I'm winding down my stage show and now I'm looking forwards to Ice Show. We don't have a lot of time to put together a radically new concept (thanks to our new skating director) and things might get a little tight. But whatever chaos doesn't break you only makes you stronger than you thought possible, so bring it on.
I have a solo. It's a step out from the Adult Group Number but it's a minute and it's mine. What a trip it's been to get here.
I started off two years ago with wobbly crossovers and fear of jumping; now I'm a pretty reckless jumper and I'm neurotic about edges. I went from being a quiet, unknown class skater to a known face on practice ice who bitches about her knees. I walked into the rink yesterday and I had costume ideas on phones shoved in my face, then I went to skate my freestyle class, and then I talked about show lights and effects in the office. I never imagined I'd be here.
It's been a very long road of early mornings, long days, and a lot of bad practices. A lot. Beginning skating is a terribly awkward and embarassing proposition. The first time you step out on the ice, and for a long time after that, you're going to look horrible. It's a fact. And you're going to know it. The worst thing about it is that you have to look awkward in public. You're going to think everyone's looking at you and laughing at you, and some of them might be, but you have to learn to disregard them and keep going. No matter what, you've got to keep going. You've got to be willing to go suck, and suck hard, because the only way to get better at skating is to go skate.
Then there were the ones that I never wanted to leave. When the magic happened, things worked and sometimes the elements weren't quite there but I had a start and that's all I needed. And more often than not, those mornings happened when I got a kind word. A smile. A positive vibe that cut the awkward nervousness and allowed me to let go a little. Which is why I've made it my personal mission at the rink to be the kind word, the smile, and the compliment that my fellow beginners may need. Especially for the ones who aren't the Precious Ice Princesses, because I'm not either. I know how much courage it takes to go out and suck badly at this sport while being the sore thumb, and I know how it feels to be unsupported and alone at it. I don't want anyone else to go through what I did.
I survived not just the skating, but all the dumb rink politics it took to get here. I realize that no matter what's happening in the lobby, once I get on the ice nothing else matters. I just have to get on the ice. Ignore the politics. There will be people and things you can't change. There will be people and things you can. Align with the people who support you, be civil to everyone else, and keep going.
Next month may be one of the hardest in my Ice Show collection. But I'm a gal on a mission. A mission to create a culture of Positive for Beginners, because that's how Beginners get good.
And a mission to skate an incredibly kickass solo.