jo skates

Skating in the key of life

It’s about time


So the busy semester has finally come to an end (just a few more things to wrap up this weekend). The winter weather that Minnesota is known for has finally arrived (dropping to sub-zero for the next week). I finally got that long-overdue haircut (five inches gone!)

And that left inside three? Piece of cake.

In fact, my edges have never felt so good. I just got my skates sharpened, which probably helps. But I definitely also feel much more “on edge” than I have in a long time.

Sometimes I think I just don’t remember back  to when my body was a lot younger and more limber. But honestly, I swear that my body and blades are starting to connect in ways that (gasp!) suddenly make sense. And the possibilities suddenly seem endless.

Time is definitely on my side, I hope. There were two inspiring articles in the N.Y. Times this week. One was about older dancers. These include Eiko Otake who says:

People now comment, ‘Eiko, you are moving faster!’ I joke back and say, I don’t have much time left!”

Be sure to watch the last video with tap dancer Brenda Bufalino, who is 80. She says that “The body has this incredible way of healing itself, of finding itself anew.” Amen to that, I say!

The other article is about skating regulars at the Brooklyn Skate Club. One 28-year-old woman says:

When I was little, I skated at birthday parties and stuff, and then maybe four or five years ago, I went skating with my friends, and I was like, this is the highest high I’ve ever felt. I was like, I love this — this is what I want to do. In 30 years I’ll be good at it.

Another skater in his 60s has a theory that skating will help prevent senility or dementia. (My own theory is that even if I have dementia and can keep skating, I’ll be so happy  that I won’t care). My favorite quote, though, is from a woman who says that at the rink they call her by her skate name, the “Silver Fox.”

Ooooh, what skate name should I have? Skate angel? Tiny Dancer? Ice Queen Minus the Tiara? Pair Team Minus the Tall One?

Animals: Hello Skating Kitty? Flamingo? Nimble Marmoset? (I kinda like that one)

Star Wars: Joba Fett? Master Joda? Jo-bee-wan?

Looking forward to ringing in the new skating year with my good friends. They go by “Her Highness in Purple” and “Sunshine” on the ice, but their real names are Sonia and Kari (a.k.a. living proof that skating keeps you fun and beautiful!)


My son’s favorite Brandenburg!

Lesson notes:

  • back crossovers. Make sure you don’t cross over onto a flat; push under with inside edge on the other side of the midline.
  • forward inside edges. Think about where your navel is facing and which side of the core is engaged (I tend to be slightly twisted towards the left).
  • back outside swing rolls. Be more neutral with upper body position.
  • forward outside loops. Extra tension on the free leg extension as skating side bends. Smaller circles. Untwist into new side, under the arms.
  • mohawk, back push, back outside three. Quicker timing on the mohawk-push back.
  • forward three, back outside three, toe through, repeat on other side. More speed, don’t let left hip go out.
  • swing roll, change edge, forward inside three, cross in front, push to back outside on other foot, step forward and repeat on other side. Ack! Make sure you are rotating to face inside circle on the forward inside edge before the three, then just flip foot (rotate leg into hip). Ack!
  • forward outside rocker, two back cross strokes, back outside rocker, two forward cross strokes. Strong back outside edge (look back) out of rocker; think of where the edge needs to go.
  • forward inside rocker, two back inside edges, back inside rocker, two forward inside edges. On the back inside edge, your position should be as if you’ve just done the first part of a progressive (push under to inside edge).

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 “It’s about time

  1. Yesterday I turned 71. How many years of skating are left for me? I don’t know. I plan to skate until I can’t.


  2. I love the Star Wars nicknames in particular. And I am so thrilled to hear that your edges are feeling more secure than ever. Merry Christmas to you!!


  3. Thanks, Eva! And a very merry Christmas to you too, with good wishes for the skating year!


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