While I made many skating costumes for other skaters over the past season, I also managed to make some costumes for myself, because I skated this year! I was unable to compete the last two years due to a back injury. While it plagued me this year as well, I was finally strong enough to compete again, and I’m really happy that I did.
My first dress for nationals was actually a UFO from 2014. I’d made the dress to wear in 2014, but I never finished stoning it. By the time I’d nearly completed it, I’d decided I didn’t like the fit or the deep burgundy color. I was skating a different event at the time; it seemed much more appropriate a few years later and in an adult division.
I didn’t get around to sewing my dance dress until just before I left, as I had so many commissions to finish for others this year. I didn’t even finish stoning it until after I’d been in Nebraska for nearly a week! It was made from a blue lace I’d bought quite some time ago, but I found coordinating blue fabrics to go with it when I decided I wanted to make it this year. Definitely one of my favorite colors, I really loved wearing this dress.
Despite all the time, effort, energy, and pain that I’ve dealt with the past few years, I think it was worth the effort:
I’m so excited with my placements this year. While skaters always wish they could do things better, considering all the issues I’ve had with my back (you can see the KT tape I’ve been using in the photos) I was really happy just to be able to skate. It was a lot of stress and pain, but I’m happy I persevered.
As for what I’ll be doing next year, I’m a bit undecided. I know I will stay involved with skating through judging at the very least, and I may want to continue to work towards some of my goals in terms of taking tests if my back is feeling strong enough. I’m not sure what I want to do about competition though. It was a struggle getting through the requirements this year; I’m not sure how much strain my back would put up with for another season. I’m taking a bit of a break for a few months to rest my back and recuperate. It should also give me time to reflect. In a very Marie Kondo way, I need to decide what sparks joy, and how I’m going to incorporate those things that do, and how I’m going to part with those things that don’t. In some weird way, this nationals felt a bit like closure to me. I was able to skate one more time, I was able to come back from the injury, and I was able to have a successful showing. I’m not left wanting more, I feel satisfied with what I’ve done. In some ways it leaves a hole – I don’t want things the way I wanted to skate years ago. But I also don’t feel the same way about skating now that I felt years ago either. I’ve been forced to take distance, forced to take perspective. It feels different. Which means I’ve got some thinking to do, and decisions to make. Until then, though, I can be content with what I’ve done and pleased with how this season turn out.
*All photos were taken by Shots 4 Sports and purchased at nationals.