jo skates

Skating in the key of life

Give me one more chance


Sometimes my skating lessons feel like marriage-counseling sessions. My latest one:

Laurie: Move your ribcage farther to the right, over and beyond your skating side.

Mind: You mean that I’m supposed to put my upper body over there? That feels wrong.

Body: How would you know? You should trust your coach. And it doesn’t feel right to me, the way you’ve done it for all those years. How about how feel?

Jo thinks she’s doing the ribcage-thing, but she’s not.

Laurie: Don’t stick your hip out instead. That’s exactly the opposite of what you’re supposed to do.

Body: That’s right, sticking your hip out is an old trick that you always play on me to make things feel balanced. But they never are.

Laurie: Try thinking about it like a matador’s cape that you’re waving over your skating side. Yes, that’s it.

Jo does it. OMG. Body weeps for joy.

Mind: I am so, so sorry. All those years and I never listened to you. I just kept skating, thinking everything was okay.

Awkward pause, as everyone concerned reflects on this momentous breakthrough.

Mind: I promise I will make it up to you! My ribcage will be better. Everything will be better. Can’t we just give it another try?

Okay, maybe that was a little too much. So here’s a song to bring this little drama to a close, Lake Street Dive’s sidewalk version of Michael Jackson’s “I Want You Back.”

And some pictures of folks who have my back. It takes a village! Or a Greek chorus!

Lesson notes:

  • progressives: inside hip leads, don’t crank shoulders around, just bring arm gently to front. Try holding inside edge: weight stays over the hip on the inside of the circle. When you go clockwise, make sure you are pushing back (not allowing your push to send you into the circle).
  • two edge pulls, push on inside edge to repeat on other side: keep free leg extended forward, don’t pull early, establish your edge-curve-circle first
  • inside “syncopate” with edge pull: use weight over inside hip to accentuate circle, do this with your ankle/knee bend, not upper body
  • three turn, edge pull: don’t twist into the circle after the three, instead, keep skating arm directly over inside edge. Turn out free leg–this is an edge pull, not a change of edge.
  • back outside edges: arms clasped in front, head in correct position; knee bends to counter stretch of free leg. Work on weak side.
  • back insides edges in “infinity” pattern: allow head and upper body to rotate; try thinking of the matador cape to really get your ribcage over the skating side.
  • back outside edges: correct upper body and head position
  • three turn: free leg energy goes in same direction as skating leg to eliminate separation after turn.

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.

2 thoughts on “Give me one more chance

  1. Rather than a marriage, sometimes I feel like skating is a parent/teenager relationship. Coach. Is the (nagging) parent while my body refuses to listen!


  2. That works too, Eva! Since I have two teenagers, maybe saying that would be just a little too close to home!!!


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