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?

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Morning Does Not Become Electra (look it up)

After watching Skate America, I read various posts about how depressed Gracie Gold had been/is currently. I'm hoping by the time I finish this post that she'll be feeling better because, as a person who has been diagnosed with chronic depression, I wouldn't wish that on anyone. I'm not really a fan of Gracie Gold; I just prefer Ashley Wagner and that could just be because she's a lefty and Gracie isn't. That being said, I was saddened that people stated that she looked fat(?? Are you kidding me??) or tired with bags under her eyes (could have been a wrong make-up choice). She's a young woman who is dealing with disappointment; leave her alone. I am dealing with my own demons lately. I had such great hopes during the summer; I skated more than I had in years. Then I injured my hamstring. What I though was a re-injury of my hamstring is probably sciatica. It's such a joy to be over 40. The pain is constant. Add that to my chronic back pain and my reoccurring cough and I'm beginning to think those AARP commercials are for me. Anyway, I may have lost some of my joy for the sport. I don't feel as though I'm improving. That could be due to the lack of ice time. Hey rink owners, a few late afternoon freestyle sessions at various rinks wouldn't hurt. Seriously. During a recent conversation with another adult skater, we both bemoaned the lack of afternoon/evening sessions in The Big Apple or the nearby Long Island. My fellow skater mentioned that due to the lack of evening sessions, no New Yorker has ever won Adult Nationals. Hmmm..... I hadn't noticed that, but I do believe she was right. The lack of evening sessions that do not involve my driving 30 miles home from the rink has caused me to re-think my early morning skating ban. I don't know if my body will actually cooperate on the ice early in the morning; it's not really cooperating for my early morning Spin class. But I'll try. I figured that the rink closest to my home (World Ice Arena) would be my best choice. If the weather is too inclement, I can simply take the subway there and then take a bus (or two) to work. Easy. All I have to do is go to bed early enough to get up at 5:00am. Actually, that's not that difficult; I set my alarm clock for 5:00am every morning. I just don't get up. That will end soon. "Oh how I hate to get up in the morning, Oh how I love to remain in bed..."** **Oh, How I Hate to Get Up in the Morning by Irvin Berlin (1918 - really)

Sunday, September 4, 2016

A Brief Intermission

"New York City; center of the universe..."** Dear readers: This blog will have a brief intermission due to the US Open and Middle Atlantics, both of which curtail my skating. The US Open because (if you recall a post from a few years ago) ALL of the parking spaces in and around Flushing Meadow Park are reserved for those attending the matches. Recently, after 40 minutes of driving around the park, which included having my car searched and a snarky comment from a cop telling me my car was "a mess" (thank you ever so much, Mr. Policeman), I was directed in a series of circles, literally. The last person told me to "turn left here", which took me out of the park and heading for the highway. Okay, I got the message. For those of you who suggest that I park outside the park, I can tell you this: those spots were gone too. Judging from the license plates that read New Jersey and Connecticut, I'm guessing those people were going to the US Open as well. It's okay; I know when I'm not wanted. Middle Atlantics is something else. I announce at that competition. Plus, it takes all the ice time at Chelsea Piers. Therefore, I'll be back when it's over. "Until that time my friend, until that time."*** ** Santa Fe from Rent. Music and lyrics by Jonathan Larson *** It's Always Fair Weather - (MGM movie) written by Betty Comden and Adolph Green

Sunday, August 21, 2016

The Summer of No

1967 is known as "The Summer of Love". Why? Well according to everything I've read, it was when the hippies came to Haight-Ashbury; James Rado and Gerome Ragni started seriously working on "Hair" and Scott MacKenzie had a huge hit with the song "San Francisco (Be Sure to Wear Some Flowers in Your Hair)". Fast forward to the summer of 2016. This was my summer of no. I had such wonderful plans for this summer. I would be skating more than I had in years; an adult intensive class on Tuesday, freestyle with an occasional lesson on Wednesday, another freestyle with the occasional lesson on Friday and another adult intensive program, which included off-ice on Saturday. Only something went slightly wrong. While I have had an adjustment to the blade placement by adding a bit of cardboard under the blade in the front of my skate and I can now spin, I still spend so much time with my feet in incredible pain. There is no rhyme or reason; it changes every time I put the skates on. There are session when, if I shake my feet really hard, the numbness goes away and I can continue. Then there are days when I have tears in my eyes from just skating laps in the first five minutes. I always warm-up my feet for no less than 15 minutes, sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't. I end up missing at least 15 minutes of every session I skate because I have to take my skate off and massage my either numb or just painful feet. It's amazing. And more than a little confusing. I tell ya, it had been getting better and then....BOOM!!! It got worse. But wait, there's more... On Saturday morning, during off-ice I was not warmed-up as I hoped and strained my left hamstring. I know the difference between strained, sprained and torn. Definitely not torn. I've been doing everything I'm supposed to do to help it heal, the only problem is, I re-strained it two weeks ago. Since it is my left leg, I am at a loss as to when I'll be able to jump without pain. As it is, during yesterday's session, I had to leave early because I couldn't put any weight on my leg at all. Now I'm concerned. I had hoped to improve my MIF test this summer and to jump and spin like a mad woman. That didn't happen. So I am disappointed. I don't know when I'll have that much ice time again, no one has posted their schedule for the fall yet. I still hope to take my MIF test by Nov/Dec. I so want to compete at Easterns this year; it's so close. If you have any suggestions as to how I can fix either one of these problems, I would soooooo appreciate your feedback. Until that time...