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A great skating weekend!

February 23, 2010
by

On Friday A, B and I drove to Bemidji with a plan in mind.  We were going to each skate one race, enjoy the pool and hot tub at the hotel, and have a great time.

While checking in on Friday evening we talked to Chantal and greeted the other skaters as they arrived.  It was here that we met Ann from Peoria.  I was impressed with Ann from the get go.  She traveled alone and planned to skate both races alone because her daughter was unable to join her.  I have to admit that Ann motivated me to skate the 50K and we never even talked about it.  As you know I planned to skate the 25K and then cheer L on as she reached her goal of finishing the 50K.

On Saturday as I skated the 25K alone I paid attention to the other skaters on the ice.  Jim invited me to join his pack but I could not catch up.  I watched as they skated off and that is when I realized Norm was leading his son, how cool. I decided then that when A and B decide to skate this race I will do the same for them; set aside my personal goal to ensure they finish.  I finished the race just over 13 minutes faster than I skated it last year and was very pleased.  So with the race completed off we went to have lunch, a Guinness and fish and chips.  Happy relaxed and ready to end my season on a high note, I began to think more seriously about skating the 50K.

After lunch we returned to the lake for A and B’s races.  I helped them get their skates on and they did a few practice laps.  When it was time for the 9 and 10 year olds to line up at the starting line, B skated to the line, got into position and waited for the call.  Off he went and 1K later he crossed the finish line first in his heat earning himself a gold metal.  Next up was the 11 and 12 year olds.  Now A skated to the line, got herself into a beautiful starting position and waited for the call.  Off she went and as she finished the first turn she had a commanding lead.  The distance between her and skater number two grew on the back stretch and she finished first in her heat earning a gold.  I was a proud mom!

Later that day in the hot tub, I was talking to my children about skating the 50K.  They both told me in their own words that I should skate the race as I would be proud of myself for finishing something I did not think I could accomplish.  So how could a mom who had encouraged her children with the same logic not skate the race?  So that night I signed up and made a pack with L that we would do it together.

At 9:00 am on Sunday morning I was on the starting line.  By then L and I had included Norm and Ann in our pack to do this together.  Almost 3 hours later we had done it.  First Norm crossed the line and then he skated up to Ann and helped her finish.  I crossed the finish line 1/3 of a lap behind Norm, stopped to have a doughnut, got up and skated 5 more laps to help L finish.  What a great accomplishment for all of us.

It was a fantastic weekend!  The weather was perfect, the ice was out of this world and the other skaters were great. The 2009-10 skating season is a week from being over.  It was a terrific year and that means next season will be even better.

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