jo skates

Skating in the key of life

Let the others run


I wrote this post three weeks ago, and I guess I forgot to hit “publish!” Just found it in “drafts.” Better late than never!

It’s time for the Twin Cities marathon, and as I sit here in St. Paul near Summit Avenue, waiting for my son to finish his music lesson with his legendary cello teacher, I can hear the cheers of the crowd greeting the fastest runners as they race to the finish at the Capitol.

There was a time when I thought it might be fun to run a marathon. I still think it would be fun–if you were a runner (which I am not any more) and if you were well-trained and motivated to run that far (which I never quite got to be) and if you were not content to sit in a comfy chair and blog on the Sunday morning of marathon day (which I am).

I can now claim legitimate reasons why I am no longer a hard-core runner. My misaligned hips! The scarring on my right ankle! My weakened feet! My dead butt (what runners sometimes call it, a.k.a the glute formerly known as dead!) My sore knees! The fact that I love comfy chairs such as this one more than I love running!

But the real reason is probably that I don’t think I can fit in both running and skating, and that skating wins, hands down. I do miss being outside, especially on beautiful fall days such as we’ve had. But I’ve turned into a one-sport gal, though I do some other things (Pilates, biking, occasional swimming or hiking) on the side.

The one hard thing about that is that I have to obey the ice times. That means when there are no sessions available, I don’t get that dose of skating goodness in my life and have to resort to chocolate, YouTube videos, and pictures of cute baby animals. And if I’m not online and don’t have chocolate handy, I just sit there and twirl my ankles around and around, seeing if I can get them to make that noise.

Can you tell that I didn’t skate yesterday, won’t skate today, and probably not tomorrow either? Arghhh!

I know it’s probably good for me to take a few days off, since last week I tweaked my right knee and it’s been achy for a few days. But it’s still hard!

So to remind myself to just chill, here’s a fun recording of “La Vie en Rose” played by twelve cellists from the Berlin Philharmonic. Not able to embed the video, but you can click on the link to play it on YouTube. Here they are, leaning in, looking regimented, geometrically dapper, relaxed, and even quasi-religious.


Gotta love it! If I ever do a compulsory foxtrot again, here’s what I gotta use!

Lesson notes:

  • forward progressives: engage skating hip (let it move back) with each stroke.
  • three turns: don’t tip body into circle (body should feel neutral relative to skate); use leg action to propel three turn. On right foot, remember to keep ankle engaged; body is forward (Eddie the Eagle).
  • back chasses: flex ankle to get more grip. Practice rise and fall. General note on skating backwards–watch your posture; don’t contract upper body backwards.
  • two-footed counters: change edge in between; don’t rush.
  • sequence 1: inside three, step rise, BEND, cross to inside.
  • sequence 2: five step mohawk (push!)
  • sequence 3: forward inside three, back outside three, edge pull.
  • sequence 4: forward outside three, back inside three, edge pull.
  • do 3 and 4 with free foot to heel, work on eliminating unnecessary wriggling.
  • do 3 and 4 with continuous rotation.

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 “Let the others run

  1. I’m LOLing at the “dead butt” comment you made, Jo. And I can totally relate that if we’re not skating, then we’re eating chocolate! Ha ha!


  2. So glad I made you laugh, Eva! I sometimes make myself laugh, but it’s much more gratifying to do it with others. And yay for chocolate and comfy chairs!


  3. Seems like everybody else runs, sometimes, doesn’t it? At least as far as women fitness bloggers. The thing with running is there’s just one goal, getting there faster. So many more ways to improve in skating!


  4. You’re right, Mary! If getting there faster were the only goal in skating, I think my coaches would have dropped me a LONG time ago!


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