If you’re in my ‘circle’ you pretty much know I was freaking out about having to race in my first speed skating meet yesterday. I had planned on doing a meet this year but not this one, that wasn’t even in my realm of thought. Then last weekend I was approached by the President of our speed skating club asking why I hadn’t signed up. They didn’t have enough Masters to run a race, they needed me to skate. Then he talked to both me and Speed Skating Son about how the parents have a responsibility to keep the speed skating club going and setting an example.
He was right. It’s one thing to talk the talk but it was time for me to get out there and skate the skate, even if it threw me so far outside my comfort zone I wasn’t going to sleep for a week.
Want a sneak peek into my psyche? My nightmares this week featured me showing up late for my races and everyone being mad at me. Apparently this gal’s biggest fears are not being punctual and disappointing people.
Here’s the rundown on my races.
Race One – 500m: I completely choked. By the time I got out on the ice my legs were shaking so badly I couldn’t even get into the start position. It was a gong show of epic proportions. I couldn’t do crossovers, I had absolutely zero form and my time sucked even worse than when they timed me in class. But I skated off that ice with a huge smile on my face and got a high five from the president of the speed skating club.
Official Time: 1:32.76 (there are six-year-olds in our club who skate faster than this)
Race Two – 500m: I wasn’t shaking and felt I did a much better job. That is, until I saw my time and realized I had actually done WORSE. Even Hockey Playing Husband was shocked. Me? I just laughed. I’m so used to delusional self-perceptions when it comes to my speed skating it was more like…Of COURSE it’s worse. Also, one is never as low as one thinks.
Official Time: 1:33.26 (I was pretty sure they were going to start putting me in the cradle groups after this time)
Race Three – 500m: By this time my nerves were mostly gone and I just wanted to have fun. And I did. I also got a new personal best of 1:26.95.
It’s all about the baby steps.
Race Four – 500m or so we thought: All of us went on the ice thinking we were doing a 500m but they surprised us with a 1500m race! For the record, I usually liked my surprises to be wrapped in pretty paper or have the words ‘open bar’.
Want to know when I clued in it wasn’t a 500m race? When I had gone around the rink five times and was all “why the hell is everyone still skating?” and then I looked at the lap counter and it said eight, meaning I had eight laps left. But of course, in my head, I thought it was a typo which was when I looked to the side, saw one of the coaches and I do believe I mouthed the word “crap” while lifting my hands in a questioning way to ask what was going on to which he responded “Keep skating!” So I did.
I have no idea what my time was for that but I will say this. Last year the few times they had us do 13 1/2 laps, I couldn’t do it. I’d die out at about nine. Yesterday I actually finished. It wasn’t pretty, it wasn’t graceful and I may have left a lung on the rink, but I finished.
Anyway, I have so much more to write but I am sick as a dog. Hockey Playing Son has had a brutal chest cold all week and it hit me yesterday afternoon right after the third 500m and I started coughing up a lung anytime I laughed, but here are a few highlights of the day.
- Having my family in the stands cheering me on.
- Getting a high five from the President of our speed skating club.
- Melissa showing up to take pictures.
- Looking up in the stands to see my friend Lisa.
- Speed Skating Son’s teammates cheer me on but having no idea what my name was which made me almost pee myself laughing at the awkwardness of hearing them shout, “Go A’s Mom!”
- Speaking of peeing – the combination of nerves and re-hydrating meant I skated every race being more afraid of peeing myself than falling.
- The support of all the speed skating parents who I sit with in the stands three days a week.
- Basically spending the day laughing and smiling so much that my face now hurts.
I had no idea that skating this meet would be the best thing I could have done but I sure am glad the president of our speed skating club knew.
I thanked him after the races.
Oh, and I may have gotten my first ribbon. Fifth out of five skaters. First for getting out there and spreading the message of ‘just try.’