Working on my eighth week of pairs figure skating for “Skating with the Stars“. Last week was amazing and very tough all at the same time. We started off with a great trip to Squaw Valley where we skated on top of the mountain and then I took Brooke skiing for her first time. I knew she would be good, but not that good. By her fourth run she skied Siberia which is an advanced run. A ski instructor would get fired for bringing her up there and it was stupid on my part because if she would have gotten hurt we would have been done with the skating show. My plan was to bring her down the ridge while our buddy skied the face, but when I showed Brooke the run from the top she wanted it. She is a tough chick. The snow was great but there were small moguls and it was variable which is hard for beginners, not to mention steep. I tried to make her follow right behind me and cut deeply across the hill but she did not like my instruction and wanted to do it her own way. She ended up executing three perfect “yard sales” losing all equipment and goggles each time. Each time she got right back up and continued laughing and wanting more. Her final crash was the most spectacular. After pointing em straight down towards the bottom of the pitch and making three nice GS turns she was too far forward when the slope flattened out and she got snagged in some soft snow and did a nice headplant/yard sale completely filling her pants with snow.
It made me realize that skiing is a bit like surfing. The actual motion of turning a ski which Brooke could do very easily from her skating experience is only a small part of skiing. Managing conditions, steepness and other element is the harder part. Like surfing, standing and turning on the board is not the hardest part, it’s everything else that kills you.
When we got back to LA we had a lot of work to do and we had an increased level of stress and intensity because we had not been getting good artistic scores. This made us both focused on getting the details of the routine right. The emotion and artistry specifically. Plus, we were exhausted from both the skiing trip and just being on for so many days in a row. In addition the difficulty level of the routine increased because we were now skating in lock step as a pair telling a romantic story of forbidden love. On Sunday the day before the show we had never completed a routine yet we had to perform on the studio ice for the director. On our first attempt I swung too wide on a lunge and snagged the edge of the ice sending me into the lights then whipping Brooke over my head into the seats. Luckily, we were only bruised. We got up and tried it again, this time I caught an edge taking out Brooke who came inches from launching herself off the ice to a 5ft drop to concrete. Scary stuff.
So that did nothing for my confidence and went to bed that night thinking of how to change the routine which can be even harder. On show day Brooke and I finally got through the routine once but the directors wanted to see it again which was good for us. On the second time around I made a misstep and tripped Brooke who slashed her finger on my skate as she fell and had to go tot he hospital for stitches. Her finger would not numb so she was there forever. She finally told them to put the stitches anyway and she showed up just in time for the dress rehearsal. We ended up nailing our routine with the exception of my shaky jumps and we ended up on top. Of Course, Brandon did not compete because he was in the hospital with as stomach virus, but I’ll take it anyway.
This week I feel better physically although today I am very sore again in my hammies. My groin is at least doing well. I think my hammies are sore from doing overhead lifts with Brooke. We have had a pro skater named John Zimmerman here teaching me how to lift and throw Brooke which are required elements for this week. Our routine is going to be awesome 80’s music. I hope you will check it out and vote at ABC.com.