Sunday, January 23, 2011

When Life Hands You Lemons...

Add vodka, ice, a little sugar and stir...

I've been working out quite a bit; kick boxing mostly. Kick boxing is a wonderful way to work off stress. You just pretend all the people who annoy you are in your line of fire and POW!! A left hook, a right jab, a round-house kick... You feel 100% better.

Funny thing is, it is improving my skating.

I had been working out on and off for a few months. I re-joined my old gym because it was on the way home from work (when I drive). Then winter decided to show up in the NYC area and with it came snow, snow, a bit more snow and ice and freezing temperatures. As a result, I haven't been driving to work (which has been reducing my stress. Are people now getting their drivers licenses on the back of cereal boxes?) which also means I haven't been going to the gym. Desperate to loose a ton of weight in a healthy manner, I started working out at home, and returned to working out during my lunch hour (40 minutes) at work.

What happened? Other than a really sore backside, I had a heck of a lot more strength, stamina and core stability. As a result, Wednesday's skate was absolutely awesome. Did everything go perfectly? No; nothing is perfect, but this was the best skate I've had all season. I had cat-like landings on jumps, three revolutions on that vile backspin (the bane of my skating existence!) and back three turns as good as I've ever done.

Hot diggity dog-dig!!

Sunday, it was cold. Very cold. I arrived at the rink and warmed up, checked people in and hit the ice. I stupidly wrapped my knees a bit to tightly, so bending was a little harder than expected, but I did double threes, some moves in the field, a few jumps and a couple of spins. I learned that I need to warm up just a bit more because my timing was a bit off, but, all in all, no complaints.

And that session was crowded! We were full. Full of little kids. There were only 3 of us skating over five feet tall; everyone else was my shoulder or below. Sixteen skaters, thirteen short. Even with the coach who took over 1/4 of the ice to teach his student with the traveling pole, I was determined to have a decent skate.

One of the parents even said, "I didn't know you knew how to skate." Thanks, I guess...

After performing my monitoring duties during the second session, I skated the third. It was a good day.

Amazing what a little kick boxing and putting one's foot down about ice time can do!

Now, a glass of lemon aid...

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Has anyone seen my balance?

I've been having balance issues suddenly when on the ice. It's as though my feet and legs belong to someone else. Someone who has never been on skates before. I am reminding myself of Fred Flintstone when he went skating to stay awake because they thought he had a dinopetic germ (Dino had it). In this cartoon, his feet flew out from underneath him (until he got mad at Barney and could skate like a charm). While I'm not falling, I feel as though my feet will fly out at any given time. It's weird.

Of course, having skates too sharp to stop can't possibly help.

So, I've decided on a re-boot. Working out daily, eating healthy, skating in the morning. Everything anew.

Naturally, it snowed, once again grinding NYC to a halt.

I don't like driving in bad weather (or on ice for that matter), so I'm taking the train into work. That means, I won't be at the rink until the snow melts, which may be the spring since the forecast calls for another snow storm in 4 days. I also can't get to the gym since I rejoined a gym near where my job used to be located (10 miles from where we are now) and it is not located near my office. That means working out at home. Okay, I can do that. Of course that also means going to bed at a decent hour (12:45 is NOT a decent hour) and getting up at 5:45. When the snow melts and I'm back on the road, skating at 6:15am, 5:45 will feel as though I slept in.

Joining me on my re-boot are all of my old physical issues, neglected recently, deciding to join the party with a vengeance.

Tammy, my facial twitch has subsided greatly. Now she only shows up when I'm on my way to work or after an exceptionally annoying phone conversation. Everyone else has decided to hang around for a while. They are like relatives who show up, eat all of your food, break all of your expensive items, take up space, never leave and don't pay rent.

Tomorrow is a new day, with no mistakes on it. (No mistakes on it yet.) - Anne of Green Gables.

Sunday, January 9, 2011

What to Do... What to Do...

Returning to the ice on Wednesday evening was exciting and fun. Fun because I really wanted to skate; exciting because I had just had my skates sharpened before the Christmas break and couldn't stop.

After running into the boards a few times, I decided to ignore my inability to stop on a dime and just enjoy my lesson. I have odd bad habits, like riding my toe pick before jumping so that I slow down, or not being able to do the simplest move if I think about it too much. However, Amy worked her magic and all but 2 of my moves in the field are almost test ready. To fix the others, I am using those moves to go into jumps, thus learning to do them faster and while not thinking: I'm too busy thinking of the jump.

Wish that I could bottle Amy and take her with me wherever and whenever I skate.e

That brings me to Sunday's session where I ice monitor. Today I have 20 minutes on the ice, however, I seemed to be unable to do anything productive. It takes me a long time to warm up and when a parent insists on having a conversation with you while you're trying to warm up, it defeats the purpose. This caused me to make a decision.

I told my co-monitor that because I was getting so little time on the ice, using carfare and waking up 3 hours before the beginning of the session, that I would finish out the month of January and no longer be the ice monitor.

I thought she would faint.

To be fair, she drives in and it takes her an hour to get to Manhattan on Sunday morning. If she had to monitor the 10:00 session, she would have to leave at 9:00 and hopefully, not hit any traffic.

I said I would figure something out.

Maybe I could get to the rink early and jump rope for 5-10 minutes before stretching, working my feet (my sister/roommate's term) and putting on my skates before my ice monitoring duties. This way, I'd be warmed up before hand. It's a thought. I'm really at a loss because while the club appreciates what I'm doing, my skating (at least on Sundays) is not improving at all.

I suppose I could try to get up at 4:30 and get to the rink before work. But 4:30?? Even the birds are still asleep at that time.

My confidence level has sunk to a new all-time low. I only feel good about my skating when I'm in lesson. I feel fat and clumsy and all out-of-sorts.

It'll get better; I know it will... I hope.

Saturday, January 1, 2011


It snowed on the Sunday after Christmas in NYC. Snow in NYC causes the outer boroughs to grind to a halt because the Mayor takes all the snow plows and cleans up Manhattan. This is especially true if it snows near New Years Eve. Tourists come to Times Square to watch the ball drop; native NewYorkers stay home. I stayed home.

I was unable to get down the ramp to my car and therefore unable to see the new rink. Because the Mayor concentrated all the clean-up efforts around Times Square, the crosstown bus wasn't running to get to the rink.

Thank you Mr. Bloomberg.

I spent the week fighting off migraine headaches and an upset stomach. I return to work on Monday.

Just as soon as I finish digging out my car.

Happy New Year.