I spent a portion of an evening watching the Men's Long Program Event from Torino, 2010 on my big TV. I did this because I could, as my husband had installed some neat thing that would take signals from my tablet and allow me to watch YouTube on the big screen, but also because I like skating.
I've gotten to a point where I can see where and when a jump goes bad, when a skater becomes discouraged or frazzled, and how a costume can make or break a program. (Especially in men's events. Yikes!) I watched the fourth skater in the event, I forget who it was, but he seemed shaky right out of the gate. He wound up for a jump, and sure enough, his foot slipped out from under him and he was down in a bad way. But unlike the other skaters who fell, got up, and kept going, this guy got up, put his hands on his hips and his head down and proceeded to chastise himself, like he was on Practice Ice and had just messed this up. Meanwhile the music is going, and it's going to keep going because clearly he is not hurt beyond the capacity to continue, and he's still shaking his head and poking along the boards for what seemed like an eternity. "GO!" I shouted at the skater from four years ago, so frustrating was this behavior.
This morning I was working on spins. For the Record, after my terribly traumatic fall during a goddamn ice show during an attempted spin, I am terrified of spinning. I've been trying to spin for a year now, and it's not getting any better, because I can't find my balance and I'm frightened of the rapid movement. I bail on it. It got a little better for awhile, but now that I'm in my new boots it seems to have gone away again which is beyond frustrating.
But I'm determined, and so I was trying to spin. I got in a few good attempts, but I caught the back of my blade once, pulled forward too late, and went down on my knees and slid into the boards lightly. I was shaking I was so scared. I wasn't hurt, wasn't beyond the point of continuing my session, but I stood up, put my hands on my hips and proceeded to chastise myself.
Wait, I thought. What are you doing? Don't be like that nut in Torino! Skate, damn you!
I pushed forward and mohawked into some fast back crossovers in an 8, shaky legs and all. And then I tried some of the mohawks on a circle in my shaking legs, telling them to function regardless. It kinda worked. So, I made myself fall a few times more, each time scrambling back up as fast as I could to continue in my eight pattern.
Here's what I learned: It's hard to regain balance and speed after a fall. I can see how a Big League skater would be out of sorts for a few seconds after a hard fall, simply because it's a shock. And I was prepared for these falls. I timed and spaced them out so I wouldn't hit the boards or any part of me that I didn't want to strike. I can't imagine hitting an elbow or twisting an ankle or dripping blood like I was, and then going on with it.
But I practiced falls. And I walked away with a cold rear end and with a bit of understanding. Perhaps when I watch the rest of the Men's LP event later on, I'll stick to costume commentary. (Doubtful.)