Monday, May 19, 2008

newbie: competition downtime

Ice Girl (I.G.) had a competition in Janesville, Wis. last weekend. She did very well (two firsts), thank you for asking.

Competitions aren't run for the convenience of the skaters; in other words, competitors don't skate all of their events all in a row. This seems pretty obvious, but I.G.'s grandma didn't get it and I hadn't given it a lot of thought. I.G.'s grandma thought I.G. could get on the ice, skate, and go home.

It doesn't work that way.

Ice Girl had practice ice at 7:20, an event at 10:33, and another event at 1:06. Yep. That's roughly three hours between events with nothing to do but sit in the stands and drink watery coffee or hot cocoa.

Luckily, Janesville has a beautiful (and free) botanical garden less than a mile from the rink. We walked the paths, heckled volunteer gardeners, and created wild schemes for running off with beautiful and rare plants. This great activity was free, fun, and ate up about two hours. After the first event, we went back because the gift shop and plant sale opened at 10 a.m.

Why in the world do you care about this great side trip?

Newbie lesson: Plan a diversion, maybe two for competitions. It's fun to watch other folks' kids skate, but my family gets bored and obnoxious after three hours of waiting. I have to get them out of the rink before they're escorted off the premises.


SusanAtLifeskate said...

How funny! It's the same for adults because when I was covering some of the Adult Nationals in Lake Placid for, I saw on the schedule that a warmup for an event would sometimes be several hours before the actual skate. And I would think, "I really wouldn't want to get up for a 7 a.m. warmup when I'm skating at 1 p.m." By the way, the Janesville Skating Club was my very first Clubs Count profile I did, so that was nice to see the name again (

Ice Mom said...

I read your club profile on Janesville, Susan. It's nice to see the club grow. They ran a really nice competition as well.

Anonymous said...

This was our first year down at Janesville also. I think the gardens were visited by many skating families that day. The waiting between events is the hardest part for my daughter.

Anonymous said...

Wait till she gets a bit higher and they put say three progams on three diffrent days, and only have practice ice(other than warm up) the first day of competition! Spending three days 2 nights at a hotel for ummm like total of 6 minutes skating! (we loved it, but we so far my daughter and i will sit and watch all the skaters compete for hours on end! Or we have had to literally ahve two people help change outfits and remove dress do hair etc all at the same time to go right back on ice asap within minutes of the last event I thought my little one was gonna hyperventilate!
Good Luck to Ice Girl!
Love teh blog!