jo skates

Thoughts about skating and the practice of everyday life

No news, good news

6 Comments

So I have to go to the airport at midnight tonight to pick up my husband and son. It’s not even ten-thirty. Since I usually am asleep way earlier, I am left with some tough choices.

Should I lie down for a quick nap? (Bad idea, since then I’ll have trouble getting up.)

Should I do some more reading for work? (Nah, since I won’t remember any of it tomorrow.)

Should I go downstairs and have another coconut-oatmeal-chocolate chip cookie?

Or should I finish this blog post?

I started writing this but then deleted what I wrote. It just felt whiny and repetitive. Just to give a sampling: “big puzzle,” “problem areas,” “moving target,” “a piecemeal patchwork of, uh, mess and chaos.”

Okay, it’s good to vent. But this earlier draft was not really representative of how I feel about skating these days. Skating is actually going pretty well. I’m getting regular practice sessions in, I’m enjoying seeing all kinds of friends that I haven’t seen much of this summer, and I feel like (sharp intake of breath, this is so exciting) I’m actually doing some good things out there. I just haven’t been as good about writing down the good news.

Like today, I actually felt like I could get through a pattern of the Starlight Waltz. Not at tempo, and not at speed. But nothing wobbled and nothing felt awkward.

And I was actually able to follow directions on my lessons, rather than just stare vapidly at my coaches. Laurie and I worked on forward inside loops, and she told me to use my skating hand to “draw” the inside loop. And voilà! (I love “voilà,” it’s almost like “viola” but easier to play around with.)

She also told me to think of my “free hip weight” as being directly underneath me. This is a much more difficult concept than “voilà,” but it really helps me keep my hips aligned.

Other good news: my off-ice ankle mobilization (stretching and massage) seems to be having a positive effect. And I think that there is less swelling (though that might just be wishful thinking on my part). My right ankle feels less stiff, and I am able to sense where my heel is on that side now. This is really helpful on the ice.

One positive side benefit was that during yesterday’s recent downpour, I was able to sprint through the parking lot to my car without limping. Okay, I did get soaked anyway, but no pain!

Are these achievements as gloriously accomplished as this performance of the beautiful Mendelssohn Plan Trio by these three worthy gentlemen?

Absolutely not. But are they worth sharing as good news? You got it!

Friends skate with friends!

Lesson notes:

  • feet parallel and next to one another: try to get your knees apart next.
  • swing rolls: stretch free leg, hip weight directly underneath you
  • back swing rolls: think about the direction your body is headed as you push
  • inside loops: draw loop with leading hand (strong leading side, don’t bend forward)
  • two-footed rockers: make sure you go to an immediate edge after the turn (then try on one foot)
  • inside mohawk, back outside three: push, more speed
  • back outside-forward outside mohawk, outside-inside choctaw (like Quickstep), push back to repeat on opposite side
  • “ice theatre” warmup with stretch upwards (legs out, towards boards), bend down, then side lunges
  • inside mohawk, edge pull/change edge, cross in front, step forward, swing roll, repeat on other side

 

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.

6 thoughts on “No news, good news

  1. Hooray for stronger ankles and forward inside loops (I still can’t do those evil things). And double hooray for a solid pattern on the Starlight! I’m so thrilled about all the progesss you are making. Keep it up!!

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  2. Thanks so much, Eva! Hope your competition is going well!

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  3. I really appreciate your posts–I’m struggling with hip control and looking forward to thinking about my free hip weight in this way.

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  4. Thanks for the comment! I find that thinking about it in this way helps me think about balancing my weight, rather than trying to “hold” it all together: working with gravity rather than fighting it all the way. I hope it helps you too!!

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  5. I’m glad you took the time to finish your blog post– a great task for those in-between times (much better than trawling the news one more time, which I do too much!). And I’m glad you are feeling happy with your skating and skating friends! It’s nice to be able to savor the skills we have instead of feeling inadequate or wanting more. (Sure we always want more, but you know what I mean).

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  6. Thanks so much, Mary. I admit, I get sucked into trawling around looking for some good news–happens too often! Luckily, there’s skating to refocus my attention and keep my spirits up. I like that word, “savor”–it really is fun to do something better, even if it’s only a swing roll!

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