jo skates

Skating in the key of life

Happy 2020!


Happy New Year to all! May this year bring peace and joy and positive changes both on and off the ice.

I’ve been feeling really happy lately, especially about skating. During the holidays, I was mostly off for a week, except for a (gasp!) public session complete with loud music, wild children, disco lights, and (ack!) rental skates. But get this: even that was fun. My niece and younger son went with me, and afterwards we rewarded ourselves with homemade hot chocolate. And I congratulated myself on not getting blisters and not getting taken down by a stray child. 

Once I got back home, my regular public session was there to welcome me back. Though there were still plenty of people, it felt empty in comparison. And my regular skates feel like luxury vehicles with cruise control and heated seats and state-of-the-art sound systems, and . . . you get the picture.

I am also happy that the corrections I was working on before leaving on vacation are still   making a difference. I am working on making some basic changes consistent (these are all related to one another):

  • making sure I actually am on an edge rather than just balancing on top of my skate.
  • getting on the correct part of my blade. This means keeping my ankles flexed and shifting slightly forward through the ankle so that I can actually feel my arches engage.
  • pressing my shins forward.
  • getting my tailbone to rotate more downwards, and elongating the front of my hips. This means that my lower abdominals engage.
  • making sure my leg bones are firmly in my hip sockets, and not twisting in or out unconsciously.
  • keeping my upper body from tightening up unnecessarily.

This sounds like a lot to keep in my head. But because everything is connected, just fixing one thing (like where I am on my blade) makes everything better. I’m starting to feel like I’m actually skating rather than just shuffling my feet around on the ice.

My son just sent me a video of Cory Henry, who can keep an amazing number of strings going at the same time. Hats off!

Here’s to making something so complicated sound so easy. Can I finally make all these body parts work in harmony? Perhaps getting this holiday mug was a good sign.


Here’s hoping for lots of skating in 2020!





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 “Happy 2020!

  1. Such fun photos at the public session! I’m glad you survived the chaos in (gasp!) RENTAL SKATES. So happy that your niece and younger son enjoyed themselves out there. Happy New Year to you! May 2020 being better alignment, ankle bends and posture to us all!


  2. Thanks, Eva! What would we do without the occasional crowded public session to keep us humble? Love seeing your Toy Story program video. Happy skating 2020!


  3. You were adventurous to try rental skates! Wishing you a Happy and Healthy 2020.


  4. Happy New Year Jo! Crowded sessions, both public and free style are part of this time of year at my rink–lots of birthday parties on the publics and lots of high intensity skaters on free style as the competition season ramps up. It’s all good!


  5. So good to know you are still getting to the rink, George! I look forward to reports on your skating once the rink clears and you (and I ) no longer have to yell “gangway!”


  6. Wow! I was happy just to make it to some early morning freestyles while my rink was on its holiday schedule. I didn’t dare to venture onto any of the holiday skates with all the newbies, let alone in rental skates! Glad you not only survived intact but enjoyed it. I’m sure it was the company that made all the difference.


    • Early morning freestyle used to make me feel virtuous, but now I’m just too lazy! I think you’re so right about the company, since my skating “family” and my actual family don’t often get a chance to get together!


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