jo skates

Skating in the key of life

Everybody hurts, sometimes


Whew, it’s been a tough week. Get ready for a whine-fest.

Some of the health news I’ve been reading lately is rather discouraging. True, there is the occasional article that is about how good exercise is for aging brains (although they are not quite sure if this is so because the exercise makes the brain function better, or because better-functioning brains allow you to exercise more).

But recently there have also been some alarming reports, like the study that says that my nervous system will unconsciously “optimize” my walking patterns so that I burn as few calories as possible (hmmm, is that why I am so pokey on the ice these days?); the post that says that runners get slower with age because their ankles and calves get weaker, thus affecting their stride; or the one that tells me that the ankle injuries I got in my teens affect me for life.

Have they done a study on the effects of reading depressing articles from the health section of the N.Y. Times? About how reading too many of these studies can have the same effect as that REM song?

You know the one I mean, so memorably re-done by Mike Myers and Dana Carvey.

I’m making up my own captions to this song:

Why am I still off balance?

I can’t even feel that muscle, let alone use it.

Calling it a mohawk doesn’t make it any easier.

What makes this song so catchy is not only its one-size-fits-all message of loss, grief, and suffering, but also the way the drum machine and the strings keep going round and round and round. Kinda like me on the ice, working on progressives and three turns, three turns and progressives, backwards and forwards.

Okay, some notes on progressives, which is what I’ve been focusing on this week when I’m not too tired:

  • Not allowing my hips to go back on the push (which involves activating the glutes and not letting the hip flexors kick in)
  • Getting to a fully extended knee as a result of the extension, not as a little add-on at the end. I am working on Laurie’s suggestion that I keep my free leg strongly down towards the ice.
  • Solid-as-a-rock feet and pointed toes. If I engage my “toe down towards the ice” on back progressives, it really works to help me keep my weight going back (I can feel the force of the foot counter-balancing the upper body).
  • I need to initiate the push onto the outside edge earlier.
  • I need to think more about how progressives define a circle. The feet come in and go out along a circle. It’s amazing how well this works, keeping everything on a circle in skating rather than allowing bits and pieces of yourself to fall into or out of the circle.

By the way, I used to use that same REM song to practice my Blues solo. That feels like a long time ago.

Okay, my knees hurt now.

I wonder what bunny ears really look like.

And some monkeys might help me point my toes. No, really.

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.

4 thoughts on “Everybody hurts, sometimes

  1. The title of your post is very relevant for me this week too. I had a lesson on Friday and we were working on flying camels. I incorrectly executed the jump and fell on a rough patch of ice. I thought nothing of the fall until I realized that my elbow was bleeding! It was nothing that an Anna and Kristoff (“Frozen”) band-aid couldn’t fix though! 🙂 Hope your week improves, Jo!


  2. Ouch, poor Eva! I’m impressed that you have Anna and Kristoff band-aids at your disposal. And thanks for the sympathy vote–things always look bleakest just before they get better.


  3. “Have they done a study on the effects of reading depressing articles from the health section of the N.Y. Times?” Ha, they should! The studies on how much bone mass I’m about to lose in the next decade are getting me down. But all I can do (as for most of these things) is to keep exercising, and realize that I am one person, not a statistic. I feel ya’ on those back progressives, working on them myself! And I’ve wiped out of them in various dances, most recently on the foxtrot last week. Mine need stability! I need to really use that core and free leg to counterbalance the backward lean.


  4. Ouch! Make us do back progressives and another one bites the dust.


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