It was twenty years later and those muffle voices still hurt.
Until this morning.
I love watching the old ice shows and competitions my dad shot when I was younger. Although, he didn’t capture my least favourite solo from the 1990 Arborg Ice Show: Movie Mania.
Despite my coach’s efforts, I was a very stiff and awkward skater at that time. When I would enter a jump, my leg would inch upwards. My spins were extremely fast, but on two feet. Too be honest, at that time, I wasn’t very graceful. And would it kill me to smile?
I decided to not use my competitive program for the ice show. Since the show was called “Movie Mania,” I thought it’d be cool to use the Theme from St. Elmo’s Fire.
All 3 minutes and 30 seconds.
The program I had planned out in my mind was fantastic. I had landed doubles, clean Axels, and fast tight spins. Only one problem – I create choreograph throughout the entire program. It was one of those, I’ll do a jump at this crescendo in the music and a spin at this piano portion, and spin super fast at the end – and the crowd shall provide at standing ovation.
Wearing a hot pink dress with a white lace underskirt, I waited for my name to be called. I wanted to create magic on the ice. Instead, I think I sent half of the audience to the concession stand.
While I lacked control of my limbs, I landed two flips, a Lutz, and I attempted an Axel and double Salchow. At the end of the program, I thought – I did it! I landed everything – I attempted everything. I succeeded!
After ice shows, my sister and I would watch the ice shows ASAP since my dad would shoot them. But he was sick that year, and – semi-luckily – someone else shot the show. When we received the VHS tape, we ran downstairs and shoved it into the VCR.
Good group number. Nice solo. Oops, a fall. Then me!
I didn’t think it was bad. Sure, my arms are erratic. And I inched towards the double Salchow, but I went for it. I didn’t back out.
However, around the three minute mark, my heart crawled into my throat as I heard: “This is the worst program yet,” and the response: “I know, it’s so long.” My sister looked at me, because she heard the voices and she said, “What did they say?”
My face went red. “Rewind it.” I hoped they said something different, but no.
I would be lying if I said it didn’t hurt, and I usually avoided watching that program because of those comments.
But I watched the 1990 ice show this morning, and I was fast-forward my program. At the last second I changed my mind.
That how I know I landed two flips, a lutz and attempted an Axel and double Salchow. And I ended the performance with a corkscrew spin.
As I watched the program 20 years later, I realized it’s simple to make critical comments about a program when you’re in the stands. It’s human nature. Maybe the people who made those comments never took a leap of faith. Taking risks such as tossing oneself into the air without equipment – which I realize twenty years later.
Because twenty years ago when the music stopped, it was the girl in a hot pink dress with a white lace underskirt who received applause.