jo skates

Skating in the key of life



So today I didn’t make it to the public session, but instead did a walk-on open session later in the afternoon. While I’m glad I did it, it was a bit of a challenge.

First of all, the ice was sort of beat up already; it was clear that the free skaters as well as the young boy having a lesson in hockey skates had been working hard. Second, every skater but me was jumping, even the boy in hockey skates, who alarmed his coach by doing impromptu leaps in the air. There was a young man trying triple axels in a harness, and a young woman working on triple something else without a harness. And there were double jumps happening everywhere.

And then there was me, working on adding more knee bend to my basic repertoire of edges and turns, and realizing that my newly sharpened skates had become my frenemies.

Luckily, I have had enough years of free skating to know how to stay out of everyone’s way (mostly), and I knew some of the kids out there well enough to have them stay out of my way (mostly). Still, when the Zamboni doors were opened, I was relieved.

So beat-up ice, trying to stay out of the triple-jump flight paths, extra-sharp blades, and the humbling attempt to bend my knees more (which I will write more about in another post at a less whiny moment in life). What else could be wrong?

Oh yes, and I was sore all over. That’s because I had an Ashiatsu massage yesterday. That’s  the kind of bodywork where the massage practitioner uses their feet as well as their hands. They are hanging from bars fixed to the ceiling, not really walking on your back. I tried to find a picture of this that didn’t make it look like a form of torture, but I think I will just go for some massage-themed cartoons that I found online.

The aim of Ashiatsu is not so much relaxation (although you feel a great sense of relief when it’s over) as it is to improve flexibility and circulation, especially to injured areas. I thought this would be a good thing for my tight left side. So now my left and right sides feel equally worked-over, which is generally a good thing (except for the temporary loss of skating ability).

All temporary skating disappointments and joking aside, I actually feel pretty good overall. I think the massage did help to loosen up some of the tight muscles and scar tissue. And as much as I felt a little less peppy than normal on the ice today, I also felt more aware of my alignment. This means that I could tell when different parts of my body were tracking or traveling over my blade, and when they were pulling off to one side or another.

Is this is the effect of the massage, or the sharp blades, or the extra bit of knee bend that’s happening now? Not sure, but I’ll take it! My Ashiatsu-reformed body will report back later!

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 “Post-Ashiatsu

  1. Please don’t compare yourself to others, Jo! We are all on different skating journeys. I can’t wait to hear how the massage affects your body in a few more days!


  2. Thanks for the encouragement, Eva! Things seemed to go a lot better today. I’m liking the massage-effects, insofar that I do feel like my joints are looser. No splits yet, though!


  3. Wow I’ve never been on the ice with anyone working on a triple Axel! Ankles tend to be skaters’ weak spot because we’re in those short casts i.e. skates all the time. As someone who also has had many ankle sprains (and now, needs to recover good dorsiflexion on the left side), I need to share this part of your journey.


  4. I keep thinking if I’m around enough triples, maybe some of that power will rub off! I think the ankle issue really comes up in ice dancing; hopefully some off ice work will help us both. I will be excited to hear about your progress too!


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