Sunday, March 6, 2011

Figure Skating is my Drug of Choice

Is figure skating addictive?

If you are an adult figure skater, you probably keep a journal or some other record of your progress.  Figure skaters are obsessed with improvement, no matter how miniscule. The kids, of course, learn skills faster and will advance rapidly, especially if they practice. Adults measure their progress in years, as in “last year at this time I couldn’t do x, y, and z but now…”

Actually, there are plenty of adults who either stall at a certain level, or seem to endlessly work on the same five skills for all perpetuity. Since improvement is relative, what’s most important that you continue to grow and modify your goals as the years pass by.

Complacency annoys me, whether it involves skating or not. Lots of people are happy doing what they’re doing and that is no crime, but I figure there is so much to do and learn why would you want to hit stasis?

Of course, by “progress” I don’t mean rocketing up the skill ladder. Lots of skaters will announce that they’ve “got” a jump or an element and let the matter rest. Truthfully, just because you can do a certain jump or whatever, doesn’t mean there isn’t room for improvement. For instance, I “got” a salchow jump quite some time ago. But I still work hard on making it better, improving speed of entry, more control on the three, controlling the free leg better and so on.

Funny, but as you try to improve something, that particular skill may disappear for a while. If you “have”a scratch spin but decide to make it faster, more centered, with more revolutions, you may briefly lose the ability to do the spin at all as you tweak.

This situation will make you hate yourself and wonder why you are pouring all your extra money into a sport for which you obviously have no aptitude ( why am I even bothering with the second person here? You know I’m talking about myself, my favorite subject).

 But then you “get” it and the joy is a powerful high. Like other addicts, you kill yourself trying to get back that glorious feeling again and again. Like drugs, that never works. So you work on improving once more and so the cycle continues.


  1. Just caught up on a bunch of posts and killed myself laughing! Keep it up!
    As for dresses, I made my own and not only did the girls in my club admire it, they were surprised to hear that it was homemade. Shoehorn not required.

  2. I am obsessed with figure skating and yes we all have our ups and downs at the same time what to achieve that level/goal. It all pays off. And I too make all my dresses for myself and my daughter (18).

  3. Figure skating is definitely addictive. And yes, it is so frustrating when you try to improve a skill and end up putting it temporarily back to the beginning. I think that spins are particularly prone to that.