This is your Captain’s log update for April 24, 2020. Reporting from the (remote) bridge of The Skating Club of Boston. (This week from the Cape!)
The Past Week
I think everyone will agree that it was a rough week, with the closing of schools for the rest of the school year and only a little good news from state and city leadership. We hope that everyone is managing to keep it together with four weeks now behind us. It is not an easy time for anyone, and a test of all our patience with the frustration and loss of so much control and direction in our lives. As much as possible, we want the Club to be at least one source of positive news, and our reopening to be something to which we can all look forward. If you are on social media, I encourage you to follow the Club, especially with Jimmy Morgan’s new weekly live interviews each Saturday at 1:00 pm. Whether you are on social media or just on the phone, I encourage you to keep reaching out to others in your community, both inside and outside of the Club. Friendships mean even more these days.
Many thanks to the members who wrote with their approval and appreciation of the Club’s new website. If you have not had a chance to explore it yet, we will be adding new materials over the next few weeks. One new section that was added this week under About, and then the News and Media section, is a taped broadcast of Jimmy Morgan’s Instagram live interview with Max Naumov last Saturday. You can also see it here. This was the first in a series of interviews Jimmy will be hosting weekly while the Club remains closed. I really enjoyed the spontaneity of the interview, and getting to know Max a little bit better through it. I suspect a few members may have tried a new snack of apples and peanut butter after watching. Tomorrow at 1:00 pm on Instagram, Jimmy will be interviewing his next special guest live, Club member and 2014 Olympic Bronze Medalist, Marissa Castelli. For those of us not on Instagram, Jimmy’s interviews will continue to be posted and archived on the Club website.
The Micheli Center for Injury Prevention
One topic that Jimmy and Max discussed was Max’s recent return to skating from an extended injury. Max wished he knew before his injury what he knows now about preventing injuries in the first place. I could not let that bit of wisdom from Max go by without mentioning that individual athlete evaluations for the propensity for specific injuries will be offered on-site at the Club’s new facility as part of the offerings of The Micheli Center. The evaluations are based on an in-depth study of movement and the strength and conditioning of each individual skater. The evaluations also include an individualized prescription program for strength training to give the skater the best chance of avoiding over-use and other injuries in the first place. The Micheli Center is a leader in preventative training for sports, and having this sort of access on-site at the Club will be invaluable for every skater in competitive training.
Club Test Sessions
One of the many things we are looking at for when the Club re-opens is make-up test sessions for March and April, in addition to a regular May test session. If U.S. Figure Skating does not extend their strong recommendation against Club programs past May 11th, I think we will endeavor to make test sessions part of our May re-opening plan for the Club. Of course, it will depend upon available and interested officials to work. Once a date has been selected, the front office will contact everyone who has registered for a previously cancelled test session to see if they still wish to test. We will make sure we have enough time to accommodate all missed tests, even if we end up with an all-day or multi-day test session.
For those members not sure what their test level will be for this summer’s session, we advise that you consult with your coach about their availability for the sessions in which you are interested. If applicable, you may sign up for sessions at two levels should you choose to test up before the start of summer. The Club will refund you for the sessions at the lower test level or the higher level once you know your test level. If you are interested in this flexible registration, please check with the Club office at email@example.com for more details.
Ice Contract Refunds
For those members that have requested refunds for their March ice contracts, they are happening. Thank you for your patience as Mary continues to process the requests amidst other activities and demands. She will get to them all. Have no doubt!
Why Skating is Essential
Finally, I have a new personal reflection to share this week. When the Governor closed all non-essential businesses in March, I wrote the membership with the requirement to close the Club because it would be hard to argue that the Club is an essential business. My statement has stuck with me for the past several weeks, as I’ve taken objection to it over and over again in my mind. In truth, I believe that what the Club provides is indeed essential. Certainly not for fulfilling the very basics of life’s need for food, shelter and safety. But beyond these three core elements, I believe skating is, as all sports, an essential element to leading a more fulfilled life. A life that is multi-dimensional. A life that includes physical, emotional and mental stimulation. A life that includes the next hierarchy of essential personal experiences, after food, shelter and safety.
For our skaters, this sport also provides an alternative community to their schools, and the opportunity to create meaningful, lifelong friendships – one of the great rewards of a life well-lived. For our parents, skating provides the same opportunity for great friendships through their own shared experiences. It also offers a family the opportunity to share in their skater’s dreams, challenges and achievements. For our coaches, skating is an opportunity to not only share knowledge, but to participate in the positive development of the Club’s youth. And for parents and coaches alike to experience their own satisfaction in the satisfaction of their children and students. For our members, who are fans and spectators, skating is entertainment. For everyone, it is the opportunity to share in the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat of the many skaters whose careers we follow. For those of us who are off-ice professionals in the sport, the Club gives us the satisfaction of building and managing an arena where this community can gather and live. It is why I returned to Boston from California to take this job with the Club. I didn’t actually see it as a job. I saw it as an opportunity to be part of something important and unique and rewarding. And to join a community with a shared passion for what is an amazing sport.
Stay safe, sheltered and fed everyone. Soon you will be returning to the crazy enjoyment that skating brings all of our lives.