It was 20 years later, and that muffled voice still hurt – until this morning.
I love watching the old ice shows my dad taped from when I was younger. Although, ironically, my least favourite solo was in a show he didn’t tape. It was the 1990 Arborg Ice Show: Movie Mania.
Despite my coach’s efforts, I was a very stiff and awkward skater at that time. When I would enter a jump, my leg would inch upwards. My spins were extremely fast, but on two feet. Too be honest, at that time, I wasn’t very graceful. And would it kill me to smile?
I decided to not skate my competitive program, for the ice show, but decided instead that it would be so cool to skate to St. Elmo’s Fire: unedited.
The program I had planned out in my mind was fantastic. I had landed doubles and clean Axels, and fast tight spins. Only one problem – I didn’t really choreography the entire program. It was sort of one of those, I’ll do a jump at this crescendo in the music and a spin at this piano portion, but that’s basically it. As I waited for my name to be called, I really thought I was about to create magic on the ice. Instead, I think I put half of the arena to sleep, while the other half went to the concession stand.
The crowd had to sit through nearly four minutes while I skated awkwardly from end to end, with my arms flaying about in my hot pink dress with the white lace underskirt.
While I lacked control of my limbs, I landed two flips, a lutz, and attempted an Axel and double Salchow. At the end of the program, I thought – I did it! I landed everything – I attempted everything. I succeeded!
Usually after ice shows, we watch the footage right away because my dad is the one that shoots is. However, he was ill that year, so someone else had to film it. Finally, the day came when we ran downstairs and shoved the tape in the VCR.
We came to my solo. Around the three minute mark, the heart came up in my throat as I heard: “This is the worst program yet,” and in response, “I know, it’s so long.” I would be lying if I said it didn’t hurt, and I usually avoided watching that program when I was younger and even to this day.
I watched the 1990 ice show again this morning, and was going to skip my program. But at the last second decided not to.
That how I know I landed two flips, a lutz and attempted an Axel and double Salchow. And I ended the performance with a corkscrew spin.
As I watched this back 20 years later, I realized it’s easy to make critical
comments about a program when you’re in the stands. It’s human nature. It’s also possible the people who made those hurtful comments all those years ago never knew what it’s like to take a literal leap of faith to try something scary, and to take a huge risk – which I realize 20 years later.
Because 20 years ago when the music stopped, it was the girl in the hot pink dress with the white lace underskirt that the crowd cheered for.