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The competition is fast approaching, and in lesson this week Coach A asked what my goals were for it. I had to stop and think, because I hadn’t really thought to set any — not other than having a generally good skate and not humiliating myself in public. But those are universal goals, right? They aren’t specific to anyone or thing.

It’s hard to know what to expect since I don’t even know how many other adults are competing, if any at all. I suspect I may be the only one in my category — perhaps there’ll be one other skater, but it won’t be a lot. There’s really no point in setting a goal of placement since there may not be any competition to speak of.

But even if there are other skaters, I really don’t care about placement at all. I’m a pretty competitive person by nature, but with regards to skating I can honestly say that all I can hope for is to do the best I can, and leave it at that. Plus, ever since Coach A mentioned a tendency toward sandbagging, I’ve just naturally expected to be at the bottom and I’m okay with that.

So specific competition goals would be:

  • a clean skate, no falls or trips
  • specifically, a clean landing on the loop with a nice exit edge, instead of the toe pick scrape I get half the time that kills my flow
  • a sit spin that is as low as I can manage (mine are embarrassingly high, but some are worse than others)
  • a combo spin with 3 revolutions in each position (I’m able to hit two positions to my satisfaction, but damn if I can get all three in one single spin attempt)

If I manage those points, I’ll be very pleased with my skate. Coach A took a more holistic approach to the goals question, suggesting that when I watch myself on video later she wants me see that I was “present” the whole way through — not zoned out or on autopilot. I also want to show some sense of musicality, of interpreting the music with more than just an arm wave or pose, but a full-body dancer-like movement. It’s not going to be easily achieved, but I love the artistic expression of skating and want that to be a key part of any performing experience.

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