Showing posts from April, 2018

What to expect when you’re testing

On Monday, I ditched work for half a day to take my first-ever MITF test. If you think the culmination of months of practice being a five-and-a-half minute test (sandwiched in a two-hour round trip to get to the testing rink) is anticlimactic… well, welcome to ice skating. Thank Cthulhu I’m terrible at math so I don’t find it absolutely maddening how incremental progress adds up to a proportional eternity spent working toward a singular goal. Because this sport is all about the hours and days and months that no one sees as you chip away at the same thing over and over again until that glorious AHA! moment finally tumbles from the heavens to reward you for your lavish sacrifices of bodily harm, frozen thighs, and agonizingly slow progress. And, so help me, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. I have a lot of tangled-up feels to keep working through in regard to the test itself that are slowly becoming their own vaguely cohesive blog post (and you can thank pre-test nerves and post-t

Two states, three rinks, five days

It’s been one whirlwind week both on and off the ice, which means there’s a lot I’ve been meaning to jot down but haven’t had a chance to tackle. Let’s try some easily digestible bullet-points because my brain isn't in any condition for an ostensibly fluid narrative, yeah? “Every figure skater has a place during freestyle” One of my favorite adult skaters is a high school teacher, so our paths only cross on the mornings she doesn’t have to be at work before the sun rises. We got a good couple laps around the rink together one day during her spring break, and it turned into a confessional itemizing all the ways being an adult skater is one eternally intimidating endeavor. I mentioned to her that it had taken me a solid year to work up the courage to attend a freestyle session without the safety net of a lesson… which she mentioned to our shared coach. That next week, said coach gently chided me for letting the fear dominate my ice time (or lack thereof) that much. “You have

In two weeks from now...

I spend a lot of time on the United States Figure Skating Association's  website , either poring over the rulebook’s testing guidelines or perusing it for the nerdy thrill of learning more about this thing I love. Its adult skating program’s landing page breaks us down into two groups—adults who became skaters and skaters who became adults—and the description has essentially grafted itself onto my brain. I love the thought and I really love parallel structure any time I run across it in the wild, but what I love the most is the reminder that we all took so many different routes to the same destination and bring a kaleidoscope of experiences with us. I do not naturally open up to, approach, seek out, or idly chat with most people. I will almost always choose my solitude over others' company because I feel most at ease when I'm alone. Even the folks I consider my kindred spirits and favorite human beans demand more energy than I have to give most days, and the time it take

Introverts and existential crises on ice

I’m still in awe over how simply committing to the adult skating weekend has gotten me all refocused and fired up about skating again. One of the upshots of being a chronic procrastinator is how a definitive goal can throw me into high-gear when I’m honest with myself about the work I need to do, especially when I’m earnestly invested in the looming event. It’s really wonderful to feel wholly consumed with skating again after even an objectively brief slump. And just thinking about everything this plunge entails—the northward drive, the immersive potential of all that ice time, spending a few days in a town I haven’t visited in more than a decade—is enough to make the butterflies flutter all over again. I have spent the past few days in a flurry of unusually motivated planning and list-making and… like, who am I even right now? I am a perpetually disorganized, last-minute maelstrom of needlessly challenging myself to get things done as close to deadline as humanly possible. And now I