Competition — It’s been a while

Last week, I was supposed to knock items off my to-do list, such as organize the closest and recycle school work. While I did manage somehow to finish about half the list, I was preoccupied by editing montages and music.

More specifically, my program music for this year’s skating season.

Since I’m finished school, I’ll finally have time to hit the ice this season. Even though I haven’t skated in the adult steam of Skate Canada for two years, I’ve kept up my skating thanks to the local rink by my place. It’s an outside rink, so it’s often hit and miss, fighting against the conditions and hockey players. Although, in February I skated when it was -20˚, and funny, I had the ice to myself!

I plan to use Murder on the Orient Express, otherwise known as Entr’acte for my competitive solo. Entr’acte is probably better known as Elizabeth Manley’s 1988 Olympic program, although I’ll be using the same version as Min-Jung Kwak in her 2010 Short Program.

For my artistic program, it’ll be Apologize by One Republic. I went through so many pieces of music over the last two years because the category allows vocals. Virtually any song was fair game, as long as it could be edited down to two to three minutes. In the end, it was narrowed down to Apologize and Paint it Black by Vanessa Carlton.

Of course, when it comes content, my technical side has changed over the years. I haven’t attempted a double in eight years. On the positive side, I can now do an Ina Bauer, which I couldn’t do before. It’s passable.

The artistic program doesn’t have a technical side. In other words, unless the jumps and spins are go with a crescendo in the music, they have no merit on the overall performance. Edges, musicality and interpretation of the music garner the points. The competition is similar to an interpretive competition, where a skater listens to a piece of music three times and then skates to it. They are judges on these points as well, and again, jumps do not matter.

Why go back into competition after all these years? I love competition, and everything that’s involved with it. I love the anticipation before warm-up – the butterflies in the tummy. Then those few moments before your name is called to do the actual performance. I love waiting for results, and of course, standing on the podium. I even love the smell of arenas.

If I’m able to compete again, great. If not, there’s always next year. There’s people in their 70s and 80s who still figure skate, and that’s inspiring.

Figure skating isn’t just for the young, but also the young at heart.