ode to ice skating

I LOVE ice skating. I have for as long as I can remember. I don't ever remember learning to skate - I just remember skating. When I wasn't skating, I was roller blading (even in the kitchen, much to Mother's chagrin); and when I wasn't roller blading, I was creating "ice skating routines" on the rug in the kitchen. Occasionally, my father would even get out the camcorder and tape these artistic endeavors. The performance that is most imprinted in my memory is my rendition of the Nutcracker, which I'm sure would send the American National Ballet Company into cardiac arrest. Thankfully, this particular production was captured via Dad's camcorder, and our family has shared many a laugh over the antics displayed. Our agreed upon favorite moment occurs when a younger actor stumbles onto the "stage," and begins his own interpretation. I, the prima donna, attempted to regain my composure and out-dance my competition. My best efforts did not stop my young foe, so I gracefully danced and swayed toward the little brother, then quickly hip checked him out of the way - a smile on my face the whole time. Robert was not easily deterred, and a few seconds later, popped his grinning self back onto my stage, so I simply danced in front of him, kicking his shins as I flailed and twirled. Pure elegance. Frank Carroll is calling...

I was also obsessed with watching professional figure skating. My order of preference: pairs', women's singles, ice dance. I do NOT like men's singles. I don't know anyone who does, besides the male figure skaters. I grew up idolizing Michelle Kwan, Gordeeva & Grinkov, Torvill & Dean, Nancy Kerrigan, Kristi Yamaguchi, Meno & Sands. I was awed by Surya Bonaly and Scott Hamilton and Kurt Browning, as they backflipped across the ice (okay, the only male figure skaters I like are Scottie, Kurt... and maybe Brian Boitano... and Elvis Stojko). I listened intently to the gentle voice of Peggy Fleming and the tough-love of Dick Button, as they critiqued each performance. I cried when Torvill & Dean were robbed of their gold medal in the 1994 Olympics. That same year, I rejoiced as Tonya Harding placed an abominal 8th. I cried when Sergei Grinkov died of a heart attack at the age of 28 the following year. I was exuberant when Michelle Kwan continued to win U.S. and World Championships, and my heart broke when she was twice robbed of Olympic gold (I will never forgive you, Tara Lipinksi). Seriously... I was obsessed. Case and point: my sophomore year of high school, I asked my parents if I could drop out of high school, get a tutor, and just start training for the Olympics. In my delusional state, I was seriously convinced that I could do it.

Since college, I have fallen away from the world of ice skating, although I still can't help choreographing skating routines in my head whenever I listen to inspiring music. This past weekend, to my surprise and joy (and to Doug's utter dismay), our feeble rabbit ears actually picked up a channel that had ice skating!! Two thoughts crossed my mind as I watched the women's singles: 1. I do not know any of these girls. 2. These girls are barely done teething and toilet-training. How depressing - I'm only 23 and, at least in the realm of figure skating, I'm already decrepit! But I was inspired by those tiny chicken legs propelling the slight frames across the rink, so today, I went ice skating! Good news: I don't need the help of the wall or a cone yet. Vancouver 2010... here I come.


  1. I think we were sisters in another life, perhaps?

    Although I was quite the anti-Kwan pro-Lipinski girl, I also longed for young Olympic stardom... When I was young my dirt road would become a sheet of ice (literally) so my friend Cassie and I would, every day after school, lace up our rummage-sale ice skates and practice our routines until dark. We thought that one day our local news station would come by and "discover" us...


  2. ok, i need to see that footage of you hip-checking robert. too much!!! i love it. i remember being inspired after watching a dance routine on star search - ha! eli and i would dance around the family room and mom would commentate. truth be told, i've been known to do the same thing after watching "so you think you can dance," minus mom and eli.

  3. Don't ever do that again!

    Love Dad