jo skates

Skating in the key of life

What goes around


When I was gloating last week about not having to report for jury duty, did I realize that I was tempting fate? Did I suspect that the wheel of fortune would turn once more and that the call-in “jury line” would eventually intone my jury pool number?

Yes, I did. But I wrote those posts anyway. And now it’s payback time.

So now I’m looking at a long week of sitting in a windowless room all day. Actually, I don’t mind the lack of windows, but I do mind the lack of ice. And the waiting with all those other grumpy, why-am-I-here people. We pretty much sit there until they call us in to assign us to as-yet-unidentified cases involving really unhappy incidents, which then could take indeterminate numbers of days, even weeks, to resolve.

For people like me with control issues and conflict avoidance, this causes great anxiety. I couldn’t even take advantage of the free coffee, knowing that I was jittery enough already.

But the bright side is that I used my waiting time to catch up on a number of smaller work tasks that have been sitting in my email in-box for a while now. And I even did some interesting leisure reading, which I will mention another time.

But wait, there is no need to be positive about this!

So I’m writing a bummer of a post. I figure that if I write something that makes me a party-pooper, then the gods that assign jury cases at random will be appeased and I shall be released (so goes the song by the Minnesota’s poet-musician-legend Bob Dylan, as sung by the incomparable Nina Simone).

As part of my summer skating refresher, I have been re-visiting some books and websites to learn more about alignment and the muscles used in skating and other activities. I’ve learned some interesting (but again, not particularly fun) things about some key issues concerning the glutes and various leg muscles.

Of course this is not the first time that these anatomy lessons have made me into a wet blanket. I recently put in a link to a post that describes how Kim Kardashian’s presumably attractive bottom is really just advanced anterior pelvic tilt. I will now ruin something that has long been considered equally sexy: the ultra-feminine walk  that sways (or in high heels, teeters) from side to side. Think about all the praise given to Marilyn Monroe. Think about the Big Bopper talking to his “sweet thing” in “Chantilly Lace.”

Warning, warning, danger, danger! Lisa at Gillispie Partners in Wellness has written a thoughtful post about how this wiggle in the walk is actually a sign that certain muscles are not working properly.


The gluteus medius and the gluteus minimus, along with the tensor fasciae later (TFL),  help to control balance over one leg. One particular function when walking is to keep the pelvis from dropping over to the other side. If these muscles become unbalanced or inhibited, it is really easy to develop problems.

Similarly in skating, if your gluteus medius doesn’t fire properly, the transfer of weight from the push to the new skating foot can’t work and your edge is doomed from the beginning. I’ve found this out the hard way.

So the goal is to get the wiggle out of the walk and most definitely out of skating by making sure the glutes and the TFL are doing their thing. Lisa’s post has some useful exercises; I’ve also been doing the “single leg cable row” that I saw described on this post on the “gluteus medius and rotational stability of the hip.”

I will practice my wiggle-less walk when I go back to the windowless room tomorrow. And the next day. Sigh.

But there’s nothing like a great song to help you sing through those days without sunshine or ice!


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 “What goes around

  1. Ugh – a windowless room sounds absolutely miserable. I guess this is a good time to work on some exercises while sitting down though right? I think I asked you about those a while ago? Maybe you could develop some skating exercises for the ordinary office worker? What hip, ankle, knee and other muscle exercises can we do while sitting in a chair? 🙂


  2. Oooh, good idea, Eva. I’m on it (unless I get called in)!


  3. Two got cancelled today, only one day to go!


  4. Oh, good news for you (I think?) Hope you manage to get some good skating in after that final day!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s