So I have always had trouble getting warmed up properly for skating. If I had my druthers, all my skating sessions would be at least 90 minutes long, so that I could spend a good twenty minutes or so doing my stroking, basic edges, and turns before I really have to work at something.
Today I figured out that I could get warmed up much quicker. After only a couple of laps of swizzles and edge pulls, I immediately started working on the most challenging things I have on my plate at the moment: brackets, mohawks, choctaws, loops.
Previously, I’d been saving these elements for later in the session, thinking that I would work up to them. But by doing them first thing, I realized that first of all, they are not necessarily any harder than the other things I’m working on. I also realized that I am a lot fresher, both mentally and physically, early in the session. And finally, I got nice and warm right away because I had to steel myself to do everything. That extra tension does make a difference!
Off with the extra jacket! And on to my latest discovery, which I’m calling my “hip handles.”
I am imagining a set of handles running along that hipbone (just about where I’ve outlined in red).
As I am moving through edges, swing rolls, and turns, I am trying to make sure that my skating hip is traveling at a steady speed over the ice. If I need help with this, I just imagine pulling smoothly on those handles (blue arrows).
Hooray for hip handles! They seem to work better for me than thinking about pushing my hips under me.
Okay, I know that the term “love handles” can be used affectionately in a kinda passive-aggressive way. But we are definitely not talking “love handles” (mine, yours, anyone else’s) here. We are talking body-positive, all-warmed-up smooth hip sailing!