I’m going to be so sore and bruised tomorrow! I also got a bit of a bloody cut on my hand from my blade.
My coach made me do a section of my solo five times in a row. Fun but exhausting. And we changed my combination spin to flying camel to back biellman to forward pancake to upright.