Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Class 7


Class 7 - Tell a story from my life where all the facts are true, except one, when you tell the not true statement your story changes from there and let it go. 

Growing up in a small town there isn’t really much to do.  You wake up, you walk to school, you anxiously wait for the last bell of the day and you go home.   But some kids are fortunate enough to be sporty and have dreams that are bigger than them.  At the time we lived on Illinois Street, just up from the rink.  My downstairs neighbor Joanne had been taking figure skating lessons since she was five.  I’d always had dreams of being Dorothy Hammill.  Skating for cheering crowds while you danced on the ice stage below.  My ice rink was the frozen lake behind our house.  My dad would wake me early on the weekends he was home.  I would be cuddled all warm in my bed, and he would come to let me know that he had made pancakes and that I should hurry and get dressed.  I always knew what that meant.  We were going skating.  As I raced to get ready, I would pull on my baby blue long johns with the white snowflakes.  The next layer would be my hot pink sweat pants with matching top.  I ran down stairs to gobble up my piping hot plate of silver dollar pancakes, and large glass of milk.  The next layer would be to put on my silver moon boots that I saved for weekends.  I never wore them to school since Chad Horton had made fun of them (describe why they were bad to wear).  My dark blue snow pants and silver gray Eskimo jacket where the last layer (describe how I looked with the costume on).  I ran around the house working up a sweat while I searched for my mittens and toque.  My dad yelled from outside for me to hurry.  I reached for the shovel and hockey stick as I exited to meet him carrying my chair.  I hadn’t quite become the Olympic skater yet.  I used the chair as my partner to hold me up as my dad skated on the other end.  We walked to the frozen paradise, which was less than a mile from our house.  As we crested the hill to the final 100 meters, all you could see before was frozen water.  The air was crisp, as snow fell from the sky.  The warmth of my body melted the snowflakes as they got caught in my eyelashes.

These weekend outings were the best for me.  I slowly began learning how to skate, and was soon good enough to perform in public as my mother enrolled me in real classes.  My friend Joanne was leap years beyond me in her skills.  She now had a private coach and would travel to competitions on occasion.  I thought she was the coolest being dropped off at school in the mornings after her hour of pre-dawn practice, then having to leave school early so she could get in a few more hours after school.  It took me a few years, but I soon began competing in local figure skating contests.  I had my own coach, and my own private costumer.  My grandmother could throw together anything I’d imagined.  I wasn’t until I was 10 that I realized how good I’d gotten.  We had been participating in the February Frolics.  These were the local equivalent to the Olympics for us and our young lives.  My coach and I sat backstage preparing for my routine.  I was so young and felt so much pressure.  I had been practicing for months now and was ready.  I had learnt a few new jumps and had nearly perfected them.  As the girl before me finished her dance, my coach came and found me and guided me to the door.   I stood at the doorway looking out to the crowd that lay before me, flash bulbs twinkled from the stands.  My coach gently nudged me on to the ice as they announced my name.  I turned to hand her baby blue mittens and smiled.  As I exhaled I could see my breath and shivered a little.  As I skated to take my place in the center of the ice, all I could hear was the blades of my skates cutting into the ice.  From the corner of my eye, I saw Joanne cheering me on, and I felt at peace.  The music came over the loud speaker and I froze.  Millions of thought entered my head and none of them were my routine.  I stood there staring out to the abyss that was the crowd, each nervous breath escaping me as if trying to find some refuge from the failure we were about to become.  My coach saw my panic and had them start the music over.  After a few brief moments, my legs began to move without me.  Stage fright was still with my mind, but my legs were now in charge.  I vaguely remember the performance; it is still such a blur.  The jumps and spins that I had been practicing at for months had now become second nature to me, as I didn’t fall like I normally did.  I regained my composure and consciousness as I stood on the podium accepting my gold medal.