In certain schools of acting, asking the question “what would I do if I were in this situation?” is all-important; the Method actor’s strong imagining of “what if” allows a profound understanding of character and enables the world of the play to come alive.
In skating, the conceptualizing of “what if” can create an immediate reality. After all, one doesn’t really enact the motions of skating–you either do it or you don’t. You never really know what it feels like to do a move until you actually do it.
What if both my hips were underneath me? What if I were to keep the weight on the inside circle? What if I were to put some speed into my edges? What if I were to lean into that left inside edge and allow the free side to come around for that inside three turn?
Some of the changes I’ve put into place in the last few months felt like they were making things better by degrees: a little more balance for a struggling body, a bit more speed. These were tentative differences that made me question whether I was actually making progress at all.
But more and more, the “if” translates into “it.” It feels like a fantastical reinvention of my body, but really, it is my body doing those things. Honestly, it’s me!
It is the instant conversion of dream into actuality. No enchantment or elixir needed. No wands.
Accio edges! I’ve always wanted a little magic in my life.
(Soundtrack, please: last verse of “Let It Go” from Frozen–okay, a little trite and definitely overplayed, but dang, that song is catchy.)