Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Summer Sun

I think I was still ticked off at my coach's comments because on Saturday, I couldn't do anything. It probably didn't help that the session was over-crowded and crazy, with some of the absolutely rudest children I have ever had the misfortune to skate with. Nope, it was bad, very bad. And I didn't help by refusing to do my program. What makes it so bad is that I skated on Friday night in Long Island and everything went really, really well. Friday nights in Long Island is a mis-mash of skating levels and heights. There's a 4 year old who is so tiny, I didn't see her at all until she ran into me. I looked so far down, my neck cracked. She mumbled something that might have been "sorry" (I don't speak kid) and skated off. Whatever. I had more important things to think about. So, I did my program and skated it well. I was satisfied, sore and a bit hungry. However on Saturday morning, none of that showed up. I couldn't do a waltz jump without tripping over my feet. Maybe I was due to a lack of sleep, or because I have to skate with my mouth guard in because I grind my teeth while skating, either way, nothing worked. Amy didn't seem too thrilled; she may be tired of me and my injuries and my lack of faster progress. She wouldn't be the first coach to want to drop me because I don't progress faster; she probably won't be the last. There is another adult skater that Amy is trying to schedule time with and I suggested one of the other rinks. Given the task of compiling a schedule of possible freestyle sessions, I was pleasantly surprised to see that there are quite a few this spring/summer. I did a dance. If all goes as planned, I will be skating Tuesday - Saturday. That hasn't happened in years. And the last time that happened, when I competed, I did really well. I didn't win, but I came in 5th out of 16 and as far as I'm concerned, that's a "paper" medal. You know, gold, silver, bronze, pewter, paper. I'm excited. "Stand well back - I'm comin' through - Nothing can stop me now! Watch out, world - I'm warning you - Nothing can stop me now!.... I'll make all my dreams come true Before my final bow! How I'll do it, who can say? But I know I will someday. Watch out, world - I'm on my way - Nothing can stop me now! I shall find success today - Nothing can stop me now! Yesterday was yesterday - Nothing can stop me now! Now I know the future is mine to have I'm hereby makin' a vow! From now on I'm gonna begin again - Stick out my chin again - Go in and win again! Get you gone, you sky of grey! Farewell, you furrowed brow! Now my future's crystal clear! No more woe for me to fear! I'm gonna stand this world upon its ear - And I'll succeed somehow!... Nothing can stop me now" Above lyrics from The Roar of the Greasepaint - The Smell of the Crowd by Leslie Bricusse and Anthony Newley

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Self Deprecating Humor

I am guilty of self deprecating humor. It usually means three things: 1. I'm going to say it before you do so I have that power. 2. I'm angry as all get out and I'm trying not to curse you out and or pimp slap you. 3. You have really, really disappointed me. On Sunday, I had a lesson with Amy where we went over my program over and over and over again. You would think after the third run-through, the other skaters would realize that the 5'6 1/4 overweight lefty adult female skater's program starts with her traveling backwards. Practicing your backspin or your figure loops on the red line when I'm heading backwards at you is probably not the smartest thing in the world. Sorry Lauren; didn't mean to knock you down... twice. After the fourth or fifth run-through, Amy asked me about my dress for the competition. I told her I had something and she suggested that I wear it on Saturday's freestyle. Ah... no. She asked me what it looked like and I said, "It's black." For some unknown reason, several coaches were standing around and Amy asked if it was sparkly. I replied, "Yeah, it has some sparkles on it. It doesn't really matter; I'm the fat girl in the black dress. I'm always the fat girl in a black dress; I only have black dresses. I can't lose 60 pounds before the competition, so I'll be in a black dress, wearing a support garment." The coaches found it funny, and I tried to just laugh it off, but I know the truth. I AM the fat girl in the black dress. I've been fat so long, I don't remember what it feels like not to be fat. For the record, I hate it. I used to be really, really fit and pretty darn skinny. I'm not even sure when it changed, but it was gradual. I went from a size 9 to a size 14 seemingly overnight. It really sucks. Being ice monitor on Sunday (free ice, that's the only reason) usually means I'm going to get frustrated. When trying to explain a financial issue for the fifth time didn't clarify it, I got annoyed. The session had 20 minutes left and I still wasn't on the ice. The amount in question: $6.00. I just wanted to get on the ice; I had a lesson in 30 minutes. I said. "Why don't I just give you the $6.00 so I can get on the ice and disappoint a whole bunch of people who think I'm Debi Thomas until they actually see my awful skating." The other people at the table thought that was funny, but in truth, I just wanted it to end. Immediately. I missed the first session entirely. Prior to gaining a tween, I was a pretty good skater. I had a cheated axel, all of my single jumps and the world's slowest backspin. Between injuries, gaining weight, running out of money and not having a positive coach, I lost a lot of those skills. I went from skating 4 times a week to once a week and naturally, my skills suffered. Why do I say this? Because I had mentioned to Amy that I wanted to do Easterns as they have a Non-Qualifying competition for Silver. She asked if I wanted to do Bronze. Nope, I wanted to do Silver. She asked me if I watched Silver Ladies on Ice Network, because those women were really, really good and I would never get to that level. They were confident and moved quickly and had all of their skills solidly. I wasn't going to ever medal in Silver Ladies. I'll never be that good. I probably wouldn't beat the only other person in my category in the competition that's next month. Was I prepared to come in last? I smiled and said, "I'm used to coming in last; been doing it for years. There's a special medal for those of us who permanently suck." Everyone in earshot laughed and I continued smiling. In truth, I was crushed. And incredibly disappointed. This was my coach who just gave me a vote of no-confidence. She didn't believe I had or would ever have the skills to participate in Silver Ladies. That explains a lot, like why I'm not working on harder elements when other skaters are working on harder jumps. I won't mention that some of those skaters (all adults) can't do some of the elements I can do, but I'm stuck constantly doing the same thing, while they keep on going. If you tell me I can't do something, I will break my neck trying to prove you wrong; it's a family trait. I'm going to work as hard as possible to improve, lose weight, skate faster so no one will laugh at me again. And I can leave the self-deprecating humor at home, forever. Sunday's frustration caused the TMJ to return. Sadly, neither my dentist nor my doctor gives muscle relaxers. Dang! Where are those advocates of better living through chemistry when you need them? I'm through accepting limits 'cause someone says they're so Some things I cannot change But till I try, I'll never know! Too long I've been afraid of Losing love I guess I've lost Well, if that's love It comes at much too high a cost! I'd sooner buy Defying gravity Kiss me goodbye I'm defying gravity And you can't pull me down: And nobody in all of Oz No Wizard that there is or was Is ever gonna bring me down! ** Just watch me. ** Defying Gravity from Wicked

Sunday, May 12, 2013

Pain and Boas

I have just received a diagnosis of TMJ, which explains the excuciating pain on the left side of my face. It is incredibly painful, and that comes from a woman with chronic pain. It also makes me dizzy. A mouth guard has been molded and ordered for me. I have been sleeping with one I purchased at a local drug store. Who knew I had the skills to take it out of my mouth without even waking up! I can add this to my list of little known skills, along with: changing the TV channel while asleep; answering a non-ringing telephone while asleep and then being annoyed that someone called; cursing someone out in American Sign Language while smiling in their face because they have no idea what I just said; falling asleep during conference calls with my eyes open. The only really useful skill is the last one. Who invented conference calls anyway? My TMJ is bad, really bad. It makes my ear hurt to the whimpering point. Adults should never have ear aches; they are painful. And most adults have no sympathy for you; especially if they have kids because they went through this ear ache pain with their kids. Regardless, this TMJ issue has prevented me from attending the last reunion of my elementary school. It is a Catholic school and it's closing. I haven't seen these people (with the exception of one woman who I am still very good friends with) since I was 12 years old. I am sure that this unmarried, childless, no prospects on the horizon, back in school grown-ass woman has nothing in common with these people who are simply fuzzy memories in my head. My friend is going with her husband. I asked her to tell me all about it. I would attend, but when my ear and mouth start to throb... well, let's just say it's not very pretty. Now that Adult Nationals are over, I have had time to think about my goals for the next skating season. My goals are occasionally more than I can accomplish given the time constraints and financial issues. However, I am sitting thinking about them. I really am determined to pass my Silver tests this year; yes THIS year. I will have to drag my behind to the rink more often. Since I have no social life to speak of really, it shouldn't be that difficult. (My social life is really just Deaf Events I attend. I have recently discovered that I prefer the company of people who know American Sign Language to those who do not.) With that in mind, during a rare practice, I managed to remember to over twist into back three turns. It worked. Duh! Now my back inside three turns are back to normal. I sometimes wonder how I did them before without thinking about it. I used to do a lot of things without thinking about it; like driving a stick shift. I signed up for a competition on June 2nd. Same competition (and currently ONLY competition) I've done before. It's me and one other woman, a friend, against one another in an artistic program. She out-jumps me and wins, every stinking year. And while it sucks, I refuse to dwell on it. "It's gotta happen, happen sometime. Maybe this time, maybe this time I'll win"* As you know, I've struggled with my weight for years. It all came to a head when I tried on a competition dress I ordered two years ago and never wore. Pulling on an all-in-one to counter-balance my fat, I pulled the dress on. Suddenly, I couldn't breathe. I felt a gripping pain in my abdominal area similar to what I imagine being attacked by a boa constrictor feels like. I struggled to get the dress and the support garment off, all the time alternating between saying, "I can't breathe" and "What the hell??" and laughing. It's always good to laugh at yourself. When I finally got both torture devices off, I realized two things: 1. I was fat. 2. I had nothing to wear for this competition. Without enough time to drop 60 pounds before June 2nd, and dealing with the intense pain the TMJ brought me, I fell back into an old habit: I stopped eating. It was okay, really, since my mouth and face hurt so much that chewing was too painful to think about. As a result, I lost six pounds. I should plan better. Make a list, check it twice, find the foods that are naughty or nice. And workout more. It's funny because I love to workout. But, I've dropped my gym membership in an effort to save money and I live in an apartment with really thin floors. I still workout during lunch, when I don't have a conference call, but I feel something is missing. If you can help me figure it out, I'd appreciate it. Now I'm off to buy something that flows to wear for the competition. And maybe burn that all-in-one... *Song: Maybe This Time from Cabaret.