Sunday, September 13, 2009

Magic City Ice Classic

On September 11-12 the Birmingham Figure Skating Club hosted the first annual Magic City Ice Classic Competition. I had students competing, my company was filming, and I took a test. I was busy. What many don't know is how much of an emotional roller coaster ice skating competitions and test sessions can be. So many triumphs, so many heart aches, all happening in a span of less than 24 hours. Let me fill you in on a tiny bit of the saga.

Settting: Preliminary Freeskate Event

Skater A
13 year old bouncy, flirty, skater A turns in the wrong music for competition. The announcer hits play and a look of sheer panic and horror cross over the announcer and the skater's face. Skater A's mom is the announcer.
Mom then shrugs and mouths through the plexi glass, "Your the one who turned the CD in."
So what does my student do? She starts skating her program to the wrong music (last year's competitive ballad). For those of you who don't follow ice skating you can't really do this. Her program was choreographed to a dazzling fast techno piece and she was going to try to skate that to a ballad. I yell across the ice, "Student A! Stop!" She throws her hands in the air with a look of sheer bewilderment on her face. I meanwhile haul ass to the coaches' room, praying that I have a copy of her correct her music. On the way I even strain my ankle a bit (I don't think fur boots are meant for running). Thankfully, I find her music. I run it to the announcer (who is her mom). Mom A is wallowing in guilt. It's because I'm announcing. I do everything for my kids. And this is what happens when they try to do something on their own. I'm enabling them I know. But this is what happens when they do things on their own.
I run back to Skater A who is now standing next to our over dramatic choreographer. Over dramatic choreographer likes to embellish everything. Skater A rushes out on the ice and Over Dramatic Choreographer whispers in my ear, "Skater A was in absolute hysterics. And I calmed her down. Oh, look she just landed her double salchow. I'm so glad I calmed her." I look over at Skater A and I don't see any sign of tears. She skates a clean program. Lands all her jumps (although some are lacking on height and control). Does all her spins. And puts on a show with her bippity boppity choregraphy.

Skater B
Skater B is a 13 year old blonde who apparently has had the teenage week from hell. The cheerleaders on her squad are being mean to her. Her Pre-AP classes keep her studying into the wee hours of the morning. She's all nerves because she knows she barely has an axel and all the other girls are trying doubles. "Miss Anita! I don't have a double!" Horror is plastered on her face as if she's watching someone drown puppies. At this point my body is metamorphosing from ice skating coach to psychiatrist. Didn't you know? All ice skating coaches can do this. Words of wisdom start rolling off my tongue.
"Skater B. The reason we signed up for this event is so you could try your axel. Secondly, don't worry that the other girls are trying doubles. Did you know that at olympic and world level there have been men who have won gold without a quad? Competing at senior men's without a quad is unheard of....but if you do all your jumps and all your spins to the best of your ability that can carry you a long way. So if you land your axel- FANTASTIC. If you don't, then just move on and you do the highest single jumps and the fastest spins that you can. And you might be surprised with the results." Skater B's face is stoic and she nods. Comprehension and slight relief replace the earlier horror on her face. When she steps on the ice, she lands her axel on one foot, but it's cheated on the landing. She does some high single jumps and some of the best spins that I have ever seen her do.

Skater C
Skater C recently turned thirteen and she is in permanent la la land. She forgot to warm up off ice and all she can really think about is her brand new cell phone. She's not worried about anything and she cheers her friends (Skater A and B) and all the other competitors with voracious clapping and shouting. When its her turn to skate I remind her to keep her core strong, hold her spins, and have fun. She nods and says, "Ok." in her cute cartoony voice.
She falls on her double salchow (and she takes an eternity to stand up from the ice), her butt is sticking up in the air on her back sit spin, she squeaks out her axel combination, her layback doesn't really hit a true position before she comes out of it, and at the end she fights for a squirrly landing on a double salchow/single toe loop combination. And I think to myself, this is the girl that placed top 3 at a competition two weeks ago. She comes off the ice smiling and shrugs. Whatev. It happens.

RESULTS: Skater A 5th place, Skater B 4th place, Skater C 7th place (dead last)

Stay tuned for more of As the Ice Melts


  1. oh anita, what a crazy day. i think i know those three skaters' identities :) hope all is well. i miss you, and loved your maid of honor speech :)

    kaleigh :)

  2. girl u be writing books? u should write about ice skating!