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.
Saturday, August 25, 2012
Being a parent makes you keenly aware of how your child progresses as they grow up through various ages. Without any hard or fast-cut transitions, a child gradually advances from one type of skating to another. A six year old is a considerably different skater than a four year old, but where that change happens chronologically is anybody's guess. But then you get to age 9.
9 is 9, and only a 9 year-old skates this way.
At 9 you are still a petite developing skater; unfortunately your lack of physical mass makes momentum and persistence difficult. Two strong strokes only get you about a third of the way down the ice. Holding a steady spiral is a real challenge. Skating when you are 9 requires tons, just enormous amounts of physical work.
Yet it's also really a special age; you are still normally proportioned, and you have enough grace and foot skills to accomplish most of what you desire. Your delicate physical mass won't interfere to cause inertial or balance issues: you look small, light, and clickety on your feet. You can almost exactly follow the music, you have a great imagination, and you are maturing past acting coy. You have a few favorite pop songs too. You are truly a princess on the ice.
Nine is the magical skating moment, but it doesn't last long.