I love figure skating for so many reasons. I danced for many years and so I love the grace and beauty. I appreciate the skills that have to be taught, practiced and mastered before moving on to more difficult skills. I marvel at the amount of physics involved and, once understood, it makes my respect for the sport that much more elevated.
More than anything, I love that so much about figure skating corresponds to metaphysics and life. I embrace the fears and limitations that I have to go past in order to learn and master skills. One of those fears and self-imposed limitations is SPEED.
A couple of weeks ago, a coach and very accomplished skater asked me to do a friendship spin with her. It’s one of those spins where you’re required to go extremely fast and then straighten the knees and pull up in order to make both people go that much faster until the momentum is lost.
I agreed to do the spin and probably after about three revolutions, I had to close my eyes to continue to process. We were going so fast I could feel the centripetal force lifting us and I didn’t know if it would result in me falling or being tossed across the rink into the boards with broken bones as a result.
Well, I didn’t fall or get tossed into the wall but the coach made a comment that really resounded with me. She told another coach
“I bet that’s the fastest that she’s ever gone in her life.”
Yes, a call to action. I am a huge fan of Wendy Lipter-Dibner “Shatter Your Speed Limits” and that sentence was like a huge broadcast from the Universe to make me take inventory and re-ask myself, “Am I going fast enough towards my goals and dreams, but not so much that I’m burning out?”
I had to sit with that.
For you see, in figure skating, while speed is desired and necessary, I’ve seen those who have the skill set, technique and confidence enough in the technique to execute hard skills with little to no speed. Yes, they have speed and can amp up in seconds. But they are so powerful, have mastered the skill set, and are so comfortable in trusting the technique that they don’t need ridiculous speed to execute a standing double loop.
So, I’ll pose the same questions to you.
Do you require speed in where you’re trying to go in the moment? How fast are you going? Are you going way too fast so as to burn out or just not fast enough? Have you mastered the skill set and technique necessary to reach your goals and dreams? Do you trust yourself in knowing the technique? What fears and limitations must you look squarely in the eyes and move past them? Do you know where you’re going?