What a day. I'm kind of sad it's over, actually. Weeks and weeks of prep, a coaching change, then more prep, finally actually taking a test I've been dying to have a run at for two years. Maybe now I'll get some sleep!
I got up and skated the early session, running the test twice more and then focusing on elements that remained troublesome (waltz 8, back edges.) I was tired and shaky, but I just remember that a rough final dress rehearsal means a good opening night. I shrugged it off and went home. I ran my laundry so my leotard and warm up jacket would not offend anyone (it's summer and you can't move without sweating buckets in the current humidity.) While that was going, I laid down and tried to sleep a little more. I haven't slept well for the last two nights! I packed up the Zuca; skates, skating clothes, makeup, whatever.
Then I headed off to get my hair put up. I don't know how to do my own hair, so a stylist down the road had offered to put it in a updo for me. Great. But she wasn't there. I tried to explain what I wanted, not realizing that "French Twist" is not an easily recognizable thing, and finally one of the women takes me back. After twenty minutes of teasing, hairspray and 32 bobby pins, she spun me around.
It was gorgeous, don't get me wrong, but it was too much. I had rosettes woven of my own hair. Coach had specifically stated, "Nothing too fancy."
Well, what was done was done. I was due at Test Rink in a half hour. With my hair shellacked against whatever humidity had to throw at it, I set off.
We arrived an hour ahead of time, as instructed. I had momentary heart attacks that I'd gone to the wrong suburban rink, but once inside I found girls in spangles and skates and zucas. Great. I checked in with the desk, texted coach, and went to change into my testing outfit.
He arrived and met my family, and told me my hair looked great. Then took me into the main rink to watch for a minute and he gave me some explanations of who is who and how things work. The more I learn about skating, the more I think it's amazing. We watched the test subject for awhile, and Coach was laughing quietly. "okay, you should stretch. Did you skate this morning?"
I assured him I had, and we headed into the lobby.
The fun thing about testing is seeing literally everyone. I knew more people than I didn't, and who I didn't know I was introduced to, and the whole thing was incredibly social. I chatted and stretched and then Coach told me to get skates on as the session was running early. I'd go on sooner than anticipated. Fine.
I was sorting out my socks (and you skaters will know that this can be a process) when a friend came up and said, "Your group is warming up now!"
So I started to hurry... Coach was telling me not to panic. Hurry, but don't panic. Check. And tying your skates in a hurry usually doesn't work.
All right, so I got skates tied and set, hurried in, and found that my warm up group was not in fact, on the ice. No worries. While I was waiting, I noted that the girls who were in my skating group were not Pre-Pre. Coach noticed, too. "I think you'll be skating by yourself," he said.
Now, for the past few weeks we've been running under the assumption that I'd be skating with some kids on the ice with me and I'd have one judge. Now it was clear I'd be out there alone, and maybe more judges. I didn't know. I kept on thinking "just one," and took the ice with my group.
I ran through the test quickly, shaking, and did okay. "this isn't so bad," I told myself. "You skated a show and didn't shake this much. Get yourself together."
The warm up was over before it started, and then the two higher level girls took off. "Yes," Coach realized. "You're skating by yourself. Don't panic."
Panic? Who is panicking? "Just skate it," I kept saying to myself. "Get it done."
When it was my turn, I indeed was alone. This was my first time alone on the ice in front of any audience. "Just skate it, you're fine," I followed Coach's orders. And I let the edges do their thing, and I only had to argue with them a few times. Back Insides were more even than they'd ever been, actually. I'd say it was one of my best sets. Waltz 8 was okay, I had a minor touchdown, but I salvaged it and kept going. But the time I got to Spiral, I was fine. I could have skated all day with those people watching.
I headed off when they said "Thank you," indicating I did not need to reskate anything. Coach was pleased. He had a few notes, but said I'd done well. Now we just had to wait for the judge's judgement. I ran into a Coach I'd known from when Stitch was skating, and explained how I'd come to be here. 'I just love skating," I laughed. "But my hair is just too much, I can't believe she set it like this."
"Oh, we loved it. I wasn't judging you, but we were all wondering how you got the flowers in there." Hopefully Epic Hair does not become a trademark of mine.
As it turns out, I had three judges, not one. They all had notes for me, all of them accurate, but they all passed me. A few friends from Home Rink arrived, just as I was supposed to have been starting, and were surprised to have missed it. They congratulated me and we laughed about everything happening at Home Rink, and Dad said he was taking me out to breakfast. I got shouts from people I knew as I was leaving, and I the first thing I thought of was taking the freeskate portion of the test soon.
All in all, not so bad. There was actually talk of Adult Nationals that bordered on serious, which excited me. The only slip I had was in the lobby, actually. Between my warm up and my skate I went out to get my jacket, and stepped too fast on wet blades, slipping backwards. Figures I'd take myself out in the lobby!
A great day all around. Now to work on that Pairs Routine!