jo skates

Skating in the key of life

Close call


So today I pulled out some cans of tuna from an upper shelf, and the ones on top fell down and hit me in the face. Ouch! Now I have a black eye, but I’m also really grateful that I didn’t put my eye out.

Come to think of it, this has been a week of close calls. Parking meters that have just run out by the time I’ve gotten to the car (but no ticket), late to meetings (but didn’t miss anything), slippery roads and cars skidding in front of me (but no accident).

And then there’s my right outside swing roll, which has been giving me some trouble. Laurie pointed out that I wasn’t really leaning into the circle on the second part of the swing roll. So I tried to lean that way, and went back just a little too far on my blade. Enough to make it really scary–but I didn’t fall. Whew!

Either these are reminders that I lead a charmed life or signs that I need to build up my margin of error. But whichever it is, the outcome is the same. Put the tuna cans on a lower shelf. Make sure you leave enough time on the meter. Get those hips underneath you!

With regard to that last reminder, it’s actually been a really good week. I’ve been finding it easier to connect the ankle bend (shin levers forward) and lean into the circle with glute activation. Will try to find a better way to explain it, but for now, I’ll just say that it is a form of edge security.

Okay, time to share pictures of the ice sculptures and ice palace in St. Paul.

And a very sweet adagio movement in a trio by Brahms for clarinet, cello, and piano. Brahms was going to retire, but then he heard this clarinetist (Richard Mühlfeld), and then came back to write a whole series of gorgeous pieces.

Moral: life is full of close calls and, if we’re lucky, unexpected second acts. (And third, and fourth. . . )

Lesson notes:

  • forward swizzles (really emphasize those inside edge pushes)
  • forward cross strokes (timing of free leg, and quality of circles)
  • back cross strokes (keep shoulders square)
  • swing rolls (keep lean into circle, be consistent about arm and torso positions)
  •  forward inside edges (turn out for push)
  • forward inside three, back pivot, toe, toe, cross in front, step forward and repeat sequence on other side
  • forward inside three, back outside three (think about free leg inside circle rather than dangling to the side)
  • inside mohawk, back inside three, forward swing roll (don’t touch down, weight in proper position on back inside edge)
  • power pulls (use ankle and knee action, should accelerate; backwards–also keep your free leg just behind skating leg, but don’t use it to pull)



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.

8 thoughts on “Close call

  1. Oh goodness! I’m glad you are OK, Jo. Definitely some close calls with the can falling on you and the swing rolls. I hope your week improves quickly!


  2. Glad the tuna fish avalanche didn’t leave a mark. We all get second chances we don’t expect or even deserve. But take ’em anyway! Those small graces help take the sting out of the adversity we sometimes get that we don’t deserve.


  3. Here’s to staying on the good side of those close calls. Maybe they are just to wake you up to the randomness of life and appreciation of what you still have. I’m glad you didn’t go backward on that swing roll, that might have been hard on your brain (even harder than a tuna can). I like the ice sculptures with the bright light on them. The fish must be some special Minnesota fish– it’s definitely not a salmon (nearly complete odds that any public fish art that I would see where I live would be a salmon).


  4. So true, Mary, that we just need to know that life is random sometimes! Speaking of random, I think that fish is a Walleye (our state fish). I’m not sure there are salmon anywhere near here (live ones, that is).


    • I guess it is! I learned something new about fish… on a skating blog. And I saw a steelhead image illustrating a parking lot level downtown, so I learned that not every fish you see in Seattle is a salmon.


  5. I just had to look up what the difference between a salmon and steelhead was! Learn something new everyday from skating blog comments! Funny!


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