Merry Christmas Eve to all of my readers who celebrate!
Today was a great day! I woke up at almost noon because I stayed up writing until past 2am, the previous night.
I had originally planned on going ice skating in San Francisco Union Square with a friend from high school, but he canceled last minute because his plans changed. I get that things happen, so it was no matter. I still wanted go ice skating though, especially since I had made a big breakthrough in my skating the previous day, and I was eager to keep improving.
I ate a brunch of leftover noodles cooked in the last night’s hot pot soup base. It was delicious! After eating, I took an Uber to the ice skating rink, because both the Lexus and Volks Wagon were taken by my mom and brothers, and I did not feel comfortable driving our minivan on the freeway, especially not on a rainy day.
I arrived at the rink at 2pm and had 30 minutes to kill before the 2:30-6pm public skating session began. I did some stretching in the corner of the waiting area. At 2:30pm, I strapped on my skates and hopped on the ice. I skated around for about an hour, doing basic stroking, crossovers, swizzles, and one-foot glides. After about an hour, I felt sufficiently warmed up and comfortable on the ice. I then practiced my spiral, which happens to be my strongest skill. A spiral is when you glide either forwards or backwards on one foot while lifting your free leg in any position– front, side back, you name it. So far, I am only able to lift my back leg up, while skating forward. Because of my flexibility, I am able to lift my back leg quite high. I hope to one day be able to do a spiral like the legendary Sasha Cohen! Her spirals were really something else.
After spirals, I practiced my spins. I’m so happy to say that I’m finally getting the hang of spinning! I actually taught myself how to spin, as I did other skills, like spirals, lunges, bunny hops, three-turns, ski glides? (not really sure that’s what you call them), and skating backwards. I attribute my steep learning curve to my strong background in gymnastics. Thank you, gymnastics, for all the doors you’ve opened for me!
I had two big falls and a few small ones today. The first fall happened when I was practicing forward crossovers– I was going very fast and placed my weight too far forward, causing me to trip over my toe pick and land HARD on my knees. Sadly, I wasn’t wearing any knee pads, so my knees are now purple and bruised. It’s all part of the fun, though! My second fall was when I was performing a spiral with my back leg up in an arabesque position and right arm up, like a ballerina. I lost my concentration, as I was trying to catch a profile view on the sideboard reflection of my leg position. My front skate slipped under me, and I flopped flat onto my butt. I HATE falling backwards, as that’s the most dangerous kind of fall. If you don’t know how to fall, you could potentially hit your head and get a concussion. Thankfully, no such thing happened to me. But my glutes hurt for the next ten minutes, after which the pain subsided and all was well. I experienced a few mini falls when attempting new tricks, like a spin in the lunge position, and a skill called “shoot-the-duck”, where you are essentially down in a one-footed squat position, with the free leg pointed straight forward in front of you.
I was planning on skating until 6pm, closing time, but at around 4:15pm, the power went out in the ENTIRE rink. There were no lights, no music, nothing. People continued to skate in the dark, so I followed in suit and made sure to watch out for the reckless little kids. About 10 minutes later, the manager of the rink told everyone to get off the ice, as the power wasn’t coming back on anytime soon. I was so disappointed! I wanted to keep on skating and practicing and improving, despite the painful water blister that popped up on my left foot. Well, there was nothing anyone could do. So I left the rink at about 4:30pm and caught an Uber home (Mom was out running errands, brothers were getting a haircut, and dad was still at work, so I couldn’t get a ride home).
On the car ride home, I got a text from my friend from my Psych 110 class, saying that the grades for that class were finally posted online. I had a little freakout session in the back seat of the car. My heart immediately started pounding and my palms grew clammy. I tried getting online to check the grades, but there was no wifi and my data was going SO slow. It was agony! Once we got off the freeway, my data got faster for some reason, and the page was able to load. My hands were shaking as I took a deep breath and clicked on “Exam and Homework Grades”. I scrolled down to where it said “Final Grade”, and… (drumroll please)…
I GOT AN A IN THE CLASS! I couldn’t believe it. Well, I mean, I did study like hell for the final… So I guess I shouldn’t be surprised. And the curve in that class is pretty generous. I guess I was just paranoid because of that one time in my Psych 150 class that my scantron went into the wrong pile, and as a result, my initial score was a 26%. After that experience, I made sure to always double check that I filled in the correct exam form number before handing in the scantron. Couldn’t have a repeat of what happened before.
So, as you could imagine, I was a super happy camper by the time I got home. I told my dad about my grade, and he reacted very calmly, saying, “I don’t know why you were so nervous before. I knew you could do it. You are always so anxious before and after exams… I don’t understand why.” And to that, I replied, “Well it’s because I am a perfectionist!” And he said, “You don’t need to take it to such an extreme.” He’s honestly right, though. I can’t worry so much about my grades, or any other form of evaluation, for that matter. As long as I try my best– and by best, I mean studying little by little each day, reading and outlining the textbook diligently, getting enough rest so I can retain information better, and going to office hours if I don’t understand a concept– I will be fine.
I was super hungry when I got home, so I decided to eat leftover soup noodles from this morning. Chris made his famous milk tea again, but didn’t add sugar, so it didn’t really suit my taste. But hey– at least it was healthy!
After eating, I considered taking a nap, because 2 hours of nonstop skating (minus a water break) is pretty draining, especially if you haven’t exerted yourself physically in a while. Learning a new skill is very mentally taxing as well, as you’re in the process of ingraining new information into your muscles. Once you practice enough and get the hang of the moves, it becomes more natural, and you don’t have to think so much about every movement. One of my skating coaches, Lili, was right– it took me roughly 3 months to get comfortable being on the ice. Once I broke through that barrier, I was able to reach a new level. It’s so fun and fulfilling to see tangible improvement in your skill! This is what I love about sports– the improvement is so concrete and tangible and is directly proportional to how much time you devote to practicing. I’m more motivated than ever to improve my skating and plan on skating every day for the rest of break. I understand that once I go back to school, it’ll be a lot harder to fit skating into my busy schedule… but even going once a week for a lesson and a few hours of practice is better than nothing.
So, where was I? Oh yes. I wanted to take a nap, but decided against it, as I didn’t want to ruin my sleep pattern. So I opened this laptop and began writing today’s Blogmas!
It’s almost dinner time now. My family celebrates Christmas, but we aren’t an especially festive family. This year, we didn’t even bother getting a tree! It’s all good, though– at least we’re spending Christmas Eve together, as it should be. And tomorrow, we’re attending a family friend’s annual Christmas party, where there will be good food and fun games. The party is more for the adults, but the ambiance is always very nice, and you definitely feel the holiday spirit when at the Youngs’ home.
So that’s it for my Christmas Eve post! I wish you all a Merry Christmas– have fun opening presents and spending time with your loved ones!