Beyond the Point
I am crying my heart out, clenching the border of Frog Pond, the skating rink in the Central Park of Boston. Bronze frogs with frozen glee casted on their metal faces have no compassion to me; they've seen it all many times. The cold, icy wind blows into my face and tangles my hair, pulling it out in all directions. I cannot force myself to leave the board. If anyone would have shown me a picture of myself in five year later on the same spot, I would have thought they are making fun of me.
My confidence grew with every season, as well as love for skating. Learning by myself is my style, so I mastered some basic essentials on my own. At Plymouth State University skating arena, a young woman observed my awkward attempts at imitating toe loops, which often ended up with me flopping onto the ice, and showed me how to succeed in my endeavors. I tried her way, and a thrill of victory was my reward.
Though I was against any instruction, I gave up and signed for a formal session. I thought I had all the skills to impress my instructors, but soon, I realized it was just the beginning of the path.
I passed the first level with good marks, but nevertheless didn't make to the advanced class; so session two, level one was my qualification. Deep inside I was pounding, anticipating the same old staff. To my amazement the new program was much more demanding and, “Oh boy!”- so complex! In frustration, I was irritated by the ease our teacher had.
By the end of the term, three turns, edges, mohawks, waltz jumps, toe loops, and salchows were still far from being perfect. I was stuck on the level of essentials three.
At last, it came. I was easily “bunny hopping” through the air, and the impossibles were no more.
But all my greatest achievements looked so bleak when the World Championship in Figure Skating took place in Boston. The gold medal, Evgenia Medvedeva, just 16, was a fairy on ice. She got the highest marks in the history of the World Championships. She was so perfect that the enjoyment of watching her left no room for envy.
Sitting in the dressing room, lacing up my skates, I realized that becoming another Medvedeva was not the point. I just love the pleasure of vanquishing my own incapabilities, and zinging through the air with a feeling of frost on my face.