Friday, October 19, 2012

Misplaced Skills

I hate back pain. Lately, my back pain has been bad, really bad. Back brace all the time bad. Popping pain pills back. Sit with a heating pad on it bad. Trouble bending forward bad. Even with all of that, I skated on Wednesday. I decided to attend because I had to cancel last Wednesday and last Saturday's lessons, due to a migraine and a fashion show. I was excited, even though Wednesday night sessions are stupidly expensive ($42.00 to guest an 80 minute session; or $33.00 if you subscribe), I see other adult skaters and I get a lesson from Amy. The lesson started off well. My stroking and crossovers were good. The first two moves were pretty solid, but the transition from forward to backward was awkward (I prefer a right forward outside 3 turn; remember I'm a lefty and Amy wants a left forward outside 3 turn), but passable. Then we worked on the dreaded forward outside mohawks. My body does not like a right forward outside mohawk. My brain doesn't like them. I know it's very close to a waltz jump for me (right forward outside edge, left back outside edge), but that doesn't seem to help. I had these bad boys about a year ago and then they decided to go visit other skaters. Come back Shane! Come back! (Obscure old movie reference. Look it up.) Also, due to my history in figures, I only seem to be able to do a decent 3 turn on a circle. When I do them in my MIF, they are all over the place. On Wednesday, the left forward outside 3 to right back inside 3 somehow ended up in the middle of the ice. And I had only done two! When I almost bumped into a friend about to step into a spin, we looked at one another and giggled. Amy asked me where I was going. I wish I knew. She suggested practicing the 3s as a figure and then moving on from there. Freestyle was a mess. I squeezed out one good waltz jump. One. The rest of them got away from me. Apologies to the new skater I accidentally hit on the shoulder when my arms got away from me. And to his coach, who I nearly slapped across the face. When you're 5'6", you usually have long arms. Mine are a little longer than others; family trait. We tried spins, but my balance seemed to be totally off and after nose diving into a scratch spin, we figured spirals would be an easier option. They didn't quite work either. But by then, my back totally refused to bend and my lesson was over. Thank goodness! Dear Mother Nature: Please make the rain stop. My body is okay with cold, but it really hates the rain. Thank you. "Tomorrow is another day with no mistakes on it. No mistakes, yet." Anne of Green Gables.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Balance and Core Strength and Practice

Apparently, I am lacking all three. On Friday, my office closed early for Columbus Day. I took that opportunity to go to the local rink in Bethpage to skate the 2:45pm freestyle. It was wonderful!!! No, not my skating. What was wonderful was the number of skaters on the ice. Three. That's right, three skaters. Somehow, we still managed to get in one another's way, but that's not important. What is important is the number three. Since it was only one hour long, I decided to concentrate on my Moves in the Field. I got through two of them. I found myself struggling with crossrolls, my favorite move on the test, going forward anyway. Going backwards, I am usually a little "steppy", rather than allowing the edges to just flow. On Friday I was extremely "steppy" both forward and backward. And slow. I really struggled with this usually easy move. After working on that move for ten minutes, I figured it would be best to work on something else. Knee pumps (that's my name for them because I can never remember what the real name is) is another move I perform fairly well, but on Friday, they too seemed to elude me. I seemed unable to get my feet underneath me going forward and kept rocking backwards. Performing the move backward, I nearly face planted when I rocked up onto my toe picks. Undaunted, I blamed it on my back which was really painful that day. Did it stop me? No. So, Saturday morning, I asked Amy to help me with them. After forcing my body into an upright position (back issues still), we worked on the move, unfortunately with much the same result. Amy's verdict: my balance is off because I have no core strength. This saddens but doesn't surprise me. I have only half-heartedly tried to lose weight and work out. I was juicing, but stopped; it can get quite expensive. I also must thank those wonderful people who schedule meetings or conference calls between 12:00-2:00, ruining everyone's lunch hour. And I haven't made it to the gym or the rink in the morning yet, therefore I am not surprised. I need to get off my ass. That being said, a recent trip to the doctor has revealed that on top of my high blood pressure (controlled with medication), I have elevated levels of sugar, cholesterol and triglycerides. Add in my constant pain from my back, shoulder and knees and it's safe to say that my body is rebelling. It's all fixable. Saturday morning, Coach M said to Amy that I was a good skater. Not just a good adult skater, but a good skater who could be so much better if I practiced more. Coach M (who I don't work with, but know) was amazed that I could maintain what I have based on the fact that I don't practice enough. Frankly, so am I.