Sunday, June 12, 2011

Excess Baggage

While some of us are doing limbo on line waiting for the international assignments to be posted so we can plan our lives in 2012 accordingly, many of you are already headlong into the season.

I've been talking with a number of friends who are frantically making plane and hotel reservations, filling out competition forms, calculating budgets and searching the web for the nearest Starbucks. It is summer competition time. The popcorn in that bag you call your brain is about to explode. Just pray that, salted and buttered, it will sustain you through the "Dog Days."

I actually do remember (some) of those days fondly. Racing off Hither Tither and Yon was routine. Let me see...
  • Vail, Denver, Colorado Springs (pre move), Ft. Collins; TX, NJ, NV, PA, CA, WA and WXYZ.
  •  Bags that logged enough miles for an upgrade to first class, and in those days were the only things that didn't have an additional cost attached.
  • Printing comp forms ("You're entered in THAT many events? Really?) 
  • Filing, faxing and mailing on (or rarely) before deadline (dinosaur days).
  • Making "dubs" of cassettes pre CD ("What's the name of your music?").
  • Coach flights.
  • Coach fights.
  • Sagging, schlepping, dragging, dropping.
  • Practice ice? Check. And more checks for just about everything else imaginable.
  • Frozen bleachers. Frozen butts.
Hot times in ice houses literally coast to coast. Ah, the good old days of non-qual competitions. How I miss them.

The strange thing is I actually do miss them. In a twisted and slightly demented way, I miss the long hours, cold seats, hot soup, hot chocolate, stale bagels and the somewhat organized chaos of hundreds of little skaters, parents, officials and coaches crammed into rink lobbies. I pine for the lost bags left in hotel rooms, misplaced costumes, chewed up practice gloves and t-shirts that clearly stated the "Mood Du Jour." I miss the cheers and tears of the "Good Old Days" because now all we are doing is waiting to exhale as we poise ourselves, once again, on the precipice of a new season and await our marching orders. 

When our fate has been decided, we will pack our bags and start the journey all over again, but without almost all of the above-listed bullet points.

Age does have its privileges, but the beat goes on.


  1. Great sentiments! I miss all those things as well. :) sometimes I think ice skating is what has sustained me through every transition in my life. No matter where you go, the ice rink always smells the same! Its a very bizarre form of consistency. This is so approprate right now, as Im standing in line at the san diego airport, and my skates are in tow!

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