Destination: Lake Placid

Last night, I signed up for the Lake Placid Adult Skating Weekend and I am still in hardcore I Can’t Believe It’s Really Happening mode.

I keep joking that I have less than three months to not be the worst skater there but, honestly, I don’t have room for any worries yet with all this excited, squealing disbelief dominating my all of me. After rescheduling my usual Wednesday morning lesson for today, I hit the ice a little wobbily and shakily (and, holy smokes, I walked into one packed house, and my fear of getting in anyone’s way is strong as ever) but with a renewed fire in my belly. It felt wonderful to be less concerned with perfection and more focused on just getting some quality ice time and instruction.

I’m going to Lake Placid because I want to be a better skater, I want to push the boundaries of my comfort zone, I want to lose myself in the ice for a few days, and I want to participate in Adult Sectionals next year. But I do want to go with a solid foundation and bolstered confidence, because I know the latter is a huge roadblock to my progress. And no one can change that but me.

This slump, even if it only was for a skosh more than a week, is something I am so relieved to talk about in the past tense. I’m so used to loving this sport with my whole heart that it was discombobulating to feel those bubbles of dread rising up way too quickly and taking up way too much space. And even though this morning wasn’t my best lesson (I have GOT to figure out how to be more awake at 7:45—maybe actually following through on my plans to do morning freestyle sessions twice a week might help), it certainly wasn’t my worst. Most of all, the ice felt like home and I skated with my heart again. And that’s all I really want.

So now my goalposts have moved a little and I’m motivated anew to aggressively hit the ice hard for the next three months. I’m trying to figure out a timeline to work with, moves to work on, and goals to work toward, plus what questions I should be asking and expectations I should be tweaking. On top of that, I’m untangling how my turbo-introverted self feels about voluntarily submitting my preference for solitary, focused skating to a veritably communal atmosphere. I love the adult skating community, for sure, but that doesn’t mean my knee-jerk reaction of “But what about all those people?” isn’t going to pay me a few visits between now and then.

But nothing ever gets accomplished from the isolation of one’s comfort zone. And I love this so much that these minor concerns are bound to be eclipsed by the promise of taking a risk to grasp at an incredible reward.

I’m ready to meet this head-on. Because on the other side is a whole new experience that has just felt so right and even more inevitable ever since I first allowed myself to admit that I really, truly want this. And in the Reclamation Decade that is my 30s, taking back my long-ago memories of Lake Placid and replacing them with whole new ones that are made possible by my own ambition, my husband’s support, and both my coaches’ and my fellow adult skaters’ encouragement feels like the perfect continuation of this story. I’m sure I’ll write about this jumbled mess of multifaceted feels as I make sense of them: As for right now, to paraphrase Victor Hugo, whatever be the attitude of my body, the soul is bouncing up and down and clapping like a little kid whose most ardent wish came dizzyingly, dazzlingly true in the most perfect of ways.

The countdown begins at 82 days. Lake Placid, here I come!

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