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!