Feeling Inspired and Flattered
Last week, I attended a normal freestyle skating session at my rink when a bunch of random skaters were lacing up their boots next to me. They didn't look familiar, so I wondered if they were attending a group lesson with Famous Russian Coach. I asked one of our high level skaters if he knew who these people were, and he didn't.
I began my normal warmup and stroked around the ice. The group of ~6 visiting skaters were just beginning to jump and spin. The ladies had some amazing camel spins and the men were performing near-perfect Y spins (this is difficult to do for any skater - male or female). Then the skaters started landing some easy axels, doubles and triple jumps. One skater did this (I videoed this without him knowing):
Wow - who were these people? And why were they skating at my rink?
I talked to our skating director, who was in the middle of a lesson, and she said that they were a professional ice theater group. And oh by the way - they were performing at our rink the next evening! What? How come I didn't know about this? And why was I heading out of town the next morning?
After my freestyle session, I went up to one of the guys (the one in the video doing the cantilever move) and introduced myself. I told him how inspiring he and his group were and that was super bummed that I was going to be out of town for their performance. I mentioned that we didn't get many level adult skaters around the area so it was very awe-inspiring to watch them practice. I usually get motivated by watching others, and Adult Nationals was usually where I got the most energy. This was definitely on the list too.
The cantilever guy, Adam, introduced me to the rest of his male skating crew. Everyone was very friendly and appreciative of my compliments. Adam even paid me the ultimate compliment - he invited me to try out for his production! I blushed and said that I wasn't anywhere near the level of skating he was at, as I barely struggle to do axels while his skating team were easily hitting doubles and triples. Regardless, I was flattered.
I wished them good luck at the show and invited them to Adult Nationals in Ann Arbor, Michigan next year. Then I went home and did my research, and it turns out that Adam won the Young Artists Showcase competition a few years ago! He also skated as a principal in Disney on Ice.
I left that skating session feeling uber inspired and ready to work. It was an awesome feeling seeing adult skaters perform at such a high level and helped me know that anything is possible.
Here's a little gem for you... I was videotaping one of my (bad) axel attempts and managed to capture something else on camera. Just ignore my horrible jump and focus on the person behind me. Turns out that Adam was videobombing me!