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, March 9, 2013
Skating is so "inside;" when I sit at a coffee shop across the street from Sectionals and spy an attractive slender lady, we briefly share an unspoken connection that is more than just interesting strangers. Even though I've never seen her in my entire life and can't put a direct finger on the attachment, only two hours later I will see her in the stands at the rink wearing a competitor's neck card and we'll both nod and understand.
Sectionals is a ton of nerves out there on the ice. This must be absolutely the worst event to have to skate: the ticket to Nationals. Yeah if you ever get lucky enough to make Nationals you'll be nervous when you step out on the ice there too, but at that point it's just a competition (in front of way more people than you're used to). Still you are faced off against the other competitors, and you will place where you deserve.
Sectionals though is an *elimination*. It's fish or cut bait. More than any other time, this is less of a skills-test than it is a mental nerves test.
Down to every last gal, they perceptibly shake while assuming starting position. Every single skater who has never been at Sectionals before perceptibly thinks "holy shit." Even those who have been here before inhale a deep breath and think "here goes nothin'."
I think at Sectionals it's really the strongest personality gals that do their best. This is where your confidence built from how hard you have practiced really surfaces and shines. This is where your spirituality matters.