jo skates

Skating in the key of life



So there was a seven-year-old beginner (I think this was his second time on the ice) getting a lesson at the rink today. I passed by him just as a really good figure skater also went by, all deep edges and gorgeous extensions. They watched her for a moment and I heard his coach say to him: “You’ll be that good someday.”

The boy’s response: “When?”

We all need that sense of hope and possibility to sweeten the learning process. Just overhearing that made me think about all the things that might be in store once I get my skating legs back. I am looking forward to getting back into some of the compulsories, and I have been inspired by Eva’s series of spin tips (here’s part two and part three) to try spinning again. Doing loops and twizzles has been really fun.

But mainly I am still working on improving some of my body positions and basic biomechanics. I have been thinking a lot this week about one basic move: swing rolls, both forward and back. While many things seem to have actually improved with a few weeks off from skating, I came back to some pretty wobbly swing rolls.

But the wobbliness is not just from being rusty; that just magnifies a problem I’ve had for a long time. I have come to the conclusion that the underlying problem is what Monika of The Dance Training Project would call “hip compression”: in which the hip joint has compromised mobility and balance:

Think of hip compression as an energy leak– When force cannot be transmitted from the contact of the foot with the floor through the hip.This will inhibit the muscles that stabilize the hip from firing at the proper time, and so in an attempt for stability the joint will suck the bones into itself instead.

Monika’s site describes feeling “stuck” in the hip, which describes my swing rolls perfectly. There are all kinds of exercises that she suggests that I’ve will definitely make use of. Since I’ve just started these and all I feel right now is sore, I will report back on future progress. Not “if,” but “when.”

By the way, the seven-year-old’s coach also promised him that she would buy him a Lego set if any skaters ran him over on his lesson. I think this was meant to ease his fears about the likelihood of collisions, but I would think that this promise would backfire. At any rate, I tried to steer clear of them for the remainder of the session–just in case the boy was desperate for Legos!


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 “When?

  1. Wow – I didn’t realize how much I inspired you with the posts on spins! I do hope you try it again someday. I’d love to have that 7-year old’s coach. I get run into at least once a week, so I could have a thriving Lego business on the side. 🙂


  2. I am back to the good old scratch spin! A little challenging on these dance blades, but I think it’s good for me. If it doesn’t work out, no worries. I could secretly team up with kids to exhort Legos from their coaches…


  3. I’m glad you are back on the ice and working, enjoy your absorption in practice!


  4. Thank you, Mary! It feels good to take a break and even better to be back!


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