Apr 20, 2012

Reflections on Ice

Dancin' Blades ice show, 2012.  The Figure Skating Club of Minneapolis at Augsburg presents a star studded musical variety show -- ok maybe no stars, but it's musical!

Figure Skating

I've been training at FSC for a couple years.  It started with my daughter Lily taking lessons.  While we sat and watched her toddle along on the ice the thought of taking lessons ourselves just made sense.  Jill took them, I took them, we even got Eli into academy for a bit.  But all he wanted to do was go fast.  And then Jill had her knee renovated, so she took some time off.  Finally, it was just Lily and I.  I took classes in academy (the groups of kids just learning how to skate) and eventually joined Lily in the club taking private lessons with her and her coach.  I even have a locker!

These days when Lily and I go for a session with the coach it's a matter of keeping Lily on the ice while I get some more training.  I'm a really good student: I learn all the same tricks every week!  It's hard to remember what a half flip is vs a toe loop vs any kind of lutz.  But oh so long ago I thought I'd never get a backward one foot glide, or any kind of crossover.  But I did, and those are fun now.  The goal was to be able to do something on purpose that put me off both feet and back down on the ice without breaking anything.  I guess I've made that goal, but we can modify it to "jump with a spin" -- that will take a long while yet!

I'm an old dog, and these new tricks don't come cheap.  I've been sore in all joints, sprained wrists, bruised my butt a million times, smacked myself into a concussion once, and broken a rib.  I've been the only middle aged man in classes of little girls, and I've fallen enough times in front of enough people that I really don't have a lot of shame left.  I decided that falling means I'm trying really hard, and for the most part it pays off.  I'll never be as good as the older guys in the club who compete, but I have fun, pay my dues, and every once in a while when all of the stars align and I get two or three moves in a row that just flow together I feel like a pretty, pretty ballerina.  But in a manly way.  :)

I don't really have any "plans" for my skating career, but as long as Lily skates, I'll skate.  It's a wonderful father-daughter sport, and it's a lot of fun.  If she told me I was embarrassing her I'd quit in a moment -- but I would probably look for a new club. :)

The Ice Show

Lily has been in the show three years now, and last year I wistfully thought it would be kind of fun.  This year I pushed it a bit and made it known I was interested.  There weren't enough adults for an adult number, so they came up with an idea for my contribution:  Cuteness Wrangler.  Every year the youngest of the young in the academy have a number in the show.  It's mostly a matter of cuter than cute tinier than tiny little girls in button perfect outfits toddle across the ice.  Often they fall right on their butts.  It's not planned, but it's part of the ultra-cute.

I'm essentially Simon in a Simon-says game on the ice.  I corral them in the right general direction, and when the two year old wanders into the middle of the ice looking for mommy and daddy, I zoom in and gently redirect her back to the group.  I spend a lot of time doing that.  And yeah, I said two.  Ages in our group of ten (!) range from 2 to 7, and you'd be surprised where the skill levels hash out -- you can't tell who'll be good until they zoom past you on the ice.  But it's a lot of fun and I get to help these kids have some fun and be in a show.  And I get to drop a crossover in there once in a while.  Jill says I need to throw more tricks in there, but I'll play it by ear.  It's nice not to have a waltz jump to worry about.

Initially I was worried this wouldn't be enough for me, but it really is.  And I think if they want me back I'll do it again next year.  I would be fine being the Cuteness Wrangler every year.  They may be cuter than me, but I can out-skate a two year old any day!

1 comment:

P. Robert said...

Hi Robert! Great blog! My name is Peter, I live in Chicago and I am building a Chugger design boat somewhat similar to the one you built a few years ago. I stumbled across the pics of your boat and wanted to pass my compliments along to you on the great job you did on your boat! I am hoping to have mine on the water in about a month or so! I started a blog about mine as well, if you are interested, it's called "Where a Boat Goes" here on blog spot. Again my compliments on your build!