Clock Strikes Zero

The song is exactly 4 minutes and 34 seconds long. There are exactly 15 defined moves, not to mention the footwork sequences. I’m lacing up my skates, eyelet by eyelet, pulling the white laces so tight they almost cut the circulation off in my feet. I pull my black yoga pants down over the boots of my skates, a torn hole marks where the hems drag along the ice. My under armor jacket zipped tight against the cold of the rink. My hair was tied back in a messy french braid, but it didn’t really matter as long as most of my curls were kept out of my face.

4 and a half minutes. I’m in the center of the ice, waiting for the sweeping strings to start, pulling me into the familiar loops, spins, and edges of the music.
Begin.
4 minutes and 32 seconds. my blade rotates out, my arms spread outward like wings. Clean lines. Remember your skates are extensions of your legs. Keep your legs long, and your arms inward on spins.
4 minutes and 28 seconds. The first jump. Double lutz. Dig your toe pick in strong but don’t let it drag. Arms in tight, legs crossed for maximum rotation, spot your landing carefully. Land lightly on the middle of your blade. Your leg will bend at the knee but watch your balancing leg. Check your landing with a nice extension and keep your head up. Smile. Always smile.
4 minutes and 15 seconds. Footwork sequence with confidence. Twist your hips with the natural rotation of your legs so it looks flawless, smooth. Keep everything fluid. The strings keep playing in the background. Now there are drums and a guitar leading the music. Spinning has always been difficult, you get dizzy, but you remember. Spot your turn and count the rotations. Pull your arms in and spin, faster keeping your weight centered so you don’t travel over the ice. 1,2,3,4,5,6,7, and smoothly transition out into more footwork.
4 minutes. You always struggle with this sequence dance up on your toepicks and try not to look at your feet, you’ll trip and fall, coach will yell and reprimand you for such an amateur mistake
3 minutes and 41 seconds. Second jump. A combination. Double Axel. Triple Lutz. Remember to completely gain control of your first landing before attempting the second jump. Don’t let your balance leg drag on the ice until you dig your pick in for the second jump.
3 minutes and 26 seconds. It’s a simple transition into your next spin sequence, however, that’s when the most mistakes happen. Watch the traveling, you’ll get docked points for that in a competition. Balance your weight over the center of your blade. Throw your head back toward your skate in the Biellman spin to create the nice arch in your back.
3 minutes and 23 seconds. Pain. I know my head has hit the ice but I can’t remember why or what went wrong. My coaches voice and her reminds aren’t running through my head anymore. I know there are people rushing on to the ice slipping in shoes. My vision is going fuzzy around the edges and I’m trying to fight the pain. But I lose. My clock has hit zero.

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