Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sibling Rivalry

You hear about it all the time. My sister and I were no different. As kids we fought more often than we got along. My mother gave up trying to referee us and only stepped in when someone was in danger of getting injured. My sister and I also skated together. We were in the same club and skated on the same ice. This was back in the '70s so we did patch (figure 8s for you younguns out there) and freestyle together. We had the same coaches. My sister was the jumper. I don't know if she had no fear but at least she had less fear than me and as far as I remember she had a flip jump which I never mastered. Me, I was the spinner. I was scared of jumping but not spinning. I had a scratch spin, camel, layback, broken leg and a weird variation of an upright spin my mom had learned as a show skater. The only spin I didn't do well was a sit spin. I didn't have the quad strength to hold me up while keeping my leg straight out in front of me. My sister and I were always comparing notes. Can you do this? Have you tried that? I always thought we got along remarkably well on the ice. I guess compared to the knock down fights we had off ice (yes we used to get into physical fights as well as verbal ones) we got along famously on the ice.

When we were kids I never recognized the competitive streak that runs deep through my sister. It is only now as an adult that I see it once in a while. In a step aerobics class where I had more platforms under me than she did or during discussions on figure skating (she has never returned to the ice like I did). I am discovering that whenever we get into a technical discussion on figure skating she argues with me thinking that she is right. I even ended up going on to the Internet to look something up to prove that she was wrong. I am beginning to think that I might have to stay away from these discussions to keep peace during family gatherings. Yet she doesn't understand my passionate return to training for figure skating. I think my Mom, who instilled the love of the sport in me from the start, is also a bit shocked at the depth of my commitment to the sport and perhaps thinks I should be committed. I was quizzed about this during my last visit. Apparently neither of them knew that I have always Loved (yes, capital L loved) skating. Even when I was a kid I loved it. I just knew I wasn't great at it. I watched my friends progress faster than me and my sister always did better higher jumps so when my self esteem was at an all time low I quit the sport although I truly enjoyed it. Now that I am adult I understand that I won't be in the Olympics but I also understand that I don't have to be. Just being on the ice doing anything is fine with me. I don't care if it takes me years to get a back spin and I will be truly shocked if I ever do a flip jump. But I am going to keep skating as long as I enjoy it. I am going to compete now that there are competitions for us low level skaters (there weren't any when I was a kid) and I am going to pass as many tests as I can. I am happy when I am on the ice and that counts for everything. I just need to refrain from getting in technical discussions with my sister to maintain the peace when I am off the ice. ;-)

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