Last weekend I met my daughter Evan in New York City and from there we drove up to Peterborough, NH to attend a skating conference.
Trish Alexander who heads up Skate Instructors Association or Skate IA with the help of local skating instructor and outdoor enthusiast Colleen Clark, organized the event. Instructors from the US, Canada, the UK and even Brazil came together to share their passion and experience. There were presentations from a variety of masters in the industry on various skating disciplines as well as short workshops on improving skating skills, teaching technique, and building a skating business. Former Ice Speedskating Olympian (1988, 1992) and current Executive Director of US Speedskating, Mark Greewald reviewed the importance of developing good skating technique, which coming from such an accomplished skater, was truly appreciated and internalized by all. World renown slalom skater and instructor, Naomi Grigg, was on hand to give multiple slalom skating presentations getting all of us moving and grooving around the cones like pros. Skating instructor Phil Lenihan, known as the “The Old Dude On Blades” , was there to remind us why we should NEVER EVER stop skating.
The picturesque Friday morning drive up to New Hampshire that I was looking so forward to was anything but in the foggy and rainy conditions. However, by Saturday morning it was about as beautiful as New England can get in October. It was arranged for my daughter and I to stay at a neighbor of Colleen’s who owns a 220 year old house on 8 acres of land that abuts a nature preserve. New Hampshire. October. Leaves changing. 220 year old house. Nature preserve. Are you kidding me?! What a unbelievable place to spend the weekend!
I was honored to conduct a short presentation on Mobile Yoga and had the opportunity to run the attendees through the basics of the workout. Since they were all already skaters we focused more on the yogic elements and how they can incorporate these concepts to improve their skating experience as well as their student’s. In spite of the well warn surroundings of an old armory where the conference was being held, we managed to create an atmosphere that was conducive to a short pranayama and meditation practice. Even on a cold, hard, dusty floor, people still managed to fall asleep while lying in shavasana! That is the beauty of shavasana, isn’t it?
The event was a great opportunity to connect with many skating friends of the past and enjoy the company of those who love skating as much as I do.
Everything I heard about New England in October was true. Skating there with friends, my daughter Evan, and with Barry Manilow lyrics floating in my head was a bonus.