I'm not quite sure if it's natural progression or if it's just the simple fact that I'm getting old. But just last August 21-22, I had my first stint as a judge for Skate Megamall 2009. Evidently, it's also the last competition in the Megamall Ice Skating Rink. Call it love - but the moment I was asked to be a part of this milestone of a competition as a judge, I said yes in a heartbeat. It feels different to be up in the judges' panel. Albeit, a nice kind of different.
I've been competing since I was 12 years old and I'm no stranger to performing in front of a panel of judges. This time, I was the one judging, but I was constantly thinking how free I'd feel if I were the one on ice, skating, competing and having the time of my life. In life, things do change and it's no different in the world of ice skating. The costumes show more skin (unlike the long sleeved velvet ones we had back then), the music choices are as diverse as can be, the props are more elaborate as ever and new events like the rhythmic ball and hoop are now official events.
As a neophyte judge, I saw a different perspective. I saw how competitions bring family and friends together, how it brings out the best in the participants and how it brings a smile to random people who just happened to stop by and watch for awhile. I feel pretty lucky that I was still a part of the last hurrah of my 2nd home rink before it completely closes down.
From the ice to the judges' panel, I can confidently say, that though aspects of the competition change, the essence of it remains the same - it's a friendly event that builds character and fosters strong relationships; it's about doing what you love and feeling like a winner with just doing so as well as sharing your talent with others. Kudos to Skate Megamall - the participants, the coaches, the parents, my co-judges and the organizers.=)