Monday, March 29, 2010

Rain, Rain, Go Away....

If you read my very first post, then you know I have a chronic back issue. It's called degenerative joint disease, but I prefer to call it "Sal". Previously, Sal took residence in my spine and decided that this was a great place to live. And there Sal has lived for years, renting with the option to own.

Lately Sal has been joined in the apartment complex of my body with "Gerri". Gerri is my chronic upset stomach. Gerri is my chronic nausea, which oddly, is helping me to lose weight. However, if you've ever suffered from this annoying condition, it loses its appeal really early on. Several trips to the doctor later and I know that Gerri is caused by stress because my stomach is fine.

At the beginning of fall and spring, "Phil" likes to come and visit. Usually Phil doesn't stay long, just long enough to give a bone rattling, crap filled cough that makes most people run from me. Phil arrived in October and decided to stay a while. Phil is still here. Occasionally, just to mess with me, Sal, Gerri and Phil join forces. Phil will cause me to cough very hard, making post-nasal drip fall into my stomach, annoying Gerri and Sal will go out because Sal feel neglected.

With all of that going on, I am still skating and still improving. Last Wednesday, I fell several times, more times than I have fallen in an entire year. What did I learn? I over-rotated one jump and under-rotated another. Don't forget to check your arms going into that turn. Keep your head up. Bend your knees. Relax into the move. Just do it.

This past Sunday, I awoke to go to the rink with Sal at a level 8.5 (I gauge my pain on a 10 point scale). I decided to go anyway because usually after warming up, I forget about the pain until the session is over. Plus, I had another lesson and really didn't want to miss it because work will keep me off the ice in the middle of the month (grrrr!!!).

My timing was off. I was tilted in the air. I fell, again and again. I knew exactly why (see the beginning of the paragraph). Sal had decided to try and show me who was boss. I ignored Sal for most of the session, but then Phil showed up too. I tried to skate my program and ran out of air 3/4 of the way through. All I could do was cough and cough and then Gerri wanted to be remembered and I thought everything I had not eaten was going to make a return appearance. Happily, it didn't. However, when I tried to do one last spin, I couldn't place all of my weight on my back left inside edge for the crossover. I was surprised as this hadn't happened in years. I had to admit defeat to my coach, who, (bless her) said I had done a good job anyway. While she was telling me what I should practice, I had to lean on the boards because I really couldn't put much weight on my left leg.

This brings me to the title of this particular blog: Rain, Rain, Go Away. If it would just stop raining so much, my bones and lungs would "dry out" and I could go on with life. I could stop limping and stop eating crackers.

However, even with Sal, Gerri and Phil, I am skating and I am improving, so, I am happy.

But just in case.... "Rain, rain, go away. This skater wants to go out and play...."

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Working My Way Back

Something happened. Something not expected.

I decided to ask my coach if she could give me another lesson every week. Instead of one lesson per week, I'd have two. That meant, unfortunately, another session with the rude rich kids who can only do an element in the exact same spot every single time. Oh, who cares about them? Anyway, she was available on Sundays (there goes going out on Saturday night... yeah, like I do that!) and I said okay.

Well, after several false starts, something happened on a Wednesday evening session.

I could skate. And I could skate well.

My jumps returned. I had speed, I had flow, I had confidence. And I didn't notice the other skaters. I made a decision to jump and jump I did. Were you in my way? Sorry, didn't notice you. Was I in your way? Too bad, I was in lesson and had the right of way.

It was amazing. It was freeing. It was skating.

Best news, it appears to be hanging around. Every week, my confidence is better, my skating is stronger. There is no concrete reason for this to have happened, except my belief and my faith. If this offends you, don't read this. I am proud to say, my prayers to God were answered.

My joy of skating has returned. Now if the weather would cooperate a bit more, I could get to the rink for more practice. Darn that rain causing the highway to flood...

It is my plan to compete in June in a small, local competition. I did the same competition last year and came in 2nd out of 2. I prefer to say this rather than I came in last. This means I have to get back on my eating plan and skating more often. I'm looking forward to beating the woman who won last year, even though she is a friend. Plus, I have a new dress!

Skating tomorrow and looking forward to it . Look out world, here I come!!