Tuesday, October 29, 2013

It Might As Well Be Spring

I am suffering from "fall fever". It's a lot like spring fever, but in the fall. I want the weather to get colder, mostly because my apartment has too much heat and I wake up feeling as though a large Maine Coon cat has been sleeping on my face. Being congested makes me tired. Also, I'm having trouble concentrating. Saturday's lesson was great; I was surprised as I really just wanted to sleep (I want to sleep a lot lately; some might suggest depression). My coach and I worked on transitions: mohawks, three turns, brackets and of course, speed. I am seriously a clockwise skater; most moves in the other direction are awkward to me. Especially mohawks. In group lessons, where I was taught mohawks, I never learned the right forward inside mohawk, thus explaining why it's so weak. I also had a bad experience with the left inside mohawk and well, I've never done one at much speed since. I need to get over that if I expect to pass the Silver MIF. It is imperative that they (along with my three turns) improve. My left forward outside three turn is also weak, but not as weak as my right forward inside. I really don't understand these weaknesses. Occasionally, the brain switches off and they aren't nearly as bad as I think. Then, the brain switches back on and I am frozen in that spot. My backspins seem to be stuck at the top of the three turn. After turning the three turn, I come to a total screeching halt. Any suggestions out there? Does self hypnosis really work? I could use a bit more confidence and a lot less self-criticism. That brings me to Sunday. I am ice monitoring again, and I refuse to dwell on the parents of the skaters. Heck, I don't even plan on talking about them. But come my chance to get on the ice and my heart just wasn't in it. I feel frustrated and disheartened that I'm not improving, especially when I see another adult skater (who NEVER looks where she's going and hits some of the oddest positions I have ever seen in life)and discover she is taking her Gold MIF when she started in the last three years. I don't know what to do or where to turn. Should I try to get more ice time, more lesson time, more "hammer time", more "hog branding time**" or what? When I have the chance, I will try to discuss this with my coach and hope she has something more positive to say than "Why don't you just skate Bronze instead of Silver because you'll never be fast or good enough." Ouch. "I'm as restless as a willow in a windstorm, I'm as jumpy as a puppet on a string, I'd say that I have spring fever But I know it isn't spring..." It Might as Well Be Spring, from State Fair. Music by Richard Rogers, Lyrics by Oscar Hammerstein III ** Hog branding time - The Flintstones.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

No One Knows Who I Am

Recently, a woman in my ASL (American Sign Language) class gave me the ultimate compliment. She marveled at how much I knew about Deaf Culture, Deaf History and Deaf Social Events (FYI: Deaf is ALWAYS spelled with a capital D, like Irish, or Italian or French). She outline that so many obstacles were placed in my way in my goal to become an ASL Interpreter: I have no one in my family to really sign with; I didn't grow up in the Deaf community; my efforts to attend Gallaudet during my undergraduate years were thwarted; I work long hours at a full time job that entails my having to drive miles to get there and yet I am determined to make this work. I watch Youtube videos, read VLOGS (video blogs) in ASL, study constantly, sign always and even dream in ASL. She commented that I have a true passion for ASL and wished she had a passion for something. I then mentioned that I figure skate and she said, "Good grief! When do you sleep?" I mention all of this in an attempt to explain to myself my passions for ASL and skating. Durning the years I did neither, I felt as though I had been dropped in a deep, dark hole and slowly was shutting off my air. I was slowly dying inside. I skate and sign because I must. When I can't skate, I get depressed. This explains why I've gone without items in order to skate: food, doctor's appointments, medication, etc. Vacations have been scheduled around competitions. Dating and social events not related to the Deaf were canceled for the chance to skate. I skate in pain every time. I struggle with my weight to aid my health and to look better in skating dresses. I get frustrated when I no longer can do a move I was able to perform just two years ago. My body betrays me constantly; yet I fight on. I cannot explain this passion, this constant drive to improve in a sport geared toward youth. I cannot explain why I become so frustrated when someone who began after I did is able to perform skill that I cannot. Nor can I explain the feeling of hurt I feel when I receive a vote of "no confidence" or when there is an attempt to belittle my desires to move forward. I know I'm not Debi Thomas, Sarah Hughes, Alyssa Czisny nor Ashley Wagner; you don't have to remind me. I know I'm slow; I'm working on it. Please, just believe in me. Let me try. It may take me twice as long, I may have many more obstacles in my way, but I will keep doing it because to skate (and to sign) is to me, like breathing. "Look at me and tell me Who I am. What I am, What I am. Call me a fool And it's true, I am No one know who I am Time's not a friend Hurrying by No one know who Am I..." No One Knows Who I Am (original concept album recording lyrics) From Jekyll & Hyde. Music by Frank Wildhorn. Lyrics by Leslie Bricusse

Anyone Can Whistle

After spending an entire summer not taking any vacation time, I decided to take my two comp days (for working a weekend) and go skating. Well, I did for one of the days as I was too dog-gone tired the next day to do it again. On Thursday, I skated the "Coffee Club", an interesting freestyle/dance session filled with people I would respectively call by their sir names. I am not a kid, but since most of these skaters are older than I am, I would be respectful and call them "Ms. Q" or "Mr. C". It's the way I was raised. Either way, any time I'm on a session and someone tells me I move too fast, I know that's a slow session. Happily, it was a double session (110 minutes) for an affordable $30.00. I didn't really care, as it was also a relatively empty session. And yet, I kept getting cut off. To the lady who never looked where she was going: how do you do that? You're doing back crossovers looking where you came from, not where you're going. You were surprised when you slammed into the boards. Why? To the lady who thought it was funny to spin just as I took off in a jump: Sorry I hit you, but you did see me coming. You really couldn't miss me. I was the thing in the air when you stepped into your two-foot spin in the jump corner. To the gentleman in the helmet who I could not figure out which way you were going: the two women listed above, whom you slammed into probably have something to say to you. Me? Well, I'm just curious as to what happened to the rule where you must be at least Freestyle 1 to skate on a freestyle session. Keep working on that snowplow stop; you'll get it soon. Bend those knees. My MIF are improving, even with a sore, stiff back which is what I had on Thursday. I pushed through the pain and stiffness to do all of the Silver Moves, not perfectly, but I plowed through. I'm still having a problem with three turns either being too early or too late. The RFO3s are too early, the LFO3s are always flat. The RBI and LFI3s are also flat, but the LBO3 is too late and the RBO3 is too early. Also, either my 3s are too small or when I'm going down the ice, the surface increases, because I'm up to eight or nine 3 turns per side. The goal is four or five. Once, I had twelve sets. Yes, twenty-four 3 turns in total. Don't ask how, I have no idea. I neglected to mention that I was asked to join an Adult Ice Theatre group. I think the coach just wanted adults and didn't base this on my skating ability. They meet on Thursdays in the early afternoon, so I can't make every rehearsal, but I will when I can. The first thing I noticed was that the moves were righty dominated, which for this lefty is kind of hard. The next thing I noticed was no one seemed to understand the concept of spacing. As we were warming up, doing right power 3s, the person on my right was so close to me we could have kissed. The person on my left was even closer as I was unable to move anywhere except behind them both. I hope the spacing issue is cured soon because I'd like to finish the warm-up without injury or having to skip parts because I have no room. After years of dance classes and doing theatre, you'd think I'd catch on to choreography quickly. Nope. There's a part that after doing it a dozen times, I still don't know what the footwork is, but I can say, it was fun. Extremely hard work, but fun. Can't wait to take another Thursday off and return. Oh yes, accidentally did an axel on Sunday; was aiming for a waltz jump. That's how my skating goes. "What's hard is simple What's natural comes hard..." Anyone Can Whistle. Music and lyrics by Stephen Sondheim.

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Please Excuse the Interruption...

Just when I think things can't get any more confusing, Blogger.Com informs me every time I log on that I'm not following anyone else. Really? I do follow a few other blogs; about 7. I play a crazy game of "hot potato" trying to locate the ones I follow. Why did this happen? Who the heck knows! I am an intelligent woman, yet, I can't figure out how to put a picture into this blog; how to get the GPS on my cell to work or the shortcut to the rink in Bethpage. (I KNOW there has to be a shortcut! There HAS to be!!) If you'll forgive me, I'm supposed to be studying. I won't be at the rink this Saturday, as I have a fashion show to attend. Sunday, I return to my ice monitoring duties, with the hopes of getting more than 15 minutes on the ice. Therefore, I'm off. Until next time... (Why doesn't the format ever change? Bold? Italics? Where are they???)

Saturday, October 5, 2013

Keep On Keeping On

I must say right off, I thought I posted this LAST WEEK, but I forgot. So, some of this information is a bit old. Sorry. I wanted to put a picture, or a GIF into this post, but, I don't how. Someone told me recently, but I can't remember where I put the information. So, if you know, please tell me again, because it might make this blog more interesting. Saturday morning skates are always interesting, mostly because I usually have a cocktail on Friday night. Okay, I have two, but really, who's counting?? So after six hours of sleep, I drag myself out of my really uncomfortable bed (I need a new mattress; something much firmer), put my face on and go to the rink. Since I take the subway and they are forever doing track work (which is odd because I've never actually seen anyone doing work on the tracks...) it's always a dance as to what I have to do to get to the rink by 8:00am. Today everything worked in my favor, including the crosstown bus! But boy, was that session CROWDED!! Everyone is working toward next week's North Atlantic Competition. Hyped up on adrenaline, caffeine, sugar and hope, 30+ skaters flew down the ice. One girl fell and took two other skaters with her because they were so in their own worlds. Enough about them. What about me? I believe my workouts are paying off. I have more stamina, more spring to my jumps, more speed in my spins. Heck, even my MIF look better. They look like the Silver MIF. If I keep this up (and I will!!!), I may be able to test in a few months... And pass!! Even my coach is optimistic. I can't think of a musical theatre quote. Maybe I should get more sleep and not drink on Friday nights when I know I have skating followed by several hours of class in ASL.