Sunday, February 27, 2011

Bit By Bit, Putting it Together...

The title comes from the musical "Sunday in the Park with George" by Stephen Sondheim. If you can catch it on PBS (from the 90s) I would suggest watching it. Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters at one of their best.

Going on....

Thanks to Winter Break in NYC schools this week, the ice has been relatively quiet, when it wasn't canceled altogether. Today, Sunday, was especially sweet, with so few skaters on the ice, I actually got to skate the (wait for it...) ENTIRE SESSION!!!! And I can tell you I worked my rear end off!!! My loop jump from a different entrance is slowly coming along. I even worked on jumps that I hadn't worked on in a while. As for the dreaded backspin, I got two revolutions out of that thing. I nearly screamed for joy.

I even took off my fleece pullover.

Because of the winter break, Amy, Coach Extraordinaire, was away with her family. I still skated my Wednesday session. I try to be as personable as the next person, however, I am a bit of a loner and prefer my own company. (That may be out necessity more than choice.) Since I have so little ice time, I prefer not to chat away my time with others. I may stop to catch my breath and say a little something, but I'd rather just soldier on.

On Wednesday, another skater said we should have an "Amy lesson" with one another. I knew what that meant. It meant she wanted someone to watch HER. The offer is almost never reciprocated. So for 10 minutes I made suggestions about her sit spin and one or two jumps. Then I started to get cold and said I had to get back to work.

So, here's my question: Why do some think it's okay to stop someone else from practicing just so they can be watched? When did everything become "ME, ME, ME"? Never in my skating career have I asked anyone to watch me do anything, except for a paid coach. And why am I always the person being asked?

I have watched other skaters pass me and leave me in the dust. Skaters who started after I did and who probably didn't have my issues. However, I can tell you those I was friendly with, all of them asked me to watch them at some point. I need to know why. Why me? Why do you need all the attention? Why must you disturb me?

It got to a point, several years ago, that I would never stop long enough to be asked. I'd slow down, but when I saw someone approach me, I'd take off, doing anything. I once knocked down another skater in my attempt to get away. Sounds silly, right?

If you're one of those people who need the attention, that's what a coach is for. The other skaters just want to skate.

Rant over.

I am pleased that skating is coming along nicely. I have my hopes of taking my Moves in the Field test by the end of the summer. I just keep pushing it back. Damn those back inside three turns.

I will miss Wednesday's session because I'm being sent to Austin, TX for a meeting. My boss didn't want to go. Lucky me. She tried to tell me what to wear. I looked at her as though she was insane because fashion is NOT her strong suit. I, on the other hand, watched Fashion Week from my home computer.

So here's to slowly putting it together. Loop jumps, flip jumps and backspins; my precious bane.

As for vacations, well, I've taken a half dozen vacations in the past three years, each worse than the previous. I even took a bad "stay-cation". Still thinking of going to a spa, but was wondering if they can make it a silent spa... Shhhhhh.....

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Different Drum

I have said it before and I'll say it again: Next year, I will NOT ice monitor on the Sunday morning (or any other day) session. On a good day, I listen to countless parents complain about something, then coaches complain about something and then I get to take my unprepared body onto the ice for (hopefully!) 20 minutes of skating.

Until I get interrupted, again.

This Sunday, because of the change in schedule, was as bad as last Sunday. Only difference was, it was 10 times colder in the rink. And my body decided not to cooperate.

Skating, like the sign language class I am taking, is my outlet. My other outlets are working out (which I haven't had the chance to do), writing and taking a lunch hour. I haven't done any of those and it's beginning to take a toll on my mental health.

I have more stress than I can deal with right now. I have family issues that are driving me to the point of wanting to get in my car and drive as far away from everything as I possibly can. No, the issues aren't that severe or life threatening; I'm just tired of hearing the same damned complaints every single blessed day. I'm tired of my upstairs neighbors sounding as though they are Godzilla stomping Tokyo in Doc Marten boots. I am tired of not being able to sit quietly and watch TV in my living room without constant movement out of the corner of my eye. I am tired of listening to daily complaints.

You see, in my job, all I hear are complaints. Doctors complaining about what they are paid, what the state should do to fix something, complaints, complaints, complaints. STOP! I can't take any more. I need everyone to just shut up for a few days. Shut up and sit still.

I need some peace and quiet.

I hate my job. I can't stand my boss. I hate my commute. I haven't taken a real vacation in over a year. I have no social life. I feel as though the world wants everything from me all at once and I just don't have enough to give anymore. I am willing to make a very large sacrifice just so one person will (temporarily) stop complaining to me.

I am running out of pencils to break (at work). I have been listening to my self confidence Cd's and they are helping me sleep, but when I wake up, there are the issues all over again. And they never stop. Ever. Long after I'm dead, someone will dig me up (or take my ashes, I haven't really decided) just to complain to me about something.

I am writing this at work, so I must go. Please excuse me while I do my boss' work now.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

This Is Nice

I had a different title for this entry, but I'll get into that later.

Lately, things have been going really, really well on the ice. And I am pleasantly surprised.

I've been listening to a self-hypnosis cd about confidence while I drift off to sleep. I've been told that because it's a cd to listen to while you sleep, it taps into your subconscious. Don't know if that's true or not, but boy have I been getting some really good sleep. Plus, my skating has been off the chart. Of course, there are the elements that still seem to allude me (the right outside mohawk pattern and the right forward inside 3 turn) but I'm sure they'll come around soon. I hope so; I want to take this stinking MIF test and get it over with!

But the free skating is off the chart. I've landed every jump I've done on the first try. The first try!! And every try after that! And I returned to doing a jump I've been unable to do due to injury and (drum roll please) it didn't hurt that much. I jumped and spun like I had "back in the day". And it was wonderful!!

I wish I could say I had the chance to practice on Sunday, but the schedule changed and all hell broke loose. I was on the ice 5 1/2 minutes (yes, you read that correctly) during Sunday's session before monitoring duties took over. It was a good 5 1/2 minutes though... Don't expect this Sunday to be much better; people are still confused about the new session.

This brings us to this Wednesday where things were still going well. And, I fell down. I fell down!!! If you skate, you understand how great it is when you're working and you fall down. It means you are close, so close to whatever it is you're working on. I was so happy to fall.

Until this morning, when I woke up and asked myself, "Who kicked me?" and "Why is there an elephant lying on me?" Two hot showers, some asprin, and some brandy later and I'm good.

This brings us to what I was originally going to call this blog: Ice Network Wants to Give Me a Stroke. Two weeks ago, I wanted to see the live feed of Ice Network on my computer. I sat down and turned it on. But what happened? It seemed that Ice Network no longer supports AOL, which is what I have. I called Customer Service and they were about as helpful as a feather duster during a dust storm. 45 minutes later and I was boiling. I was so angry I wanted to jump through the screen and strangle someone. I downloaded not one, not two, not three but four, yes four programs at the suggestion of the customer service rep and it still didn't work.

I wrote some of the most scathing emails to their customer service department. I demanded my money back, I stated that I would contact the FCC and the state attorney general's offices of both the state they were in and my state. My blood pressure rose to heights I had never seen (at least not while on medication).

Funny how if you complain enough, people actually take notice.

I received a call from Texas on a day I was home because of the snow. Together, we got Ice Network to work. I have been trying to send an email to the company telling them how great this particular rep was, but the email won't go through. I'll keep trying though.

Final thoughts: Skating is going really well. And, I still need a vacation.