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July 25, 2006

Hi everyone!

As I promised in my last entry, I am writing after my first competition, Liberty Open. Liberty is great opportunity to debut your new programs, and to show the international judges what you have been working on all summer. It's a very big competition were you also get to see how everyone from around the country is skating as well.

I'll start from the short program. I had gotten to the rink earlier in the day, just to see what start number I was skating. I looked at the start numbers, and I saw that I had to skate last! All I thought about is how long I would have to wait, but wasn't really worried about it. I went to my hotel room and rested for a while, called a few friends for some inspiration, and was ready to go! I got to the rink, warmed up, and tried to stay very focused. When it was my turn to skate I was a little nervous, but I knew I had practiced hard all summer, and I had nothing to lose. My program went very well, and my coach and I got many compliments. My point total was just shy of my personal best, but good enough to put me into 3rd place. When my coach and I looked at my protocol sheet, we saw that had I not gotten a time violation, I would have won. Luckily the violation happened at Liberty and not at Nationals! That's what these summer competitions are for!

The next day was the day of the long program. I felt ready and skated very well that morning. Again, I went to the hotel to rest. The friends I called yesterday, called me to wish some last minute luck. I was to skate in the first group of the event. I was feeling nervous, wanting to make a good impression on everyone watching my new programs. I was so concerned of skating well, that I did just the opposite. I had many jumping mistakes, and unlike the day before, my spins received all level 3's and not 4's. The whole program, I never felt my legs under me. My coach and I talked with one of the judges and after my skate and we decided that I would do a couple local competitions to practice my long program in front of an audience. We also decided that I would be monitored at the 2006 Moran Memorial in late August.

Even though I didn't skate my best at Liberty, I was proud that I had gotten higher levels on my spins and footwork. I know the jumps will come. I do them all the time in practice. It's still very early in the season. I feel that my summer training/competitions, will definitely pay off by the end of this season.

Thank you so much for reading,