jo skates

Skating in the key of life

Brighter than the sun


Okay, there are two finalists for the inspirational skating song of the week: the one that most perfectly describe my latest must-do on the ice.  One is Andy Grammer’s “Keep Your Head Up,” with its references to circles circling and its reassuring lines and relentless beat:

This is just a journey
Drop your worries
You are gonna turn out fine
Oh, you’ll turn out fine
Fine, oh, you’ll turn out fine
But you gotta keep your head up, oh,
And you can let your hair down, eh
You gotta keep your head up, oh,
And you can let your hair down, eh
I know it’s hard, know its hard,
To remember sometimes,
But you gotta keep your head up, oh,
And you can let your hair down, eh

But the winner is Colbie Caillet’s “Brighter than the Sun,” because having someone tell me the obvious thing to do has not always worked. My head, as Mr. Springsteen would say, has been going down, down, down. (Wait, was that a picture of Bruce skating on the cover of Rolling Stone? 40 secs in. OMG!)

Laurie gave me a great way of correcting this, though, which is to lift my chin so that I can feel the lights of the rink on my cheekbones. This is really effective! So effective, in fact, that I am totally disoriented. I nearly crashed into a free skater while practicing this yesterday (sorry, Chris!). And I’ve had to stop several times during three turns because I was getting dizzy.

Maybe I will figure out how to position myself just through the feeling of my blades on the rink, rather than looking down at the ice or directly at the boards. Maybe I will finally get so that my head is not pulling my body weight forward. Maybe the oh-so-bright lights of the rink will give me a nice sun-kissed glow (though here in Minnesota, pasty-whiteness is the norm this time of year, obvious as everyone insists on wearing shorts and tank tops even though it is only 50 degrees.)

Maybe I will even incorporate a smile once this becomes part of my muscle memory. Here are the Shibutanis doing one of my very favorite programs (excellent on the heads-up!):

Things to practice while I am doing my mid-rink facial tanning sessions (and smiling, though my heart may be breaking):

  • Brackets (hooray!)
  • alternating back cross, change edge (make this pattern rounder and actually bring your feet together)
  • open mohawks, really think about where the new edge is going (shoulder and spine position)
  • power pulls forward (left inside edge push into ice; allow shoulder/core rotation) and back
  • back outside step forward so that I can complete my conquest of the European Waltz  (define the outside edge with a better head, arm, and torso position, don’t rotate early)
  • back chasses/swing rolls (use that head, arm, and torso position!)

Author: Joskates

Don't see me on the ice? I may be in the classroom or at the theater, or hanging out with my family and friends.

2 thoughts on “Brighter than the sun

  1. I like the visual about getting a cheek tan! I wish I could do this more often, but I always seem to look around or in front of me because there are always (shorter) kids whizzing by. I’m so afraid that they will run into me!


  2. There are very few skaters who are shorter than me at my sessions! But you’re right, I definitely need to be careful when I’m in tanning mode.


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