The Early Years

The Early Years by Rick Davis

Welcome back, you did read In The Beginning? Right? No? Well go read it here In the Beginning and hurry back.

Okay, now that you’re all caught up. You know that Sheila was the driving force, seriously, she was the one driving Levon to the rink every Saturday and sitting on the cold hard bleachers while Levon learned to Shoot the Duck, and Twizzle, then jump and spin on this slender, sharp blade of medal on … ice … this Florida boy only associated ice with a tall glass of Coca Cola. Once they both got through the group lessons and Dori retired with her Silver Medal, my involvement was reduced to a supporting role, which meant keeping up with rambunctious  four-year old Dori, anyone that has met Dori knows what a daunting task that is, and I could usually be found outside watching Dori climb the tree beside the rink. Or tossing a ball in the parking lot with Eric Hartley as he waited for his turn on the ice.

As I mentioned earlier, by the time Levon finished the group lessons with the Northland Skating Academy he was already taking private lessons with Richard and Heidi Hartley and he was ready to compete in the Basic 1 Free Skate event in the 2008 Queen City FSC Invitational. He got his first trip to the podium with a gold medal and shortly thereafter joined the Queen City FSC, thus my involvement began, Sheila wasn’t much interested in being the “voting parent member”, so knowing I had already made my three complete trips around the ice rink and had no plans to ever try to get on the ice again, I thought I might as well contribute what I could and attend a meeting once in awhile or maybe join a committee as I learned more about this crazy world of ice skating. The results of that decision are a whole nother story.

In 2009 we started out with a local competition hosted by the Figure Skating Club of Cincinnati and had us visiting at least six or seven other cities from Dayton, OH to Louisville, KY and Detroit and Ann Arbor, MI to Carmel, IN. (Note to parents just starting out, start a journal or blog and record all the different events you visit now, I am writing this nine years later and wish I had recorded my thoughts while they were happening). Fortunately we bought video recordings, so we can share the experience with you here in the Gallery

After a successful first year of competition, a few gold medals, a couple of disappointments, we added competitions in Troy, OH and a return trip to Carmel, IN for the Eastern Great Lakes Regional Competition, the first step in the qualifying competitions leading up to the US National Figure Skating Championships. The top four finishers in each level “qualify” to compete in the next level.