Nationals came to an end and for most skaters it's break time. But for 24-32 of us, we are just getting started with our season. Last year it was really easy. I had like 4 days maximum between Indoor Nationals and residency so I went home and just waited really. This year is different. We had 2 weeks in between. If someone went home and literally didn't touch their skates or barely touched their skates then they will have a problem. Two weeks of nothing will kill any core shape an outdoor skater has that will be competing at the top level. This year worlds is much later (like it was in 2006) which for the Junior Team poses a bit of a problem. The Seniors that do work, will have to take off the same amount of time no matter what time frame worlds falls on. But the Junior Team has school and some school are really tough on allowing their students to have days off. In my school I'll be missing the first 14 days of school. My handbook says no student is to miss the first of last 5 and missing 15 days in a semester could lose a student partial credit for the semester. Now because I am enrolled in AP English I have summer reading requirements that I must fulfill before I get to school. I picked up the three books I am entitled to read and respond to. The thing about summer reading is that it is graded and you may be required to take a test or write an essay on the book but while you are reading you have no idea what to truly look for. Every student (or good student) should adapt the way they write essays and take tests to satisfy their teacher that year. But while you read these books you don't even know who your teacher is or even less what they look for so you are basically going in blind. They give a sheet of paper that tells you to respond analytically. So I have to write between 40-44 pages of information between three books making sure it is all analytically. Eckk. Even better is that I went and got all three books, and I picked up a fourth book and so far all I've read is the book of my choice. For some reason I decided to read Lance Armstrong's It's Not About the Bike: The Journey Back to Life. It's an absolute incredible book. In fact, I finished it in two days. I don't know why schools don't ask their students to read a book like this because it is beyond belief.
Two weeks this year. While all of your teammates take their break you have to keep skating because you are considered the best. You must represent the red, white, and blue. That's the hard part. Just skating when no one else is. Everyone is vacationing and breaking but not you, it's the time of the year where everything you've done so far means nothing because none of it will compare to what is to come.