Today is my second day here and was my first day of practice. The day started out with me waking up at 6am, and being that we are an hour ahead that’s 5am at home! You’d think I would be up that early to get ready for practice, but really I just naturally woke up at that time. At first I was very puzzled, asking myself and trying to figure out why I was up so early…then I had an epiphany! The reason for my early rising was due to the fact that almost every Saturday for the last 3 years I have been going to the rink around 5am to teach, so my body just naturally used to waking up at this early time. Of course, there was no reason for this early wakening and in fact I should take advantage of not having to wake up early to sleep in, but my body clock thought otherwise!
Our hotel has complimentary breakfast, and although we are not at the host hotel (it was sold out when we tried to get it) there are a handful of skaters staying at this hotel as well. I was joined at breakfast with two of my training mates, Carolyn-Ann Alba and Junior Man Shotaro Omori. In the breakfast area, there is a big comfy couch in front of a fireplace with a TV hanging over it, creating a very cozy comfortable mood for this snowy weather, so that was our choice place to sit, and sit we did! We sat there for a good 2 hours talking and drinking our coffee.
So after this relaxing morning it was time to get ready and to head out for practices. As mentioned earlier today was my first day of practices, and so I was feeling good and wanting to get there a little earlier than normal to check out the rink before I had to warm up and get ready to skate. The last few weeks my left groin muscle has been slightly irritated, so I have been icing, taking Tylenol, and wrapping it with an ace bandage, even on the days it’s not hurting, just to ensure its being supported and gives me no issues. Well, in all the “rush” to get ready I couldn’t find this coveted ace wrap. So before heading to the rink my parents and I went on a wild goose chase to find a pharmacy that would carry one. We first found a pharmacy that was more like a little mom and pop shop that seemed like from the outside it would carry it, but upon arriving to the door front it was closed for the holiday weekend. NOOOO!!!! So, we asked a kind lady if she knew where there might be another pharmacy and she pointed us in the direction of a Walgreens.
Finally arriving to the rink, I checked in, dropped off my bag with some of my friends, and went to check out the facility before having to warm up. My friends, my friends…this place…is…HUGE! This facility hosts 2 Olympic size sheets, one-half mini arena (the bleachers on the competition rink are the size of a mini arena) and it turns out the wall that is on the opposite side can be moved to turn it into a full arena, and also holds two soccer fields, one of which we are permitted to use for warming up off ice. Warm up I did and then it was time to take the ice for my first of 3 half hour practice sessions yesterday. All three sessions were crowded, maxing out at 25 people per-session and apparently they have been like this the entire week so far. My first and second session were back to back creating a full hour of practice so I took my time warming up and then once I got my feet under me ran different sections of my program.
I then had a small lunch break where we went to a cafe and got salads and sandwiches and then back for my last practice, again with the max amount of 25 people on the ice. All three sessions were strong and I felt really good about them. After that I went back to the hotel and took a nice hot shower, let me remind you it’s in the 30’s and snowing! And after the shower and relaxing headed out to dinner with some friends and their families from the rink.
Now here I am writing to you before heading off to bed. Tomorrow I will have my first official practice and for those of you who don’t know what that is it’s the practice that is given to you in front of several officials and they time your music and it also gives you the opportunity to work on fitting your program to the rink. Also the weather is supposed to be in the 20’s tomorrow, and not sure if there will be more snow but I am positive what’s on the ground will stay there!
Have a great night everyone! Can’t wait to hear about Max and his experience here in Provo so far!