Monday, January 31, 2011

Candice: An Unhealthy Obsession with a Healthy Obsession

The ISU wants me to go crazy. Why else did they schedule US Nationals alongside the European Championships? Today is the first day since Wednesday that I'm not glued to a computer or television screen watching a live feed of an event. They got me hooked, kept me high, and now I'm sitting here with the shakes going, "But, but I just don't understand. Why can't I have any more?" I'm this close to robbing an old lady of her purse, just so I can go to a traveling production of Elmo on Ice, or whatever.

Though I doubt Elmo's pantomiming would create the same kind of catharsis as watching Florent Amodio transformed into the happiest six year old boy you've ever seen by winning gold. Nor would the part of the play where he loses his favorite toy wreck me as much as Jeremy Abbott's 4th place finish. But it would at least be skaters on ice, and with only slightly more fur and feathers than Johnny Weir's crazier costumes.

In addition to the competitions, there is also the exciting development that I have learned my first toepick assisted jump. There were roughly two dozen ladies and two dozen men skating in Europe, the same number skating in US Nationals, almost all skating two programs. Not everybody went for the flip, but enough did that I must have watched somewhere in the ballpark of at least fifty flips (or at least flips and flutzes combined) in the past five days.

Previously forward and backward crossovers, three-turns, mohawks and lunges were pretty much all I had in common with my beloved competitive skaters. So I can only imitate roughly 1% of what they do on the ice right now. Well that and slow, strained spirals. Adding a toepick assisted jump at least brings it up to 2%. Put my tiny little waltz jump and my flip together along with my 5 second footwork sequence and you've got the world's shortest, and technically pathetic program. But still.

Saturday night I went to an unusually awesome party but I refused to let myself indulge too much, lest I wake up unable to try the flip again on Sunday. My only concession to the good time I was having was to stay up just a little too late. I got only six hours of sleep, but a lazy Sunday in bed held no allure. I got up, made breakfast, and got to the rink five minutes before they finished resurfacing the ice.

My usual Sunday skating was paired with watching the the American men skate their free on TV (so many tears and surprises and surprise tears), creating a DethSpiralz twitter account so that I can live tweet 4CC and Worlds with Kate, vacuuming every inch of my apartment to rid it of the tumbleweeds of cat hair rolling about on the carpet, doing laundry, and spending time with both my cats and my boyfriend.

I didn't just burn the candle at both ends yesterday, I made new wicks and burned it at the top, bottom and a few places in the middle. I woke up this morning with a sore shoulder, a sore back, and a feeling that I didn't get near enough sleep to make up for the energy I put out on Sunday. I could have easily put out at least one fire yesterday and saved the energy from skating so that I could have done one more thing, like go to the grocery store, or make dinner instead of buying it.

But that would have been impossible. Even right now, sitting at my computer all I can think about is getting back on to the ice and trying it again. Or failing that, I want to try the flip again and again on the floor. Or see how much closer I can get to an attractive catch foot position so that my spirals can at least be slow, faltering, but also pretty.

I'm just going to have to get a bigger candle.

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