Sunday, December 30, 2012

2012 Observations

2012 is just about over. It's been a bit of a roller-coaster ride for me. Some things have changed, some have stayed the same. I've been lucky enough to be able to do some of the things I've wanted to do, so no complaints there. I've noticed a few things over the past 12 months. I write this blog; a handful of people read it, and I thank you. Recently, I read that there aren't a lot of skating blogs, but all of the ones that are listed are blogs I subscribe to. Except this one. Seems I don't actually fit into any particular mold. Maybe it's because I don't just discuss skating. I talk about the job I hate, my chronic injuries, my struggle with finances and my desire to become a certified sign language interpreter. I doubt it's a race or lefty thing. Maybe I just rub people the wrong way; I don't know. I don't get many comments from my blog; I think some people just read it and continue on. That's fine; it's all good. I'm not overly positive, but I'm trying. Regardless, this is my year end observations. Some skating, some not. I hope in 2013 I will figure out how to post pictures, video or maybe a song. In no particular order, my 2012 observations: 1. Skating parents will always view adult skaters as an oddity. Really, how many times can you ask me if my kids skate or if I'm doing this for exercise? 2. I'm still NOT Debi Thomas, Serena Williams or Oprah Winfrey. If I were, do you really think I'd be on the crosstown bus? 3. Somehow, three people on a freestyle session will still get into one another's way. How? 4. It's disappointing to know in your head and heart that you can perform a skill only to have your body say, "NO!" 5. Time is no longer my friend, however, it is not my enemy. 6. One should compete more than once a year; it helps with nerves. And by nerves I mean, not puking right before getting on the ice. 7. Surely I can't be the only person who has trouble skating on ice they have never skated on before. 8. Sometimes doing a favor for a friend (ice monitoring) is just not rewarded. 9. As a childless unmarried woman, I pay for all of my ice time. Heck, I pay for all of my everything. Don't complain to me that you can't afford your vacation in Mexico when I'm trying to figure out if I have to quit skating, quit school and get a second job to keep my apartment because my job hasn't given raises in 5 years. 10. I know I'm fat; don't ask me if it's safe to skate while pregnant. I haven't a clue. 11. Yep, I complain about my job. Why? Because it sucks. No I won't move out of NYC. Why? Because it's home. And it's NYC. (Don't need to see the movie Les Miserables; saw the original Broadway production, thank you.) 12. Siblings are wonderful things. You love them and they drive you crazy. That's their job. 13. Sometimes a once in a lifetime event (Drama League Gala) is worth skipping a freestyle session. 14. No one believes you can skate when you're 40 pounds overweight. 15. Your knees actually hate you when you're 40 pounds overweight. 16. Skinny people tell you a lot of lies about the amount of food they eat. 17. Being an overly enthusiastic signer has it's advantages. If you practice on the subway, people leave you alone. 18. One should have your skates sharpened more than three times a year. 19. I hate waking up early. 20. Spin class is worth waking up early, but why must it be so early? 21. Lefties do left over right back crossovers into spins; stop cutting us off. 22. Drinking alcohol before skating is good AND bad. 23. Why did I buy a white competition dress? 24. When did entrance fees for competition cost more than a pair of dress shoes? 25. To the two little girls who suggested I try J-Date. Really? Why not? Tried all the other websites. 26. How amusing it was to discover those two little girls aren't Jewish. 27. Having a chronic cough for over 7 years that has never gotten better is cause for alarm. 28. Getting winded because of said cough just walking to the subway is also cause for alarm. 29. When you mess up something while skating, cussing in sign language is a much better option than saying it out loud. 30. I make a lot of kids nervous on the ice and I have no real reason why. 31. Does returning to my natural hair color mean fewer people will stare at me when I get on the ice? 32. I think way too much and over analyse everything. I need to stop and just do/be. 33. Surely somebody recognizes the theatre references I make. 34. Is it worth having my skates re-built? 35. How is it some women always look so perfect after skating and I always look as though I've forgotten a comb, need to shower and am surprised that I made it out alive. 36. Note to self: put a comb in your skate bag. 37. Never wear a Victoria's Secret demi-cup bra to a freestyle session. I think I gave myself a black eye last week. 38. When rinks have competitions with children and adults, why must they schedule the medal ceremony for the kids during the adult competition? It would be nice to have more than 9 people watching. 39. Sometimes, despite your best efforts, you skate with your mouth wide open. 40. I love this sport, even if there are times that love is one-sided. So there you have it. Just a few of my observations. If I think of any more, I will write them. Here's a thought: if YOU have any 2012 observations, send them to me. Write them in the comments box so we can all share them. Until we meet again (online), I'm signing off. Wishing you the healthiest and happiest new year. God bless you all. Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 15, 2012

Numbered Days?

I am concerned. My skill level seems to be deteriotating rapidly, and I am powerless to stop it. I feel as though my skating days are numbered. Amy keeps telling me that I'm improving, but I'm skeptical. No, I don't think she has an ulterior motive, I just think she sees glimmers of hope that I can return to the level I once was. I have my hopes. I skate more than I used to, in hopes of improving, but it seems to be alluding me. Maybe it's the core strenth issue, maybe it isn't. Maybe it's a lack of confidence, or this strange balance problem I've been experiencing. Or maybe it's my body aches coming around all the time to remind me that they are there. Whatever it is, it has caused me to doubt whether or not I'm actually enjoying ths any more. If I quit skating, who am I? What do I do? I can't quit while I'm a flop, to paraphase Rose Hovick in the musical Gypsy. It's one thing to quit when they want you, but it's different when they don't want you. Rose Hovick was right. There's a competition in February I'd like to do. I have a lot of work to do. Hopefully, it's not my swan song.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Sunday, No Park, No George

I will continue to make references to old movies and musicals (Sunday In the Park With George by Stephen Sondheim. Original cast included Mandy Patinkin and Bernadette Peters) until someone, some day finally acknowledges these references. On to skating. I have been somewhat absent since Hurricane Sandy, but I have been skating. My tablet hates the speed at which I type and my computer at work just hates everything. From time to time, it shuts itself down. However, last month, prior to Chelsea Piers re-opening (YEAH!!), I skated at another rink. Here are my thoughts about that situation... City Ice Pavilion was open on Sunday after the storm. Imagine my surprise. Therefore, Amy contacted me, asking if I wanted to skate. "Why not?" I thought, "How bad can it be?" Bad. It could be bad. I believe the cut off number for skaters was 30. We HAD to have had 30 skaters on the ice. While stroking, I think I smacked someone in the back of the head; I can't be sure. I almost didn't get on the session, as I was number 27. Funny, I left home early, it took 22 minutes to get to the rink via subway and I almost didn't get on. Be that as it may, off I went to skate. Ten minutes into the session, my feet began to cramp. The cramps moved up my leg to my ankles. I hate when that happens because I miss ice time. Off the ice, massage the feet, try to pick up a pencil with my toes... Blah, blah, blah. If you've ever had this problem then you know the routine. It took 15 minutes to get the feeling back in my feet. Back to MIF, which would have gone better if there were 10 less people on the ice. Actually, I would have been happy with 5 less people on the ice. It was a challenge. I got through 1/4 of my cross rolls, when a pair team, yes, a pair team decided to do a press lift right there. Funny thing is, they weren't the only pair team on the ice. There were 2 pair teams and 2 ice dancing couples. I don't get it; Wollman was open. Since all four teams usually skated there, why not GO there?! The weather was even nice. I am confused... Two little girls just HAD to skate where their parents, sitting in the bleachers, could see them. Forget the fact that they caused several near-hit accidents. They were happy and their parents just beamed. So happy I'm childless.... It wasn't a bad session as far as my skill level was concerned. I learned that another rink was having a competition in a few weeks (I think in Westchester) and that's why there were so many skaters. "Okay, go with it." And I did. The following Sunday didn't go as well. I was number 30 and the cut-off was 26. Didn't skate that session; felt bad because Amy drove all the way to Queens for me. She's great. Now that Chelsea Piers has reopened, some of my skills stayed, others have gone on vacation. My biggest problem is my lack of core strength and a sudden balance issue I never experienced before. Also, my feet hurt ALL THE TIME! In shoes, in skates, in just socks! I am blaming it on my weight. I blame everything on my weight. Today I found out that Chelsea Piers is having a spotlight competition in February. I think I'll give it a go. Can I get some core strength to go with a side of coffee to go, please?