Thursday, April 29, 2010


Public transportation is iconic to NYC. Without it, the city would grind to a halt and most people would stand around wondering how to get from points A to B.

That's been happening almost every weekend in NYC. "Track work" has caused almost every subway line to re-route to a slightly different course, resulting in most riders having to scramble, leave early or do some extra walking. I don't mind walking. I don't mind leaving earlier. However, when a 45 minute trip to the rink takes nearly 2 hours, I mind.

I have been getting to the rink later and later, and leaving to travel earlier and earlier. Sometimes, it's the Long Island transportation that is causing the problem. Signal trouble, congestion ahead, whatever. All I know is, when I'm supposed to be on a 5:32pm train to get to Manhattan at 6:20, I don't want the train to arrive at 5:45 and not arrive in Manhattan until 6:40. I, like everyone else in the world, have someplace to go.

The subways have been working my last nerve too. Last weekend, it took 2 hours to get to the rink. Most of that was waiting for the crosstown bus. I would have walked, but it was pouring rain and I was shielding an older woman whom I didn't know, with my umbrella. I could have just given her my umbrella, but I didn't want to leave her in that downpour waiting alone. I'll take some of the credit for being late to the rink on that one, but not all of it.

What are you doing MTA? And why are you messing with my ice time??

That being said, I am now forced to wonder: can your feet shrink?

For the past week, I have noticed more space than usual in my skates. Maybe I'm not lacing them tight enough, but I can now lift my heel in the back. If you are a skater, you know that you should NEVER be able to lift your heel. Oddly, I seem to be able to compensate for the extra movement because it's not really effecting my progress. Every time on the ice, I improve a little. Consistency seems to be the nemesis at this point because what I could do on Sunday, I can't seem to keep for Monday or Wednesday. Oh, let's be honest, Wednesday.

That brings me to another issue: I haven't made it to my Monday morning session in like, ever. The session begins at (please sit down for this) 6:00am. It's in Long Island, not far from work. Yes, I would get to work really, really, really early on Mondays (and beat my boss in so I don't end up getting the "stink eye" when she gets in before me...), but it means getting out of my house at 5:00 to drive there. And since I've never been there, I'm not sure I won't get lost. (One day I will explain my direction issues, my GPS not working in my car and my general hatred for getting lost.) I have the directions, I just don't seem to have the motivation to get up. All I would/could do at that unsociable hour is Moves in the Field and back spins. I have to be awake to do more than that and at 6:00, I'm not awake.

Since I have decided to re-dedicate myself to the sport of figure skating, I need to get off my duff. Plus, I've put so much money into this sport, I feel I just should. I'm really not a bad skater, just a slightly undisciplined, under-trained skater. I used to have so much discipline. I didn't date because I wanted to be on the ice. (Was I crazy? Now I can't get a date!) I was on a constant diet, didn't drink, went to bed at 9:30 and worked out for no less than an hour every day. All while still working a full-time job. I was an adult doing this people, not a kid being driven to the rink by my parents. I've had the will, the discipline, the drive. Now I just need to get it back.

It's Thursday and I could have brought my skates in to skate after work, but I chose not to. Mostly because my feet are swollen. Don't ask why, I have no idea. Instead of skating, I will be icing my feet, trying to figure out why they hurt all the time. I suppose I could give up my heels, but I don't see that happening any time soon.

As far as my skating is going, I am still pleased. I am occasionally amazed when something goes really, really well (like my back spins yesterday) just as I am annoyed when it doesn't. The sessions are still entirely too crowded, no one seems to realize that I too am working here. There's a really obnoxious 20 year old on my Wednesday session who seems to take pleasure in skating really close to an adult skater who isn't moving as fast as she can. She's a good skater, too bad she's such an unpleasant human being. I take that back; she's very nice to people she considers to be a good skater. However, all in all, things are still going well.

I'm off to ice the balls of my feet in hopes that the swelling will go down. I plan to skate a session on Saturday night and I need to figure out why my skates feel so big.

See you on the ice.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Welcome Spring!

So, spring on the east coast of the US has finally arrived!! With the arrival of spring comes the closing of outdoor skating rinks. Boo hoo! With the closing of those outdoor skating rinks comes the masses of skaters to the indoor rinks. And with those skaters come some of the strangest skating manners/habits I've ever seen.

Feel like spinning in the track? Go ahead. You've been skating at an outdoor rink that didn't really have a track, so do what you want. Everyone else on the ice will simply have to go around you. Want to jump in the center? Ignore the "program right of way" rule? Have a long conversation with your friend about the Twilight series? By all means, enjoy.

Skating rink, want to place 37 people on a session that's only supposed to have 22? Hey, feel free! Who cares if someone gets hurt because a skater decided to do a back spiral? Everyone has 3 inches of ice to call their very own. Isn't that enough? No? Wow, who knew?

Happily, this usually only lasts for a few weeks before things settle down again. The last 2 sessions I skated before I had to go away for a business trip had 32 and 37 skaters respectively. I think I'm still trying to finish my Moves In the Field on that last session...

By the way, has anyone seen my scratch spin? It took a short vacation and is still traveling, literally. I start that spin in NY and finish it in FL. I know, I know, abs, abs, abs!

Speaking of abs, my drive to and from work is 40 miles round trip. Mind you, they are in the "opposite" direction of rush hour. Yeah, right. When there is no traffic, the commute takes about 30 minutes. There is ALWAYS traffic!!! By the time I finally get home, I have NO desire to go to the gym. Mostly, I'm just hungry. And since I cook dinner, I stay home and cook. Then I get on the computer. This is not helping me. (I hate my commute!!!)

This is a problem. I need, no I MUST go to the gym and work out. I actually LOVE working out. Spin class is my favorite and I never make it to that class any longer. I wanted to take a yoga class (actually, I did once and it was soooooo past advanced for me that I had to leave the class!) or a Pilates class, but I feel so out of shape. Ugggghhhh!!!!!!

Add to this, I'm supposed to compete in early June. The program is a short artistic program, which isn't very hard. There are only two problems: 1. I have NO stamina, cough non-stop and feel like a hippo. 2. I brought a WHITE dress to wear. What was I thinking?? Can I get away with wearing a trash bag instead?

I still need to lose weight. I have to gain the stamina to get through a 94 second (that's right, a little over a minute and a half) program. Why don't I have the stamina to get through a 1:34 second program? Damn you Phil, my cough!

I'm rambling. I've been off the ice and without a lesson for a week thanks to work. I cannot be off the ice for that long.

Just found out that a rink in NJ is having an Adult Skating Week. I will not be attending for a few reasons: 1. It's a bit pricey. 2. It's in NJ. 3. They picked the same week that the rink in NY had planned on doing an adult skating week. NY would have worked better for me. Plus, I am reminded of my disaster of last year's adult skating weeks...

The Adult Nationals were this past weekend (I was at a meeting for work). I had the opportunity to watch some of the competition online. I so wish I could have been there. However, I still haven't passed my Moves in the Field test and I've failed the freestyle test twice.

I have a lot more work to do. I need to get off my duff and just do it.

Just do it. Say, that sounds like it could be a catch phase for a shoe company...