In my previous article, What the Pandemic Taught Me about my Hobby, I have mentioned that I missed skating. A friend asked me, “what specifically do you miss about it” and “what specifically, why do you love it so much?” I have taken the time to think about what made me miss it and why do I love it. Do I love it because it was keeping me occupied? Do I miss it because the pandemic has broken a routine that would normally involve me going to the rink? It is neither of these.
Before the pandemic, my skating schedule was different throughout the week. I had two lessons each with a different coach located at a different rink on a different day. During the crack of dawn lesson, I was a bit tired, while during the other lesson, I was slightly awake. For the other days, I practiced during my rink’s Coffee Club sessions, and I was fresh as a daisy!
Every time I went to the rink, I carried with me approximately a 4lb bag on public transportation. When I arrived at the rink, before being permitted to proceed to the elevator, because of Covid-19, my temperature was checked. Once I was cleared, I entered the elevator that took me to the rink floor. On this floor, while I practiced social distancing, I took the time to put on my skates. Once I had finished, it was time for me to do some figure skating.
Each time I wake up, I am either losing or gaining sleep, which is messing with my body’s sleep pattern. Each time I ride the train, I have to pay a fare. Sometimes I find a seat on the train, but when I can’t, slowly the weight of my 4lb bag caves in on my shoulders. This is not good for my back. Each skating session that I attend costs a different price (Freestyle costs more than Coffee Club). One of my coaches costs more than the other. Money does not grow on trees, but I keep paying for lessons. Each time I step onto the ice, there is a potential of crashing, tipping, falling and injuring someone or myself. In the long run, the footwear is probably not good for my feet. However, none of this overshadows the positivity that the sport has been providing me.
Even though there is the downside of the sport, it never hinders my motivation to succeed. My goal is to try to reach as far as I can in the sport. I continue with the lessons, because I want to keep learning. I attend skating sessions as often as I can, because I want to practice the elements and use the time to work on choreographing my programs. Having that sense of accomplishment is why I get up so early in the morning. I want to do well on my own terms. I want to be able to say that I am doing something that makes me happy.
Most importantly, there is a therapeutic component to the sport. Every time I have a lesson, all the stress produced by outside factors does not exist. Somehow, I can focus on my coach’s words. During my practice time, nothing is distracting me. My mind is attuned to what is happening on the ice. I make sure that my camera is facing me and there is enough space in the rink to practice my jumps and spins. All the negativities of the world are pushed away. I am at peace in my happy place.
What I miss and love is the experience that I can get from the sport. Even though the sport can have a heavy down side, that never outweighs the feeling that takes over. The moment I place my blade on the ice I connect with the surface. As I skate, the stress of the outside world does not exist. I hear nothing but my blades cutting into the ice. I think of nothing because my mind is clear. I am completely tuned out. With steady speed, I feel free. Absolutely free from all negativity.
Written by Lyntha Tye