Or long-term deferral of pleasure?
It should be an easy choice, but it’s not.
On the one hand, I am getting quite frustrated with the way that I feel like I need to revamp my entire way of skating, like, every time I get on the ice.
The way I used to skate (balanced over my skates rather than really on an edge) was horribly, horribly wrong. I have gotten to the point that it actually feels wrong, which I suppose is a kind of progress.
Making things right, however, also is exhausting. I am working on several kinds of alignment corrections these days. One is making sure my weight into the circle, which means that my blade is striking down to the outside of where I perceive my midline to be.
Two is making sure that I am activating my glutes and hamstrings whenever I initiate a new edge. I wish I could figure out a way to make this happen automatically, but it doesn’t seem to work that way for me, especially on the left side. I wrote about this in a post several years ago when I was describing “skating from the butt“; what I’m finding now is that knowing about it and actually doing it more than 20% of the time are two different things.
Three is feeling steady pressure through the blade down into the ice during the entire edge. I have this tendency to release the pressure in favor of hanging out on top of my skates.
These things are definitely outside of my comfort zone. Plus they are so basic that I can’t avoid working on them.
Perhaps I have come to a standstill? Or reached the point of no return?
Or perhaps it is a turning point?
I used to think the operative words were about not getting satisfaction. But maybe it’s also important to hear
’cause I try/ and I try/ and I try
Will I be around as long as these guys have been? We’ll see.
June 1, 2018 at 7:42 am
Ain’t a skater alive that doesn’t feel like they’ve hit a plateau from time to time. At least you have a list of habits to correct and can see the way forward!
June 1, 2018 at 7:43 am
You are so right about the plateau, George! If only we could flood, freeze, and make them into practice rinks!
June 1, 2018 at 3:14 pm
Ugh, those dreaded basic edges. Why can’t they be as easy as skating on flats?!? I feel your pain about heading back to basics and also hitting a plateau. Nailing these basics, while monotonous and dreadful, will really make you (and the rest of us) better skaters. Because once they are done correctly, all the ‘hard stuff’ should be easier to do. When we skate incorrectly, we’re actually making it harder to do things. You got this, Jo!
June 1, 2018 at 6:23 pm
Thanks for the encouragement, Eva. It’s great to have reassurance from fellow skaters (who speak from experience). I’ll report back, hopefully when I’m off the plateau!
June 9, 2018 at 8:45 am
It’s true! Plateaus happen in every sport, I think. I’m an aerialist now (former ice skater) and am finally recognizing the signs when I plateau. Your comment about being quite frustrated resonated. It’s back to conditioning basics for me. The beginning of the year was all sunshine and rainbows for a few months, clicking with so many new moves. Since April, it’s been rut rut rut. If I’m going to be in this sport for the long haul, I’m going to need to adapt to these ebbs and flows of progress.
June 12, 2018 at 7:40 pm
Thanks for letting me know that I’m not alone here. I am so impressed by aerialists, who seem like they have to develop muscles that us mere mortals don’t have! I like the idea that the sunshine and rainbows will return, but you’re right about the ruts (you can see them on the ice). I hope the conditioning is fun, at least!
June 13, 2018 at 6:55 pm
How are you feeling about your skating now? I hope you are spending some of your ice time on things that feel fun and fulfilling. It’s all well and good to make progress on the basics, and believe me on year four of my juvenile moves I know about that. But please don’t burn out. Hit some poses that are just pretty and fun and feel the wind on your face?
June 13, 2018 at 10:26 pm
What a lovely message, Mary. Thanks so much for your encouragement. It’s definitely a good reminder that this process is supposed to be fun, not a grind! I will definitely be thinking about the wind on my face after getting your reminder!