Hey guys, it's Annaleigh!
Early Friday morning at 4 a.m., and California Gold met at LAX to catch the four-hour flight to Detroit. After a smooth and very sleepy flight, we quickly checked into our hotel and hurried to prepare our novice team for their official practice. We cheered them on as they skated their Wizard of Oz program beautifully and then headed to Noodles & Company, a delicious restaurant that we don't have many of on the West Coast. Our long day still wasn't over; we practiced late at night so we could get in our ice time before official practice the next morning. Despite the fact that we were all exhausted from the plane and rushing from place to place, we had a spectacular practice, with speed and enthusiasm the whole time.
The next morning, we ate breakfast in the hotel lobby, then went to do our hair and makeup for short official practice. Our official practice went extremely well, and we were more than ready to compete. We had some downtime before we had to redo our hair and makeup, so we hung out in our room and had a chance to just relax for a while. Then, as it was time to compete, we got pumped up by doing an off-ice warmup. After skating our short program to Michael Buble’s "I’ve Got the World on a String," we felt amazing! This team has a very unique spirit. I think it is from the passion and determination within each and every skater. In order to come down from this adrenaline high, we got together as a team and did a quick yoga session before bed to relax and put our minds at rest.
On Sunday morning, we were glad to be the last to skate in the long program; it meant we could sleep in a little! But we still got ready quite early to warm up and do hair and makeup for official practice. Our official was a little rough at first, but by the second run-through, we were able to pull it together and push through it. We didn't have as much down time as we did on Saturday, but our team rested, and when we came together for off-ice again, we were eager to compete. Before we stepped out onto the ice, we recited a line from Robin Hood: “Rise and rise again until lambs become lions.” In the movie, Robin Hood's friend asks him what it means, and he responds, “Never give up.” And that's exactly what we did in our long program. We had a couple bobbles and a fall, but we did not stop pushing ourselves until the very end, and we were proud of ourselves for accomplishing that. Now that we have the feedback from the technical specialists and judges, we are ready to work to perfect our program.
This weekend went by so quickly, but I was so happy to be able to meet and catch up with most of my “DREAMmates,” as we call each other. After getting through security at the airport, Audrey, Ashley and I snapped a quick photo before I went running to catch up with my team.
Dr. Porter is always such a quick competition, but there are so many good memories I will walk away with from this weekend. California Gold would like to give a shout out to Chicago Jazz Junior: we're so excited and looking forward to the Cup of Berlin!