jo skates

Skating in the key of life



Over the years, I’ve learned to be more patient with any interruptions to my skating practice. After all, it’s impossible to respond to work colleagues with “Sorry, I can’t come to the meeting–I have to go skating” or to tell a kid that his chamber music recital takes a back seat to swing rolls.

But when I got the notice that I was selected for jury duty, I immediately started freaking out. Honestly, I don’t mind doing my civic duty, and I didn’t spend too long scheming about ways to get out of it. Still, it seemed a cruel impediment to my summer return to the ice, which has been quite glorious so far.

Our county has a system by which you can call in twice a day to see if you are indeed needed at the courthouse. Lo and behold, when I called in today, I got the happy message that I wouldn’t need to come in after all! I immediately jumped in the car and headed to the rink instead.

My goal for practice today was to see if I could spend the entire session skating with decent alignment, especially where my hips are concerned. It’s been clear since I returned from my little skating-free sabbatical earlier this summer that I still have to make this a priority or I will quickly regress to my painful wild “hippy” days of dropped free sides and unstable muscles. I am especially concentrating on “decompressing” my hips (lengthening through the skating side) which seems to help a lot.

Ballet dancers seem to talk a lot about being pulled up out of the hip joint or being “up on the leg.” In order for this to occur, glute and hip muscles have to support the hip so that the free side doesn’t pull away from the midline.  This is a useful idea for skaters too. Skating unfortunately can encourage a certain degree of anterior pelvic tilt and tight hip flexors, which in turn inhibits these supporting muscles. Couple these problems with my tendency to simply drop onto my new skate or stack up my body in ways that resemble an advanced game of Jenga: a recipe for misalignment!

My goal for the summer is to make sure that I will be able to relegate those problems to the past tense. I’ve been trying to get my hips neutral and “decompressed” while standing, walking, and even sitting. And when I’m not needed at the courthouse, I’ll do this on the ice.

I’m in the pool of potential jurors for the next two weeks. Ack! So I can’t promise much skating news unless I get lucky again. Fingers crossed that the only judges I will have to see in the near future are skating judges!





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.

8 thoughts on “Bonus!

  1. Ack – can’t believe you might be called to be on a jury soon! And you’re right – I hope the only judges you encounter are those inside an ice rink. I used to freak out in college when I had to participate in a music “jury.” It was a set group of tenured music professors who listened to your performance and determined whether or not you passed for the year. It was so nerve-wracking!!


    • I think that the music jury must be way worse, especially for performers. Professors can be so critical (as a professor myself, I can say that!) Skating judges can be pretty critical too, but usually I am harder on myself than they are. And I can’t believe that they can see my faults as well as my coaches can, so compared to some lessons the tests and competitions can feel like a real love-fest!


  2. I did my last day of jury duty towards the end of last year. My county tends to tap on our shoulders about every two years. At age 70 you can opt out. I’ll be that old by the next summons, so I’m done all except for returning the form and politely requesting to be let off the hook!


  3. I lucked out again today, George! Every two years seems like it’s a lot to me. We are eligible every four, but I know lots of people who’ve never had to serve. Glad to know that reaching 70 has its privileges!


  4. I had jury duty today and forgot. Called the court and it had been cancelled. Whew! They call me every year! I’ve got 3 more days this month!


  5. Every year! That just doesn’t seem right. I wish that they would just see adult skating as a reasonable excuse to get out of it. After all, daydreaming about twizzles could be seen as a sign that we are mentally. . . well, different.


    • Today I found out that Federal law says only once every 2 years, but I swear it’s every 13 months! There’s only 2000 people out of 20,000 who are eligible: no cops, doctors, lawyers, court officials, under age, over age … the list just goes on and on. Then suddenly I’m due to go again!


  6. I wonder if this might vary state to state. I always thought that lawyers wouldn’t be asked to be jurors, but one of my skating friends is a lawyer, and she’s been on jury duty before. Hmmm. . . It also seems unfair that they should keep calling on you!


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