Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Day Wherein I had to Leave

I haven't been to Practice Ice in about a week. We were supposed to go Monday, but after such a rollercoaster weekend (Surprise Party, then the cat finally died, which I'm sad about but relieved with at the same time) I needed a night off.

So we went tonight. The usual suspects were there, doing the usual things. Nothing seems to change much until it does, I guess. I saw Ms V, and went to say hello wince I hadn't seen her in weeks. She greeted me and said they were just chilling for awhile before heading home. I said we were doing Practice ice. All was fine until she mentioned Gordon's skate. "I think it's broken, I don't know what to do."
"What's wrong with it?"
"The sole part is pulling away from the boot."
Uh..... "That sounds serious. Can I see it?"
"It's in the car. I'll go get it." So she traipses out to the car and Stitch is asking if he can get on the ice and the monitor is saying no, so I'm deflecting him from getting ice cream too soon. (After practice, please.)

Ms V returns and digs out the offending skate. "See?" she pulls back gently, the heel part pulling away from the sole.
I take the skate and turn to the nearest Coach. "Coach Q? Um..." I hand her the carcass of the skate.
Coach Q's eyes get wide. "Oh my god, I've never seen that before!" She looks up at another Coach. "Coach S! Look at this!"
Coach S gives the skate a look. "What brand is that??"
"Reidell," says Ms V. "It's supposed to be good quality, but we got it secondhand..."
"He can't skate in this," says Coach S.
"But we can't get new skates so close to competition," says Ms V.
"Call Coach H," Coach S says. "He's good at skate repair. But it may not be done by the competition."
"I guess Gordon is rough on his skates," Ms V is kinda freaked out.
Yes, he's rough on his skates. But he's rough on his skates because you let him tear around the lobby for a half hour after lessons are done with the skates on. They aren't jogging shoes. That's also why his blades are in such bad shape. But I didn't say anything. What was the point?
I excused myself to help Stitch practice. I was watching him do forward crossovers when Ms V came back in. She looked resigned. "Coach H says he can't skate in them, it's not safe. I don't know what to do."
Me neither, but can I be a fly on the wall when you tell Coach Y about this? "Something will work out, you can get new skates or borrow some." (This is a lesson in equipment maintenance, folks! That didn't happen overnight!)
She talked with me forever, while Gordon was tearing all around, poking at Stitch whenever he came to the ice door. At one point, Stitch fell and Gordon was prancing all around.. "Stitch went boom! Stitch went boom! Stitch went boom!" I swear my eye got a tic.

Ms V was complaining about how the boys will be separated from the girls for this comp, so it will be harder for them to win. This is funny, because she used the exact opposite excuse as to why it would be hard for Gordon to win at the USFS comps. Just as I was longing for a flask of vodka to help me with my Diet Coke, she and Gordon departed.

But wait, there's more!

Other Kid walked up. "What level is Stitch competing at?"
"Freestyle one," I hope.
"I'm at Freestyle two. So that means he's going into Freestyle one."
"No, that means he's going into Freestyle two."
"No, he's going into Freestyle one."
Kid. I'm going to stash your body either under the stands or between the speedskating mats. "Well, he's competing at Freestyle one."
"My coach says that if I do a good job at the July Opening (sic), I can skip Freestyle three and four, so then I can get a solo in winter show."
"Do you think that's a good idea?"
"Oh yes! I can do a solo!"
"Excuse me for a moment." I bolted through the lobby, dying. I had to find a safe place to laugh.

Skip Freestyle three and four? Just like that? I mean, it's one thing to skip Beta maybe... but something else to jump two freestyle levels just because you managed to get through your competition without breaking your butt. Secondly, I don't know what solo this kid has in mind, but it won't be a lead role of any kind! If any of that happens, I'm complaining. Especially since Stitch is being put through the wringer on backwards inside edges and the steady of his spiral. 

Finally, with three wet runs of his program, a full six minutes of backwards inside edges and spirals later, Stitch and I headed out. He bought some candy and a Diet Coke for me, what a sweetheart. He was in a good mood, but I reminded him that he needed to be polite tomorrow for lessons lest he risk losing all his weekend activities. He was okay with this, and we had a minor disagreement as to which run of his program was the best, first or third. I also mentioned that it was probably a little odd to start dancing to someone else's program music. He didn't see a problem with this.


  1. "Just as I was longing for a flask of vodka to help me with my Diet Coke"

    "My coach says that if I do a good job at the July Opening (sic), I can skip Freestyle three and four, so then I can get a solo in winter show."

    Maybe, instead of vodka, you should ask for some of what other kid's coach is taking.

    "I also mentioned that it was probably a little odd to start dancing to someone else's program music. He didn't see a problem with this."

    Me neither.

  2. Thank you for giving me a good laugh, and go Stitch!

    I would not worry too much about fairness in the solo selection process, moms will do the safeguarding. If someone out of place really gets a solo while another competent skater does not, I'd be the fly on the wall too for the drama! (unless say mysteriously no boys audition and nephew can't become niece like mouse king becomes mouse queen? LOL)

  3. Oh and the my very first pair of skates (second hand cheap brand) had the same problem like Gordon's. In the one and only one skating lesson I took as a teen, instructor made everyone tip-toe across the ice, which freaked both me and my skates out, LOL. Some industrial strength glue did the trick and they lasted another winter or two for recreational skating.

    And no, it's not safe to jump around in them, they are better off finding another pair of used skates.

  4. Good thing the skate broke before competition. I ice monitored a competition where a little boy came off the warm up and showed his coach his boot and heel had seperated, and then they tried to duct tape the heel back to the boot in time to get him on the ice. It was absolutely insane. (And the ref is calling for the skater on the radio saying they will disqualify him if he's not on the ice in a certain amount of time, while we were on the radio saying "he's 6, it's not the olympics...give a few moments".) The fact that the coach had duct tape made me wonder if it had happened before.

    Skip freestyle 3 and 4? Right- cause those levels are just cake walk, and you can pass right through them.

  5. I was at a competition last week and this happened to a little boy in warm up for a (roller) in-line competition. He was spinning and fell down and when he got up the boot was on his foot and he was carrying the wheels and plate attached to the sole of his boot in his hand. Coach went running to the ref. Poor kid had to miss the rest of warm up, wait for a girl to finish her routine, borrow some black boot covers, and wear the girl's skates. Since only about 4 kids use inlines (the rest have quad skates) there weren't a lot of options for him. I wonder if there is a problem with some of the newer Reidells? I know this sort of thing happens (I was murderously hard on my Jacksons), but I have been seeing it a lot more recently than I ever have before. I know boot companies are trying to cut costs, but sometimes I worry that using new materials and techniques isn't always the best idea, especially when dealing with kids, blades, and the forces of physics.

  6. Didn't Katerina Witt skate to other skaters' program music during comp practices? Sounds like fun to me. :)

    I'm in Jacksons now, but when I was in Riedells, they had great customer service. About seven years ago, I brought my (at that time) 13 year old Comp 925 boots to them to get resoled. They did it for $60 and I got the boots back a week later looking like new - polished, sno-sealed, new foam on the tongues - gorgeous! I'd still be wearing them if pregnancy hadn't jumped my feet up a width. *grumblegrumble*

    Ms V might want to give them a call (though it's probably too close to the comp to get them there and back for this one).

    I read through your entire blog over the past week and loved it! Your commentary on rink politics and rink moms had me rolling. I went through it all as a teenager, but it's a whole different ballgame now that I have a little one getting started. Thanks for keeping it fun (especially when it's not).