Your heart rate is rapidly climbing up, and your breath comes out in small, tangible clouds in the wintry air.
You are alone on the ice.
The boards enclose and encircle you, blocking out everything else. The marble-smooth surface glistens against the glare of the dingy overhead lights. Your favorite song is blaring through the speakers above you. The one that gives you chills. The ice, the lights, your breath, the song. There is nothing else.
As the music builds, you can feel it down to your very bones. You anticipate the climax of the song with your whole body, as your legs begin picking up speed. The sounds of your edges grinding against the frozen surface set you at peace with the world. You're skating fast now, and your skin can feel the cool air like a wonderful gust of wind.
And, finally, here it comes. Your favorite part of the song. That high note that is so raw and real. You lunge your body into a spiral, gliding across the ice with one leg extended above you. Physics says that figure skating is the only sport that exists in which one can simultaneously be moving but not moving at all. You are gliding down the ice at an alarming speed, yet your body is completely still. It is an effortless beauty. A feeling like soaring, nothing can quite compare. You are out of breath by this point, but it only fuels you more. You have no choreography, but the music itself is carrying you. It is an art. And a sport. And a million other things at once. Someone once told me that if dancing is how angels walk, then skating is how angels dance. I guess if there were any way to describe it, it would be that.
And despite all the rollercoaster emotions, the celebrations and sinking blows the results and crowd reactions, that is why I do it.