Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Allegorically Speaking: Who's The Ringmaster of Your Circus?

We're all out there now, lined up and getting ready to take our seats in the main tent. It doesn't matter if your "tent" is Junior Nationals or Nationals. It doesn't matter if you are in the audience or one of the performers. It's Showtime!

You bought your ticket years ago. You chose your seat, section and row to attend this spectacle. Now, you're walking into unfamiliar surroundings because every year of this traveling circus, the venue changes. It isn't familiar; it isn't comfortable. It isn't home. There are a lot of distractions as you are heading into the Big Top. There are sideshows with pitchmen, bearded ladies, midgets, two-headed sheep and Siamese twins. Oh, and don't forget the clowns. There are lots and LOTS of clowns.

It is very easy to be distracted. Bright lights, toys, games and cotton candy are everywhere. You can divert yourself, or let others pull you off the path. If you aren't very careful, you may just miss the show. Remember what you came here for.

So, who is the Ringmaster? Who is in charge here? Who is going to take over and pull all the acts together in order in the main tent? I'll let you in on a secret: If you understand my allegory and apply it to skating, you will know that it isn't you. It isn't the coach. You are spectators and trainers. The only Ringmaster - the only one who can take control and the only one who can control - is headed to center stage. It's not about any act that precedes or follows; it is all about what your Ringmaster decides once the tent is darkened, the crowd is hushed and the spotlight is on.

Ladies and Gentlemen: Welcome to the Greatest Show on Ice. Sit back. You are the audience. Giggle, gasp, guffaw. Appreciate and applaud loudly. And while you are watching the high wire act that is about to begin, remember to breathe.

Post script: If you see me in Spokane, remind me about this blog, please.


  1. I like your analogy (and will remind you in due course)! Good thing your Ringmaster has great timing. He's got an engaging show and it's developing to perfection right about now. The out of town performances let him tinker with the props and practice all the tricks. I think he's figured out how to keep the tightrope walker on the wire during Act 1, and to get the lion to JUMP (through 4 hoops) in Act 2, all while acting like it's a walk in the park. Somebody grab the popcorn and Twizzlers, and let's go!

  2. The ringmaster is prepared to enter the big tent!