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, January 24, 2015
Compared to the relaxed standing around and lollygagging at your typical weekday Freestyle practices, every competition or showcase event I've been to has always been the epitome of high stress and hectic. Most of this I presume has to do with their relentless schedule -- pretty much everything is planned to the minute, and if you're late then you've missed your event. Everything seems to be tied into this mississippian flow: cars are constantly shuttling in and out of the parking lot, music and registration is a continuous roller coaster at the front check-in, judges are up and down between their scoring stations and hospitality, coaches are checking in and out and mentally checking their internal schedule, the Zamboni driver takes breaks and then wanders back in to resurface at precisely the right time, and the camera and video crews peek ahead to find the next potty or coffee break.
Although it's hectic, skating events are still incurably slow. If you want to catch a fair amount of representative performances you pretty much have to stick around the rink for half of a day's competition. The stressed out drama of the event slowly wears you down with its small catastrophes until you are forced into a trance, and then whamo! out comes a skater in perfect costume with absolute grace who will hypnotically steal your heart.