Wednesday, August 22, 2012

With Apologies

It has come to my attention recently that I complain about my job a lot. You would too if your job caused you to have two bouts of Bells Palsy. However, in an effort at being positive, I will try to curtail my rants about my job and keep this blog focused on the art of figure skating. Also, I cannot move away from NYC. I am a proud native New Yorker. This is where I was born, raised, educated and almost died at least three times (walked into the middle of a drug bust with guns a-blazing; fell off the subway platform; 9-11). This is where what remains of my family (all 3 of them) live. Yes, I said 3; two sisters and a brother are all that remain of my family. We are extremely close to one another and the thought of moving away from them breaks my heart. On to skating. A funny thing happened at the rink on Saturday, and not the usual "I was spinning and snot started to fly out my nose" funny. Okay, that happened too, but I was practicing sans Amy, the Wonder Coach and "it" happened. Everything worked. Shhh.... Don't say it too loud. I can't figure out why, no matter how early I get to the rink, I get on the ice 3 minutes late. Be that as it may, I stroked around, did crossovers on the ends and launched into my warm-up. My warm-up is: 1. Forward inside edges with crossovers, alternating feet. 2. Backward inside edges with crossovers, alternating feet. 3. Backward outside edges with crossovers, alternating feet. 4. Cross rolls 5. Power pulls 6. Spirals, inside and outside - forward only. (I hate back spirals) 7. Twizzles (or at least my attempt at twizzles - can only go around once - working on that). After that, it's off to the other MIF since I've already done 3 of them (#4, 5 & 6). Three turns and I are now on speaking terms and well that outside mohawk occasionally has a mind of its own, but I'm working on it. When I went on to jumps, I started with the usual: waltz jump. No problems there. Followed by salchows, toe loops, and then loop jumps. THAT was when it happened. I tried a different entrance and it worked the first time. Then the second and third and fourth... I decided to stop at eight, since I had landed six out of eight attempts. Yeah me! Spinning hasn't been a problem lately; it all really depends on how much pain I'm in. Sometimes sit spins are just a memory, other times, I can perform them without a care in the world. Saturday was one of those days. After a series of spins, I decided to try for the back spin. Amy had given me a tip; keep my right arm bent in front of my chest going into the spin. And, it WORKED! My back spin spun like no body's business. Sometimes it's good to be the Queen (twist on Mel Brooks' "History of the World - Part 2" Off to the rink in a few minutes for a practice at a different rink. The nice thing about Saturday mornings is that there are plenty of adults around, so the parents don't give us the "stink eye" that adults sometimes get at other rinks. Not so much at other rinks. I suppose they think we adults are taking away ice from their children. So happy I'm child-less. I'm going to see if I can figure out how to video tape myself using my phone and end up in the right spot. Wish me luck! Say, does anyone know how to add photos to this blog? I've seen others do it. Wonder if it's in the owner's manual that I never read. And what happened to the spell check??

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Back In Action

Time flies way too fast. I had started an entry about a month ago, but never finished it. However, this was one of those rare occasions where I actually saved the entry before logging out. Imagine my surprise! So, as of July 4th, I had only skated once since May. The main reason was because my ASL class orginally scheduled for Tuesdays was changed to Wednesdays because Hofstra University neglected to hire an instructor for the advance level class. My previous instructor stepped in to teach the class. I am in her debt because I now have my certificate and never have to return to Hofstra University again. Another reason was because I was hard at work at Gallaudet University in Washington, DC for the first two weeks of July. That was an intense two week program in American Sign Language. I foolishly signed up for 3 classes, which meant I was in school for approximately 11 hours a day. Usually, I dragged my exhausted butt to bed at 12:30, only to get up again at 6:15am. Didn't sleep much, ate too many potatoes, gained 8 pounds. The best part about the entire experience was being part of the Deaf Community for 2 weeks. It was wonderful just signing and turning off my voice. My signing improved ten-fold. I've started to save up to go again next summer. Now that I'm back home, I've returned to skating. A funny thing has happened: I've improved. Even without being on the ice for two months, somehow, I've improved. My staminia could use a kick in the pants, but I've returned to the gym and taking spin classes. I love spin class; you burn a lot of calories and you feel as though you're about to collapse, yet, you don't...usually. Even my practice sessions have improved. I mention that because I always feared I was one of those "great lesson" skaters. You know the type, the ones who can only bring the goods when in lesson, but come competition time, they fall flat. Speaking of competiton, the Adult Figure Skating National Championships will be held in April 2013 in Scottsdale, AZ. Never been to AZ (although I was hoping for Colorado, but I was told the air is very thin there...) so I've been working hard on my Moves In the Field in hopes to take that test by the end of the year. I know, it's already August, so I really have to get moving. With the exception of my job, I am very optimistic about things. I'll be returning to my favorite ASL classes in another month, as well as another school for ASL. I'm back at the gym and back on the ice, trying to skate 4-8 hours a week. I'm also attending Deaf Social Events, alone. I'm not really good in social situations, although family would beg to differ; it's an act, so attending alone is a big deal for me. As for work; it is my own private hell. For reasons I cannot comprehend, I have been sentenced to endure the torture and madness of a job I hate, with a commute I hate, working with people I dislike and for people I wouldn't cross the street to help. And that says a lot, because I am the type of person who WOULD cross the street to help anyone. It doesn't help that I listen to people complain all day long; it's getting to me. You never want to be in the car with me as I drive to work because every other word out of my mouth is a four-letter word. Every other word. Upon my return to Hell, I made a note to myself to stop talking. Mostly it's because no one listens to me anyway, but it's also because my boss and co-worker constantly tell me that I'm wrong. Every day, regardless of the subject. Several years ago, while running for the subway, I slipped off the platform into the gap between the car and the platform. My co-worker, who of course was NOT there when it happened said, "That never happened." REALLY????? That did it for me; I have nothing to say. But, back to skating. My backspin is slowly getting stronger. My Moves are slowly coming together; all I need is some confidence. And more speed. And a new job.