I went to a skating competition in Omaha, Nebraska - Winterfest. This was the very first competition my daughter and I ever skated at back in 2002. I was terrified and did terrible. She finished in second place and was hooked on competing every since. We went every year after that. I stayed in the same hotel we stayed in. I got through hotwire, just like eight years ago. Holiday Inn, 48 bucks a night. Only now they have a water park. But you aren't allowed to swim before a skating competition anyway. I'm not sure but most coaches have that rule. My coach wasn't able to come but I still follow the rules.
Funny what you remember. I remember walking through the parking lot at 5:30 am to get to Sarah's 6 am practice. This time my practice wasn't until 7 am. I had a good practice.
One of the things I like about this competition is that there are usually a lot of adult skaters and there were quite a few this year but nobody at my level. I was the only one in my two events. But it's a good warm up for the big adult competition I'm going to in Indianapolis in two weeks.
So I had a good practice and a good warm up and then my nerves got the best of me and did not do my freestyle as well as I would have liked. I actually left out two jumps- half flips which are very easy jumps for me to do. I don't know - what can I say? I get nervous when I skate in front people and judges.
Then a couple of hours later I did an event I've never done before and will be doing in Indianapolis as well - Improv. You get a minute to warm up with no music, then you hear your music for the first time...you get to hear it twice on the ice, then you get off and you get to hear the music one more time off the ice. Then you do a program that you make up yourself with no help. I had NO idea what to expect. I practiced to slow pretty music, country music, fast music and dramatic music. I was hoping for slow, pretty. What I got was "Dancing Cheek to Cheek" which is kind of fast tempo but it was perfect for me. Had a great warm up - people were clapping for me in the warm up! Then I tried a bunny hop and went down and went down hard on my knee. Ouch. My knee is still black and blue and sore. Fortunately it was toward the end of the warm up.
I felt pretty good about what I did - I did not jump, still being shaky from the fall, but I did dance moves and hammed it up with arm movements and facial expressions. I felt really good. Lots of people said they thought it was great. Should have left it at that.
But no I had this bright idea since I was the only one skating to ask if I could get a judges critique after words. Now I meant that I wanted a critique about the IMPROV and musical interpretation. This is what I got-- I need to work on my carriage, bending my knees more, too many two foot turns - I need to turn on one foot. And she didn't like my dress. If I hadn't been so devastated by the criticism I would have asked "um, did you have some suggestions about the improvisation - choreography--musical interpretation?" But I just "Thank you"
I should have never asked for the critique. I should have gone home feeling good about how the people in the audience liked the performance...instead the last thing I heard was how I'm still pretty much a crappy skater. But I did learn something. No more judges critiques. Because I know I need to work on carriage and soft knees and yes I do know the ideal is to turn on one foot, not two. You get nervous and you do the best you can. I do think I will have to add some jumps next time.
Sunday I went to a ELCA church in Omaha that has right on their masthead "Progressive Christian thinking" - can you imagine -being PROUD of being a progressive Christian and advertising it??? I had to go to that church.
So any of you ever heard of Kennon Callahan's Twelve Keys for and Effective Church? Of all the church growth stuff that was so popular in the 90s I was pretty impressed by his stuff and I did his Twelve Keys thing in two different churches. Well where I am going with all this is that his point is that there are some attributes of a church that will not get you any points if you have them, but they will hurt you if you DON'T have them. Like PARKING. Nobody says "Oh that church has plenty of parking spots I'm going back" but if there is no parking, that's gonna hurt you. Yea. This church needs to read that about parking. I could not find a place to park. Perhaps they should save some parking spaces for visitors. That used to be the thing to do when everyone was gung ho on church growth.
But I was motivated. And I thought..."wow - they must have a lot of people if there is no place to park!" So I drove around the block a couple of times and finally parked down the street on the street and hoped it was okay and I didn't get towed. And remember I have a bum knee by this time!
The church sanctuary must be very large and the parking lot very small because it looked pretty sparse. And I know the worship is for the members and I guess everybody has to get up and point out the announcements that are already written in the bulletin cuz nobody reads the bulletin, except visitors who are BORED TO DEATH with your ten minutes of announcements.
But it was very nice service, good message from the preacher. They have communion every week so I was fed. And I snuck in and went out, shook the pastor's hand, complimented her on her message and left and nobody ever even asked my name. Which is okay with me but you would have thought someone might have been a little curious.
When I used to take my kids to churches on vacation, people would be on us like white on rice. You want those families you know. When I go as a single women, they don't seem to be so interested. Or it could be that it was the 90s when we visited a lot of churches as a family on vacation and the 90s it was all church grow-hospitality all the time. I am kind of glad we've gotten over the church growth marketing craze, but you there were some very simple lessons in hospitality that we learned back then that I think we should still be practicing. Like introducing yourself to visitors. And making sure there is somewhere for people to park.
But it's back to the grindstone tomorrow. I'm doing a sermon series on the Seven Deadly Temptations (which is what they were before a pope declared them sins) for Lent. Maybe I'll post them.
Oh and no pictures from my competition because I HATE the way I look in all my dresses and have two weeks to figure out how to solve that dilemma.