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, May 18, 2013
When you saunter into any rink right off the bat you field the sliding scale of personalities. Some gals are clearly here for socializing and team spirit. They hang out by the boards, frequently skate adjacent to their friends, and even when skating alone seem to always have an eye on what somebody else is doing. They are the gals that are here to "perform," glittered up and in costume. They grab your love. These are the skaters that attend all the weekend show scrimmages, the group practice sessions. If they get really good they may end up in a traveling ice show and even make a little money in the process. They are the ice entertainers.
On the other end of the spectrum you'll catch the gals that skate alone. They occasionally chat at the dashers but mostly they focus on personal achievement. Instead of weekend group scrimmages, they spend the early part of every weekday morning at a freestyle session with half a dozen of their peers in shared isolation. They gladly accept your love and adore you for it. These are the athletes. If they get really good they may travel with a parent to distant competitions, but aside from the very top one or two national skaters, nobody makes any money at competitive skating. These are the soul inspirers.