Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Ahha Moment

Oprah Winfrey is constantly talking about "Ahha Moments" in her magazine, on her network and probably while having her hair done. I had such a moment a few weeks ago. As you may recall, I had been experiencing intense and incredible pain every time I put my skates on. It was awful. The pain would travel up my legs and eventually cause both my feet and legs to go numb. I couldn't figure it out and was ready to toss the skates and skating aside, believing that it could not be fixed. Then one day, while in a rush, I laced up my skates but not as tight as usual and.... AHHA!!!! No pain. Why? Apparently, I had been lacing my skates entirely too tightly. My old skates were on their last legs for years and I just kept making them tighter and tighter until I foolishly thought that was the way I HAD to lace them. Uggh! I wasted two years of skating due to this. Two years! Well, not wasted, but I could have been so much more comfortable. On another note, I apologize for being negligent with this blog. I don't think many people read it, so I figured no one would notice if it suddenly slowed down. If you did notice, thank you and I'll try to post more often. If you didn't notice, well then, why not? I'll continue to write whether you notice or not. Until next time.

Sunday, June 4, 2017

Is a Puzzlement...**

"I do not know... I am not sure... I am not sure of anything..."*** Have you seen my skating ability? If you have, please return it at the soonest possible moment. I seem to have lost my ability to do the simplest of moves, like stroking and crossovers, not to mention those which were a bit more difficult, like everything else. Along with my ability, I have misplaced my confidence. It is at an all-time low. Actually, a worm would have to crawl down several hundred feet to be just above my confidence level. I have no idea what's going on... Well, maybe I do. First off, it takes me a longer time to warm-up on the ice. I used to do an off-ice warm-up which consisted of running in place and jumps and stretches. Now, because of my feet/skates issue, I spend the entire time trying to warm-up my feet so they don't cramp. While my feet are no longer going numb and causing that to radiate up my legs to my thighs, I hit the ice without a sufficient warm-up. By the way, my feet still hurt. So without a sufficient off-ice warm-up, I try to do harder elements and it just doesn't happen, causing me to get frustrated. I spend entirely too much time at the boards trying to convince myself that no one is watching me and laughing. Did I mention that my self-esteem seems to be in the crapper too? That's a much longer story and probably not one for this blog. I am watching adult skaters who started last year work on brackets and I'm struggling with a right forward inside three turn, which, I'd like to add, I used to be able to do! Uggggh!!! Second: my lessons have been incredibly inconsistent. I truly understand that family and other commitments get in the way, but I don't have any family commitments that get in the way. I'm almost always available. I sometimes wonder if coaches get sick of you when you don't improve as quickly as they would like. Personally, I wouldn't blame my coach for being sick of working with me. I've been working on the same things for so long, I hate doing the Silver Moves. I really just want to get the elements of this test, practice them and take the damn test. Pass or fail. I need to get past the issue of truly hating this test. I can't tell you how long I've been on them, but I'm so sick of them. And then I see people who can't hold a decent edge and they have passed this test. I want to scream. Third: I'm fat. I know it. Anyone who looks at me knows it. There is no such thing as "big-boned". I was on a diet program, you know, the one advertised by Marie Osmond, and the first two weeks, I lost weight. After that, not only have I not lost weight, but the food causes a build up of intestinal pressure... oh heck, it gives me gas. I'm still on the program and I will keep trying, but I'm starting to wonder if I really am losing weight, but the gas is keeping the numbers on the scale the same. Fourth: No stamina. None. I get winded climbing the stairs in my apartment. I did a 30 day challenge, where I worked out every day for 30 days. The result: no change. Apparently I did something wrong. It is still my hope to take this test by the end of the summer; or at least be prepared to take it by the end of the summer. I skated better last year when I had to remove my skates every 15 minutes to get the blood back into my feet. I don't know and I don't understand. If you have any suggestions, any ideas, any tricks, please send them my way. I will try anything and everything. ** "Is A Puzzlement" from The King and I. Music by Richard Rogers; Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein II *** This is not the actual song; this is the spoken introduction to the song, sung by the King.

Saturday, April 22, 2017

Might As Well Be Spring

Apparently, rink managers all over the tri-state area read my last blog and decided to throw figure skaters a bone. There are now evening (or at least late afternoon) sessions at various rinks in the area. The power of the keyboard! Actually, hockey season is over and the rinks still want revenue. I can dream... I am struggling to obtain my stamina after a bad cold, which always starts in my head and ends up in my chest. Yesterday's lesson, which lately has been nothing but MIF, was cut short thanks to my asthma reminding me once again that it exists. Of course, this was before I picked up my medication, so after several minutes of coughing, I sat down. The good news is that the three elements that are troublesome for me are slowly starting to improve. For the record, I still hate mohawks and right forward inside three turns and left back inside three turns. In all instances, I've realized that I don't twist enough. When you really twist in a three turn, your body automatically allows you to turn. BOOM! You've turned. I need to relax and just allow my body to turn without hunching up my shoulders so I look like I'm trying to make my neck disappear. It's a look that's hard to describe, but you know it when you see it. There are several elements of the Gold MIF test that I do very well, so it's a bit frustrating to struggle with the three above referenced elements. It makes me much more determined. I have to pass this test, just so I can show off my back eight on the Gold test. If I may toot my own horn; I'm really good at that.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Dear Rink Managers

This is an open letter to all Ice Rink Managers in the NYC area. Dear Managers: The cries, hopes and desires of figure skaters have been unheard. Apparently, you don't care. You believe you won't make enough money with us in the evening hours. I am here to tell you that you are wrong. Recently, I skated two evening sessions; the ONLY evening sessions offered by any rink in the NYC area. There were 32 skaters on the ice at $22 per skater. That equals $704 for 50 minutes. There were two sessions. The second session had 28 skaters. For two sessions, the rink made $1,320.00. That's a healthy chunk of change. And you'd continue to make that money because skaters are hungry for evening ice. I know, I know, hockey is your big money maker, but I am here to say that if you schedule it, we will come. I can hear you saying, "what about those Friday evening sessions during the summer with only a dozen skaters on it?" Well, here's your problem: no advertising and camp. If most of your customers are in camp during the day, they're not going to stick around for evening ice. And many skaters didn't know you had evening ice during the summer. Besides, think of the money you did make; originally, you had nothing on the schedule. Lost revenue opportunity. In case you did not know, evening is 6:00pm onward, until about 9:00 and then it's night. Evening is NOT 3:30. THAT is afternoon, when almost all adult skaters are still at work and most kids are just getting home from school. 4:00, 4:30, 5:00 and even 5:30 is considered "early evening". You know, when it's time for the early bird special meals. No, an evening session is 6:00pm onward. Those of us who commute over an hour to work, would appreciate being able to skate after work, then jump into our mode of transportation and go home. Some of us aren't good in the morning and the thought of taking public or even private transportation at 5:00am is not a welcomed thought. There hasn't been a winner from NYC at Adult Nationals in a while, if at all. No, those skaters with available ice time win. Even New Jersey, our neighbor across the water, provides more ice time than have here in NYC. Long Island has many rinks. NYC may just have the one all-year rink, but Queens and Brooklyn have rinks. And yet, none of you have a decent number of sessions. This is New York. It is inconceivable that in a city that "never sleeps" we can only scrap together an evening session that is really just an over-priced public session once a week. I can't find another evening session, yer I can order and receive sushi at 2:00 in the morning and I don't live in Manhattan. Dear Rink Managers, throw us a bone. Wouldn't you like to support the people who support you? Maybe see your name in print in an article? Please. You'd make a lot of adult (and some older kids) very, very happy. Thank you. Sincerely, Adult Figure Skater (who is in too much pain early in the morning to skate at 6:00am)

Sunday, January 8, 2017

Good News

As many of you know, I have been struggling with my skates for over a year. I've battled arch issues, numbness, heel pain and the feeling that my feet were being strangled. Many sessions began with hopes of accomplishing so many tasks, only to have those hopes dashed by numb, painful feet. Hopefully, that's all over because I've had my skates stretched and the heels heat molded and today I skated with (drum roll please) NO PAIN!!!!! The skates feel best without the innersole that came with them,so I skate without them, but the key, the absolute key is the lack of pain. How good was it? Ladies and gentlemen, I landed every jump I tried. I know!! With the exception of the rink being wicked cold (everyone complained about the cold), I have no complaints about my session. None. The Tri-State area has been hit with snow and my current car hates the snow (great fuel mileage, really light-weight car). Therefore, I will be unable to hit the rink before next week when we're supposed to have a warm spell. Also, I haven't started to dig out my car. In the meantime, I will stay the course and keep eating right and exercising. Now that I'm not in pain, I am beginning to enjoy skating again. Also, just found an evening session. If I could do a cartwheel, I would. I'm in such good spirits, I may start twerking. How I wish I had tried this fix twelve months ago; I might be going to Easterns. Oh well, there are other competitions....

Monday, January 2, 2017

Let's Try Again

Can you believe that I'm still having trouble with my skates? I've lost some weight and it appears that the "fix" that worked before, no longer works. So back to the place where I purchased the skates I go. What did they say? "We may have sized you incorrectly." WHAT???? I've been suffering for 14 months trying to make these skates work and they may have sized me incorrectly?? If I could figure out how to put pictures into this blog there would be one of an annoyed person right now. So it seems that the skates aren't wide enough (I have Jacksons, they now suggest Graffs). They are going to stretch them and hopefully that will eliminate the pain and numbness that travels up my leg. I hope so. I had so wanted to compete this season and my progress has been regressing, so it was pointless to even try. I also am sick of my Silver tests (which I think my coach is sick of too since she hasn't been showing up a lot for me, but is showing up for my friend who is on her Novice moves...) I will take and pass these tests by the summer, and I don't care what I have to do to do it. In the meantime, my sore feet and I are wishing you all a Happy New Year.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Confidence

A funny thing happened today at the rink. As you may know, I am only skating one day a week: Sunday. And that's the day I'm also the Ice Monitor. That also means not a lot of ice time during the sessions, but some. After performing my ice monitoring duties, I hit the ice. Today, as I was about to step into a waltz jump, it hit me. I have no confidence in my skating any longer. While riding that left back outside edge, I managed to talk myself out of doing the jump: "You're going to re-injure your not yet healed hamstring." "You're going to fall anyway." And my personal favorite, a quote from Carrie, that old horror movie from the 1970s: "They're all going to laugh at you." (Mrs. White, Carrie's mother played by Piper Laurie utters that line.) It made sense to me. Between my boot issues and my lack of confidence, no wonder I am unable to perform the simplest of tasks. More cardboard under the ball of my foot should prevent me from feeling like I'm pitched forward. I'm off to find some confidence. Where is the Wizard of Oz when you need him?