Saturday, July 5, 2014

Remembrances of Things Past: Confessions of a Hoarder

I admit it. I am a bit of a hoarder. Not as bad as the TV show, but I do have years of memorabilia to sort through. There are trophies, scrap books, clippings and all the accoutrements that come with being a skating parent. There are literally more than 150 old VHS competition video tapes, countless photos, dozens of lanyards and credentials - and boxes of travel folders, hotel reservation confirmations, boarding passes, Starbucks receipts and  - of course - credit card bills. Yes, they are all still tucked in some nook and cranny, some file folder or even old suitcases in either my closet, office or garage. It's a lifetime in the world of competitive figure skating, and one that I look back at with great love and reverence - as well as a bit of confusion as how this all came to be, back in a cold rink in 1990 in Aspen, Colorado during an ice show as we watched the great Robin Cousins skate and this little face turned to us in amazement and said, "I want to do that."

It is now quarter of a century later. I thought I was going to able to abandon my seat in the Lutz corner (for those of you who are uninitiated, it is the place you will find more than 90% of skating moms at competitions) and take my rightful place front row center. I thought I would figure out where I was going to put all this "stuff" so I could start the next, few chapters of my life. I figured it was time to stop hoarding and clean my skating house.

While sorting, pitching and packing, I came to an epiphany of sorts. All the photos - boxes and boxes of them; all the videos, old music cassettes (who
remembers those?), competition medals, test certificates, chaperone credentials, ticket stubs,years of costumes and other memorabilia were actually representative of the really what is really important: Favorite trips, favorite rinks and cities; favorite competitions over the years. Certainly, those mattered. But what is truly the MOST important thing in this quarter century of frozen moments is all the friends I've made along the way. If it were not for skating, we probably would never have gone to some of these places nor met any of these people. Whether they are around the corner, the block or the world, they are the most important part of my collection.

So, I'll  happily hoard my friends. I hope to keep them long after the music stops and the ice is resurfaced and the lights are shut off in the arena. 
  But along the way - starting very soon - look for me in the bleachers or standing by the glass (in a Lutz corner, of course) at some of my favorite past non-qualifying competitions; not to have "Remembrances of Things Past," (well, maybe a little..) but to look into the eyes of the new young ones coming up in the sport while I remind myself about how it all started, how far we've come, and still how far there is to go - in whatever direction life leads us. And, along the way, I hope to surprise a few people, see old friends, make new friends, encourage some young skaters and their parents - and in the process create new memories.  After all, skating is a family. And family is everything.


  1. Thanks for this piece Allison, it gives me the confidence to admit to having my own collection of the items you mentioned in my closets, basement, garage and other random drawers and cabinets around my house. I so far am only able to admit to being sentimental but with support like yours and maybe a few years of counseling...
    Love you ~JW

  2. Thanks Allison! It has been my pleasure to meet you and join in some of the excitement. I'm honored…

    San W