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I just signed up for Adult Sectionals which is just under seven weeks away, which means I’m ramping up practices and getting into training mode. Gulp!

Last year, I missed the whole Adult Sectionals/Nationals season because I had a big work/life move that coincided with the events, and it took all spring and summer to settle in and get back to skating regularly. I’d had my eye on making both competitions this year, and with Sectionals in my area, I figured I really had to make it there. It’s been a while since I competed and despite the horrible nauseous regret I always feel right before I skate, I do miss it and want to get out there with more adult skaters and feel a part of the bigger community.

I’m still waffling on Adult Nationals, though, even though I’ve wanted to go forever and feel like I’d be ready (mentally and program-wise) to go this year. Mostly, I’m hesitating because of the time and cost. It’s a big time commitment since I’d have to be out of work nearly a full week: I’d leave on Tuesday, and if I stay to watch all the events (it would feel a waste of the trip if I didn’t stay for all the events), I’ll be there through Saturday, flying home on Sunday. That’s five nights in a hotel (roughly $600-$800), a flight ($400), a rental car ($200), competition entry fees ($155 for the first event, $140 for a second) plus practices ($22 each), not to mention food and incidentals for the 5 days there. I really want to go… but wow, that adds up so fast. I probably wouldn’t take my coach with me, because while she’s gone in past years and her adult skaters would split the cost of her travel, this year it may only be me going, and I think that would be really expensive. I mean, it’s already expensive, but that would make it prohibitive.

I could wait for Nationals to come closer to me… but next year’s Nationals is far too, in North Carolina, and it could take ages for the competition to be hosted closer to home. Part of me wants to be practical and think of how far that money would go otherwise — it would cover brand-new skates and blades, or new costumes, or several months of coaching. But then another part of me thinks that I don’t only love skating in itself, I also love that there’s a whole community built around adults participating in this sport, and it’s a community I don’t engage with much on a daily basis. So Adult Nationals is more than just another chance to compete, but a side of the sport I haven’t experienced yet, which I’d be loath to miss out on. Right now I’m leaning towards biting the bullet and going… but I’m still hesitant to pull the trigger. The deadline is February 1, so I’ll have to decide pretty soon either way.

For now, I’m looking toward Sectionals and turning most of my practice focus to running my Bronze freeskate and dramatic programs. I hadn’t run the freeskate for months so when I started back up a couple weeks ago, it was so out of shape. As was I! Let’s just say, it was embarrassing how much huffing and puffing I was doing after a mere minute and 50 seconds, and I’m probably 8-10 pounds above where I want to be (15 down would be ideal, but I’m also realistic about my goals and discipline levels). Time to buckle down and get fit! I have yet to make it through a complete run-through with all of the elements, but I’m getting closer and hopefully will be back on track soon. The dramatic is new so I’m still working on getting the choreography down and into the muscle memory. I’ve never competed two events before, and certainly not in the same day, so getting fit is a big priority. Skating is hard enough when you’re in optimum shape — I don’t need to add a winter of indulging in sweets and lazy nights in to complicate the equation.

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