My skating rink is open again! I am jumping (and spinning and dancing and doing three-turns and mohawks and all my moves-in-the-field) for joy!
This isn’t a blog about skating. When I surveyed readers about what they most wanted to see on this blog, my passion for skating came out pretty much at the bottom. But this ISN’T about skating. It’s about my gracious God.
I did it. I finally posted the book trailer for my YA novel Crossovers on YouTube. Haven't heard of a book trailer? It's kind of like a movie trailer--a short video designed to make you want to read the book. Some of them are major productions from big-budget publishing houses that dramatize short scenes. Others are low key, made with stock photos and public domain music.
The TV has been on a lot at our house this week. Ever since Peggy Fleming skated away with the gold medal at Innsbruck, I have loved the Olympics. Maybe it’s sappy; maybe there are cheats; but I love the emotional high of athletes who have focused and trained literally for years, testing their skills against the best in the world. I love seeing records teeter and fall daily as adrenaline shifts everyone into high gear.
Many of you know that when I am not writing at my computer or doing story times for orphans and vulnerable children at after-school programs, my favorite activity is ice skating. Believe it or not Africa has rinks in Joburg, Pretoria, Cape Town, Durban, Nairobi and Cairo. There may be more, but those are the ones I know about. Addicts like me check out places on the Internet.
After a frantic (and therefore sloppy) performance at the Midwestern Figure Skating Sectionals in Indy in March, my goals for Nationals were to stay calm, enjoy the moment and land all my jumps on one foot.
“Sell it!” said my coach Peter Biver. “Then maybe the judges won’t notice if a jump [or two] is slightly under rotated.”
In the dressing room I avoided the friends I had made at camp last summer. “Talk to you later,” I promised. I found an isolated corner at the end of a corridor between rink two and rink three where I could stretch, do some jump exercises, listen to my music and visualize my program.
I love skating. (You probably already noticed that.) Recently I watched all four Cutting Edge movies on ABC. What struck me (other than show-lighting at competitions and the unrealistically-short time in which a non-skater becomes an elite contender) was the changing view of romance. Now, these are romantic comedies. Romantic comedies always have happy endings, however unrealistic.
Fifth out of eight. I was disappointed. I knew I had two-footed the landings of both my flip and loop jumps at Adult Midwesterns in Indianapolis last weekend. (Mercifully the camera failed to record the beginning of my program and that part was not preserved for posterity.) But fifth out of eight wasn’t <!--more-->even in the upper 50%!
I took up figure skating in 1997, inspired by a character I was writing about. I once commented to another woman at the rink that I was thinking of having a T-shirt made that would say, “You don’t have to be obsessive-compulsive, but it helps.”
In idle moments my head still reverts to the Canadian National Anthem. “Oh, Canada, glorious and free!” We heard it so many times during the Olympics. Congratulations, BTW, to all my Canadian friends. We were pulling for you (most of the time…)
Maybe it was the next door setting, or the lure of the underdog hankering for the gold medals that had previously eluded them on home soil; maybe it was the death of the Georgian luger or America’s lack of medal prospects in some sports like ladies and pairs figure skating; but for whatever reason I sensed a more generous spirit in these Olympics.
The Olympics are coming! My first remembered Olympics were Innsbruck in 1968 when Peggy Fleming charmed the world with her skating and that hunk Jean Claude Killy walked off with all the skiing medals. While cleaning out the attic last summer, I came upon a folder of clippings, including some from Paris Match. (Subscribing to the magazine was a requirement of my high school French class.) Most went in the recycling, even those pictures of Killy. But a couple of Peggy in her chartreuse dress went on the inside of my supply cupboard door along with the one of Todd Eldredge and me the day he visited Special Olympics in Indy.
LeAnne Hardy has lived in six countries on four continents. Her books come out of her cross-cultural experiences and her passion to use story to convey spiritual truths in a form that will permeate lives.
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