This blog is a collection of my thoughts and experiences from ten years as a skate dad. For those of you sitting with your jackets in the bleachers, first I salute you, but second I want to give you an honest sense of what you are in for and what to expect. Ice skating is both a trying and a glorious sport, but it doesn't happen without the special group of folks who cheer, support, and console the participants. This is dedicated to you.
Thursday, January 28, 2016
You can always distinguish the seriously dedicated skaters from those just curious. The devoted skaters come across instantly as "athletes" yet you don't identify them from their muscularity nor their endurance. Rather they stand out for their ability to enter into a "zone" to maintain a meditative focus. They visualize the future they are targeting, and can cradle this objective in their thoughts.
This focus is quite a peculiar aspect of the human condition. Geeks and nerds possess it, and so do athletes. It's the ability to retain an objective in your mind as important. It inspires you to pursue activities seriously.
Arguably focus is the only way to become a competent skater, to maintain the intense dedication that the sport requires. Yet focus also has its dark side and ransom. For one it blinds a person to most of the other synchronistic occurrences in their lives.
A skating parent faces a delicate predicament with respect to focus: you support and encourage the commitment and importance of figure skating to your child, but at the same time you are well aware that the view of the general community is far more diverse and less critically serious.
To most folks an ice rink is about hockey; skating is gentle winter stroking (holding hands at the rink) or an occasional Olympic event. Ninety eight per cent of the world has no concept of the physical demands and years of practice required to even land an Axel.
Generally a parent finesses a stasis for a very serious competitor who endures hundreds of hours of surgically precise effort, within a starkly indifferent community.