Yesterday was group and private lesson day. Coach Y was barking at Stitch to get on the ice as he was pulling off his guards, and I knew that she'd be milking every second. We're a week away, and while I think things look pretty solid, the coach of course has every right to tweak the program.
She had him run through some forward and backwards crossovers before running through the program five times. Yes, five times. She even ran to get her boom box from the big rink, found an extension cord and ran it to the ice door, where I pushed "play" and Stitch ran through the routine again and again. One mom was sitting on the benches behind me, and asked me what we were doing.
"Is this for a competition?" she asked.
"Uh, yeah," I said. "It's next week, so I guess they're looking to make it good."
"What level is he?"
"He's Alpha 2 now, but competing at Pre-Alpha. It's weird, the day he passes Alpha, he'll be competing at a Pre-Alpha competition. I guess that's just how it falls."
And we talked. Her daughter was the one in the sparkly Princess costume. This mom didn't know if her daughter was ready to compete, but told me about the girl's enthusiasm. "I just want to do one that's no pressure," she said.
"Then do ISI. Everyone gets a medal for showing up, and they encourage the beginners." I told her about the website, the cheap membership, how to pony up to compete, and music. I felt rather wise.
After the private lesson, I cleaned up the extension cords for Coach while she ran to the group class. I got in to find my friend, and we started talking about Thanksgiving and how she needed to come over to teach me how to make Curry Goat.
A voice behind us chimed in. Another newbie mom. We talked about food, apparently how our town has none good in it, and then we inevitably turned to skating. "I found her some skates at a yard sale," the mom looked over wistfully at the Beta Group.
"Which one is yours?"
She indicated Rockstar, the girl who has been bumped up from Pre-Alpha all the way to Beta in one session. Rockstar had been the one in the Moonboot Skates, and now she had a pair of Riedells in bad need of a sharpening.
I queried if Rockstar would be interested in my Pre-Freestyle ice calendar, to get some added practice. Mom turned to me. "There's practice ice?"
I set her up with the same information I gave to the other mom; ISI, competition, coaches, etc.
The other mom put down her notebook and gave a hard look out onto the ice. "You know, sometimes I get the feeling that we aren't wanted here."
"So do I. Ignore it. Everyone started at Pre-Alpha, and they know it."
We laughed, class ended, and we all said our goodbyes. I felt much better, knowing that I wasn't alone in feeling that the parents of higher level skaters can be less than welcoming.
(Oh, and I met Mysteria!!! 'Nother post, 'nother post...)