In the past weeks I’ve been back on my skates after 20 years! What a discovery! I have always loved watching figure skating athletes at their mastery. When I was a kid I was mesmerised by it. I used to tape cassettes with the routines from the championships and the Olympics and then watch them for hours and hours. A magic loop of lifts, jumps. A mix of strength and grace…with music.
So for a couple of years while at university I took lessons and I totally enjoyed it. Whatever your weight and shape of your body ice skating makes you fast, elegant and every movement seems so easy. There is an ease and a lightness we can’t achieve on foot.
Going back to the ice after such a long time brought back memories through the smell, the sound and grooves of the ice and I noticed a couple of things:
– the body remembers, which I already knew from studying and practicing EFT and as anyone familiar with any somatic practice knows…the body really knows and remembers even if the mind doesn’t ‘think’ so. The more you practice the more the body remembers.
– confidence can be built, it’s not just natural, if you notice everyone starting on the ice is a bit insecure, but it’s just a matter of ‘doing’. During my first lesson I wasn’t sure if I could still do crossovers. By the end of the second lesson ‘suddenly’ I could do them backwards too.
– because the body is so smart, any time I have a thought and lose myself in some other thinking not related to what’s going on ‘now’ that is when I wobble, any other time my full attention is in the skating and coordination in between weight and movement….then all fine.
– when I last skated there was no Instagram or Facebook but this time, of course it is important to document the experience. And so texting, checking emails, taking photos, social media + ice skating …not really a thing. Another reason to be in the moment.
From the my old collection on videocassette my absolute favourite routine to this day remains Ekaterina Gordeeva and Sergei Grinkov at 1994 Lillehammer Olympic Games. Here is a video for you on YouTube with commentary in Japanese!