ICE by Shaunna Rodriguez

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“When I’m on the ice, I am at home.” Unknown

For me, the only thing more magical than stepping onto the ice and gliding across it in such a way that it made me feel like I’m floating, was clinging to the hope that one day I would become an Olympic gold medalist, just like my mom.
I stared out at the iced over pond behind my house, becoming one with it. I prepared myself mentally and physically before digging my right toe pick into the ice closest to me. I inhaled deeply, breathing in the mixed scent of ice and pine trees. I exhaled slowly, *haaaaa* and shook my hands next to my legs readying myself. The first rule of ice skating, respect the ice. Without respect and a deeper understanding of its mechanics it will not carry you far. Those who sit on the sidelines and have never stepped “toe”, pun intended, onto the ice have a delusion that it’s simply “fun” without responsibility. The repercussions for that line of thinking are simply reprehensible. Although it is fun, there’s so much more tied into it. It’s passion written on the wings of a dove as I extend one leg out behind me in a camel spin and expertly transition it into a sit spin and watch as the world simply just disappears in a swirl of ice.
I pushed off the ice slowly and gracefully and extended my left leg behind me and raised it higher to where my ankle was almost touching my ear. Then I curled my knee and reached back for a moment and grabbed the blade of my skate. I let go of the blade and rolled my hands in front of me forming a bubble, then extended them to float next to me with the natural rhythm of my body as I glided across the ice. I closed my eyes and let the cool wind nip at my nose and blow over my face sending chills racing over my body and tingling my spine. A smile played at the corners of my mouth as I picked up speed and prepared myself for my first axel jump of the day. I would start slow with a single axle and warm my way into my double axle and transition it into a layback spin. I focused on the edge of the pond finding my focal point. Deep breath, consistent speed; I pushed off the forward outside edge of my right foot and said a silent prayer as I floated into the air and began my one and a half rotation. I landed flawlessly on the back, outside edge of my left foot. I let out a sigh of relief and threw my arms up in the air in excited triumph. I poised my blades together and leaned backwards slightly tipping my head back as well, transitioning into my layback spin. I closed my eyes again and felt the wind wafting over my face as I maintained my speed. I began a two-foot, backward progression otherwise known as a Swizzle and then started skating forward in what we call Stroking. I used this to gain speed in order to successfully initiate my Waltz Jump, which takes a lot of speed going forward and involves a half-turn in the air from one foot and landing on the outside edge of my opposite foot. A lot of “footwork” if you will. I felt the rush of cold air as I leapt into the air. I landed perfectly and reveled in the feeling of exhilaration taking hold of me. I was mentally checking off what I had just practiced and contemplated my next jump when I heard my mom yelling for me. Crap. Playtime was officially over. I sighed.

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“A look into competitive ice skating!”

Five Star Review on Amazon By Dana Busenbark

HOLY SMOKES! This is probably one of the most incredible realistic fiction, contemporary romance, coming-of-age stories I have ever read. If you like to watch figure skating and the Olympics ice skating competitions and the ones that lead up to it, then this book is for you! Sasha Elliot is the daughter of an Olympic Gold Medalist. They own their own school, that is specifically for students who skate, with a regulation size ice rink at the school for practice and competitions. If you have watched as competitors have done things to one another over time, trying to ensure they get their dreams, then you will fully relate to what you read in this book. From the death of a brother, to a life-threatening car crash where someone dies, to a broken skate and accusations of sabotage…this book has it all. The ending was not what I had expected, actually, many parts were not what I had expected, but I loved each and every moment of the book. I cannot wait to see what happens in the next book, “On Thin Ice,” where we get to see what happens with the Hockey Team. Not to mention who Sasha chooses! (I hope.)