Ice Network

Bobby's world: Martin gives new takes on classics

Intense training period can't dampen coach's holiday spirit
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Bobby Martin (third from left) is trying to spread some holiday cheer to all those good little skaters and coaches who are training hard this time of year. -Sarah S. Brannen

Here's a gift inspired by the fact that we U.S. skaters and coaches have to train during Christmas and over the holidays, due to the early date for the U.S. championships this year ... hope you like it.

"Coaching During the Holidays"

'Twas the day before Christmas, and all on the ice
Not a skater was resting, not rolling the dice;
The costumes were hung in the lockers with care
In hopes of no run-throughs but nationals soon would be there;
For 10 minutes they'll rest ('cause their legs are all dead),
With visualization of clean programs drilled in their heads;
As coaches grab a snack, Rich and Tony in their caps,
The Zamboni rambles on while the skaters take a nap;
When out on the ice, there arose such a clatter,
I ran out from the men's room to see what was the matter;
Away to the rinkside I tripped over the trash,
Fell onto the floor and made quite a crash;
The sun peeking in through the windows with snow
Shone bright on the spilled Gatorade and used tissues below;
When what to my wondering eyes did appear
But a miniature pair girl and with her partner held near;
With her biceps all flexed and his breath short and quick
I knew in a moment that this wasn't Saint Nick;
More rapid than eagles the other skaters all came
I thought that I heard someone call out their name;
"Come Alex, here Jimmy, where is Andrew and Gretchen?
Go get Ross and Christina, find Marissa and Simon;
To the back room find Mike, you go get Carrie Wall,
Now get ice bags and Band-aids, quick go one and all."
As drifting snow blew outside did the skaters they fly
Running each and every way, I heard them rush by;
So up to my feet I stood wobbly in one shoe,
The other in a skate, ahh what a dumb thing to do!
And then, with a sputter, the Zam's gasket went "poof,"
And at just that same time, snow broke through the roof!
As I drew in my head and was turning around
The ice was now covered with snow on the ground;
The Zamboni sat idle, the air filled with soot;
It was then that it struck me, the sharp pain in my foot!
Mike Cook, our PT, came running out from the back,
Took one look at my foot and he opened his pack;
His eyes, how they twinkled! His dimples, so merry.
His cheeks were like roses, his nose like a cherry;
"Wait a minute!" I exclaimed, "You are not old Kris Kringle!"
"I'm just dressed up for the day!" Michael said with a jingle.
The skaters all gathered, not sure what to do,
Half bummed out, half worried, but all certain they were through;
Mike spoke not another word, and went straight to his work,
Packed my limbs up with ice, then turned with a jerk;
He ordered me a ride, gave the office a whistle
The staff was all flying around like a thistle;
The EMT came, and as I rode out of sight
Yelled, "Merry Christmas to all, we'll have to run programs tonight!"

Special bonus! Part Two, sung to the melody of "The Christmas Song" ("Chestnuts roasting...")
Zamboni's circle with their studded tires
Skaters blowing at their nose
Running programs till their legs burn like fire
And again, messed up their triple toes.

Everybody knows, work hard and just do what you're told
Helps to make your season bright
The final push, till the big Boston show
And please just let me sleep, tonight.

They know that Sochi is on its way
It's getting closer, and yes, we hear it every day
And every judge's eye is going to spy
To see if heart and grit and fight can make you fly.

And so, I'm offering this simple wish
To my teams, and all skaters old and new
You've put in your work, many hours, many days
Amazing nationals, to you.