Getting Into the Ice

December 15, 2009

Coaches say this all the time, Kurt Browning says it when he is commentating on a skater some are “into the ice” and some are not.  Those that are not do not fare well I’m afraid.  I heard this a lot as a kid (from my coach) and never quite got it.  You know, when I was nine I didn’t “get” a lot of things. 

But now, at 36, I’m beginning to understand this phrase, or at least what it means to me.  Each practice session, after a bit of skating around to loosen up, warm up, wake up as the case may be, I wander over to the end of the rink, out of the way, to do some figure eights.  Do you remember when skaters used to do figure eights in competition?  Round and round, three perfect tracings, exact specifications.  I look down at the ice, put out my hands, palms down facing the ice, take some deep breathes, bend at the knees, crease at the ankles, and sink down.  I bring my awareness in and down, and feel my blades cutting into the ice.  This is similar to yoga, bringing everything down to your feet and concentrating on your connection to the ground, feeling how your feet contact it.  Picture the circle you want to make in your head, and push off.  Push away all your problems, worries, niggling thoughts about leaving a light on, and concentrate on the circle, and what your shoulders, arms, head, and hips need to do in order to create a perfect line on the ice.  Its a shame skaters don’t do figure eights anymore, I always loved doing them.  As a kid it helped with my powers of concentration, and was always a form of meditation.  As an adult (ish) they have the same power, and always help me get into the ice so that I skate better and “be more over my blades”.  But that is another interesting phrase for another time.

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2 Responses to “Getting Into the Ice”

  1. Jen said

    I TOTALLY remember doing figure eights! I remember the first time I went around the whole circle without having to push off and I felt so accomplished.

  2. Julie said

    I told my hubby that I would like to go ice skating he was so excided. But we just need to find somewhere close!!!

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