Hello, loyal readers of my blog... and non-loyal, that's okay too.
Today was the big day--we [senior men] finished our long program at the National Championships in St. Paul. It was quite a ride.
There are two posts I would like to follow up on: the one from yesterday morning, to give you a small recap of the short program event; and the one from last night, elaborating on the "unexpected things." For right now, I can only cover the first one of those--the short program recap.
Well, I had a great 20-minute warm-up!! GREAT!!! I was 7th to skate, which meant I was skating first in the second of three warm-ups. Some people seem to have problems with skating first after a warm-up and I have two things to say about that: there is no bad place to skate, and the other... there is no bad place to skate.
I got on the ice for the 5-minute warm-up and kept myself reminded of what I was doing: breathing; taking one thing at a time; and doing everything I say I will do!! I had a great 5-minute warm-up... I felt totally on my game.
I started the program with [if I may say so myself] a great death drop, more centered and controlled than it's been recently, which was a nice way to start the program. I was in the moment and I was having a great time! Next: triple axel. I somehow took off [my heel] and essentially spun around my left side. For those of you whom don't know, that's a bad thing. I took a pretty hard fall on the axel but continued into my footwork without missing the first few opening steps--something that seems to happen on occasion in practice. The steps were good, felt strong... despite the axel, I felt great and was staying in "real time." I did a shaky triple loop. Arghhhhh!! Frustrating, but again, it's over as soon as it's over. I was still breathing the way I intended, I was in the moment, and I had maintained a fluid and free-of-hesitation attitude. Next: triple lutz--OUCH!! I fell on the lutz and to be honest I'm not exactly sure why. I'm also pretty sure it was down-graded to a double (and again, for those of you who don't understand the scoring system, that's a REALLY not-so-good thing). Yet again, once it's over, it's over... I continued on to the footwork, emphasizing what I could, where I could, and making everything the best I could--the program still wasn't over... there's no sense in stopping prematurely. Footwork and my last spin were good.
Disappointing? Absolutely. Are disappointment and anger the same thing? Absolutely not. I actually was a little shocked that I had just done a program that poorly as I can't remember the last time, even in practice, when it was that bad. The funny thing was, I had a great time, which is really what it's all about. The other thing is that I essentially, despite the mistakes, accomplished my goals: Breathing; taking one thing at a time; rotating each jump. I did all of these things. Ughhh--still frustrating, I know.
There's a certain kind of emptiness that comes along with not accomplishing a goal you know your capable of. It'll take me a little while to come up with the words to describe it, but until then, that's what I felt a little bit. At the same time, there's no sense in fretting about the past. What's next and how do I get there? Those are the questions.
Unfortunately, I have to run. I'll fill you in on my hip, attitude recovery, and the "limbo zone" (the time inbetween the short and long programs) as I want to touch on all of these in this entry.
Have a good night!