I managed to get out of the house tonight. I went to the local arena to watch my friend skate in the club holiday ice show.
Before I got sick I was training for figure skating competitions. Yes, there really are adult figure skating competitions. Competing was something that I had wanted to do as a kid but couldn't pursue for many complicated reasons. Anyway I had been skating in adult group lessons for about two years and made a bunch of friends at that rink. Skating is unlike other sports, while it is ultimately an individual sport, as adult skaters we support each other unconditionally. We help each other physically, emotionally and psychologically. We become a skating family of sorts.
It took two years for the local club to figure out that we weren't going anywhere and that the adults kept coming back for more torture, i.e. we were reliable repeat customers. Prior to this year we had been individual members of USFSA due to finances. Regular club fees and not-so-volunteer hours kept us from joining the local clubs, but this past year this club came up with an outstanding offer for the adults to join their club. Unfortunately for me, it was around the time I got sick. However, one friend joined the club while all three kept skating in the group lessons. One of the benefits of being in the club means you get to solo in the club winter show. Hence my friend skating tonight. I had cut her music about a month ago and this is going to be her competition music and with some modifications (harder jumps) it will be her routine for this year's competitive season.
Kid drove Mum and I to the rink. I knew I didn't have to walk far since it is a small place. However, I did have to bundle up since I can't keep warm for beans anymore. Luckily my friend that was performing was there early and sat in the top row of seats close to the front door. It was easy to toddle over and sit down with her. Our skating coach showed up next and then the male member of our little skating cohort. Our fourth member was a no show but with a new baby to deal with this wasn't a surprise.
We all chatted up a storm and they all asked how I was doing. Everyone said that they missed me. Turns out the guy only came to the show because he found out that I was going to be there. I got the warm fuzzies. Then my coach asked me if I was going to get back on the ice and I lost it. I started crying. I told her that I was getting a wheelchair on Monday since I am having so much trouble getting around. I couldn't stop crying until she changed the subject. I miss this so much. I miss them so much. I miss the smell of the ice. I miss lacing up my boots. I miss the sound of my blades etching deep grooves in the ice. I miss skating in shows. I miss being nervous before competitions. I miss the silence of the rink during test sessions. I miss all of the hard work for one minute and forty seconds of skating before judges. I miss stretching out on yoga mats in the back of the rink. I miss the weird stares we get from parents as the three adults start jumping rope in the rink lobby in our skating dresses. I miss wearing crash pads that make my butt look even bigger than it already is. I miss chatting with my coach. I miss talking during group lessons. I miss screwing around with various tricks with the other adult skaters. I miss the rink gossip. I miss this.
My friend did a good job with her skating. They put her at the end of the show. This is the kiss of death for an adult skater. We stiffen up easily. She told me later that she had lost all feeling in one of her legs by the time they let her on the ice. She still did well but missed her Axel. I could tell she was stiff. She didn't skate as fluidly as she normally does. Even so it is always good practice to get out in front of an audience. I can't wait to see her skate in the competitions in the spring. She will be spectacular.