Skater of the Month: December 2013

Nada Mangialetti

One of my coaches calls me “Lucy” because I’ma psychologist. (Think, Peanuts comic strip: “Psychiatric Help * 5-cents”.) Just to give you an idea of my priorities, my professional work schedule revolves entirely around the Ice Palace schedule. I am passionate about skating, and find myself constantly mentally rehearsing my programs and moves. I skate five or six days a week, though you’d never know it. How long have I been skating?  Hard to answer simply. Since about 1982, I’ve skated on-and-off, with two-to-ten year gaps in between. The last gap ended in 2000, just after I gave birth to the Skater of the Month for September 2012, Ling-Yi Tsiang.  I held her up in Tots class, but a few years ago, she had advanced to my level—then Freestyle 2.  My coach just laughed at my offer of considerable compensation to not let my daughter pass me. But the inevitable happened. She has now passed Freestyle 5 and Juvenile, while I’m still (forever?) working to pass Freestyle 4 and Adult Bronze Freeskate. As a Baby Boomer, my goal in skating is to skate gracefully—even if I never attempt axels or flying camels. Grace does not come easily to me. I feel more like Lucille Ball trying to be graceful.  I also want to be able to skate with power. I don’t want to skate like a little ol’ lady, even though I am a little ol’ lady! Another goal: to skate a clean program (the Holy Grail of skaters) and catch it on video. I like doing comical programs most of all, because I love making people laugh. (Also, then they don’t notice my skating so much!).Off-ice, I’ve dabbled in stand-up comedy and humorous science writing. I listen-and-repeat Japanese in the car, to and from the Ice Palace.  In a previous life, I played guitar, taught Suzuki piano and sang in the Honolulu Symphony Chorus.  But whereas I hated practicing music, I love practicing skating! For the past couple of years, I have been the Volunteer Coordinator for the HFSC, a position that makes a person about as popular as a tax collector.That’s why I was surprised (and delighted) to be chosen Skater of the Month! Arigato gozaimasu!