Skating Fridays

Still Learning – Recap from Competition (Free Skate)

This past weekend, I skated in our rink’s annual competition. I competed in 3 different events and am recapping the first event – my free skate program. I competed in the free skate this year since I figured it would be a good way to see what my baseline score was for this season and see where I need to make some improvements.

I spent several weeks preparing for it. My practices were good, and my program run-throughs were clean and on time. I was prepared both mentally and physically.

I recited several phrases to myself that I learned from Audrey Weisiger (“I am here. I am ready.”) and even got a good luck hug from Laurent Depouilly, who traveled to the competition with some of his skaters. I told him that I wanted to make him proud.

When it came time to take the ice, it felt like an out of body experience. It didn’t feel like it was me out there. Instead, it felt as if somebody else was in my body and making my arms and legs move. My first element was solid, but then things started to go awry.

I underrotated the axel jump and knew it wouldn’t count the second I landed it. I was right – I earned 0 points. Immediately after my axel, I go into a sit spin, which is my strongest spin and one I can do in my sleep. Due to some freak accident, I couldn’t center my spin and actually fell out of it and sat on the ice. That’s an automatic 0.5 point deduction. Plus 0 points for the spin.

Since I was still in shock from my fall, the second half of the program was a blur. I felt slow and choppy, and my scores reflected as such. I earned 21.30 points, which was a mere 0.04 points worse than my competitor. It doesn’t get any closer than that.

I am most disappointed in myself because I am fully capable of doing these elements. For whatever reason, this was not my best skate. Far from it, actually. My coach observed that my legs were shaking throughout, and I attribute it to the frigid temperatures in the rink that day. It wasn’t nerves – I am used to being in front of crowds and performing (I am a flutist and performed countless times in front of audiences and judges). I just don’t know what happened.

Similar to all competitions, this one was another learning experience. I attribute this poor performance to me just being new to competing and feeling my way through this. I’ve heard from other skating friends of mine, who have all collectively said that this happens to them too. It’s frustrating when you are 100% prepared and things just don’t end up as they should. What we need to learn from this is to stand up and keep going because it will get better. It always does.

So I’m going to keep my head held high, knowing that I can’t change the past, but I have full control of what I can do to improve from here. I am prepared to fix what’s broken and make things better for the next time I’m on the ice.

I’m going to close with a lyric from Rachel Platten’s Fight Song, which has been my theme song as of late:

And I don’t really care if nobody else believes, ‘Cause I still got a lot of fight left in me.”


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