Sunday, January 27, 2008

Oh, where to start... where to start!

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!



MGirl said...

Loved your long program performance. Did you hear ABC give a shout out to you last night? ;=)They loved your choreography for Ryan Bradley. Looking forward to seeing what you come up with next season.

lutzbutz2687 said...

Oh BOGO!!!
First I will say that I missed watching either of your programs live because I was away from my computer all weekend while in Aspen, which is several stories that if you want to hear you will just have to email me for.
Secondly, I just watched both programs and the second I saw that triple axel in short I knew something was up. Didn't get the usual POP, lol my first idea was that OMG you popped another hook off your boot! LOL Thank god that wasn't the case. I agree with all your loyal fans that you didn't a great job finishing the program despite the errors. You're always a showmen(?), showman(?), who cares that's what I'm in college for. As for the long, what to say at least you had fun, or at least you looked it.
Take some time to recover now old man, you've have a hard week. And to add a little fear into your heart, my 21st is in 8 days and that will make you very very very old my friend. Don't forget your buying me a drink when you are out for the show in April. Have a good night!!!


Jazzpants said...

First thing, I want to say that you've definitely redeemed yourself in the LP. As I have mentioned to you before, anyone who goes and acts like a drunk while doing Level 3 straightline footwork sequence definitely gets my kudos!!! LOL!!! You sold me with this program at Skate San Francisco 2006.. and you sold me again here! (Second thing, I hope you had a safe flight back to LA and you can finally take a WELL DESERVED break!)

Since you're mentioning about your hip, I did remember thinking "OWWWW!!! That's gotta hurt!!!" on that waxel when I was watching it on icenetwork. I hope that the fall wasn't TOO bad... and it crossed my mind if any of the "unexpected things" is related to that waxel fall and your hip. In any case, I look forward to reading about your "unexpected things."

Your 3Lz wasn't as bad as you though. You had a deduction but it was definitely NOT downgraded to 2Lz!!! (I have the protocols right here! Hope the link works...)

Sometimes... no matter what training we put in and all, we have what I call "the skate from hell." What you got out of this experience is that no matter what, keep going at it!!!

I know what you mean about that certain emptiness about not accomplishing goals. I mean, I had the specific goal of finally landing a clean loop at my last competition (Skate SF 2007) and was bummed that I two-footed the landing again, especially since I had clean landings on the warm-up and practices leading to the comp. My coaches tried to tell me that short of that one jump and a couple of minor things I "skated the best that I've ever done", but at the time I "didn't want to hear it" b/c I didn't accomplish my one goal. The only thing I could do is to go back, fix the problem, do as many practice runthrus as I can and try again at another comp. But that "certain emptiness" also pushes me to fix the problem and do MUCH more!!! It's a matter of HOW to coax it out of me. I think you'll gonna have a very similar experience coming to you too -- you WILL be better from this!!!


P.S. Congrats on the kudos on Ryan Bradley's choreography on TV!!! Sounds to me you've "arrived" as a choreographer too! (Now I'm wondering if I'll ever be good enough to justify a choreographer of your caliber...never mind whether or not I can afford 'ya... LOL!!!)

e-skater said...

Just read your most recent blog entry, upon a friends' mention of same. I don't blog here (I'm on Myspace), but felt compelled to join up just so I could leave you a comment.

I see from your entry your frustration at not meeting your goals. I can't even begin to address what that must feel like at your level. I'm just an adult skater, who started way later ( at 48 ) than even most adults do. I know what it feels like for me to have a performance that disappoints me. I had that the last time I skated a program in a local competition. It's simultaneously disheartening and motivating.

That said, when you stepped onto the ice for your SP, I was silent, and glued to the screen.

You have such presence on the ice. What performing abilities! Wonderful. Your body line is fantastic, including your arm movements (e.g. NO flailing, lol). Most of all, you project a passion for skating, which is one of my biggest complaints about watching skating, both men's and women's -- I usually don't feel anything. But I did when I watched you!

Then there's the choreography (and good for you for getting noticed for having done Ryan Bradley's...).
Stunningly well done. I loved it. In both programs. That footwork in the LP was amazing. Along with the acting! And to find out you choreo'd it yourself. You are a very talented young man, as I am sure you've heard many times over!

You were one of my favorite skaters in men's. I really enjoyed watching you.

Just had to let you know. I may just be coming back here regularly to read your blog now......

Take care, hope that hip is not too bad.

(I'm probably the only one in the world who can flunk "captchas" more than once, lol)