Sunday, September 28, 2014


My last session left me in a great deal of pain. This is probably because of the intense workout I did earlier in the day. Had much pain? I still hurt and I skated three days ago. Add to the pain, a bad sinus headache and some depression and you have three days without skating. It's okay; I live in a duplex apartment (it's really a house that was marketed as a duplex) and I've been going up and down the stairs, very slowly. I surprised my coach by slowly performing a proper backspin with a total of 2 1/2 revolutions. We were both thrilled. My backspin success prompted her to allow me to try harder jumps. My disappearing flip jump almost returned, short of those crossed feet, causing me to land all the way around... on two feet. Grrrr.... Feeling like I couldn't lose, after my lesson, after faithfully practicing my moves again, I decided a camel spin was in order. I had speed, I had flow... I had a back spasm and my skating was over for the day. As I limped home, I thought more about the adult competition I wanted to plan. After receiving my exciting 9 responses (yes, 9), I thought about forgetting the whole thing. Why should I bust my hump trying to plan, plead and organize a competition when I couldn't even get a dozen people to respond to my query about an interest. Perhaps I continue because I'm stubborn. Or maybe it's just to spite the people who refused to respond; I don't know. What I do know is that I can no longer discuss it with the other ice monitor who I occasionally share a ride to the rink with. She's tired of hearing about it. How do I know? She told me this afternoon while we were working on a club event. She said skating was for the young and the club really didn't care about the adults because the money was in the kids. Point taken. However, the kids come and go; adults stay. Or they would, if they received any kind of respect. Three adult skaters have left that club because of the lack of opportunities and respect. This alone is one reason why it is not my home club. While my home club has no ice time, at least they treat me well. From my 9 responses, one suggested that I organize a competition in November. Hello?? Ever hear of a little thing called Easterns? One of my favorite lyrics comes from the show listed below. The lyric? "Keep your eyeball on the highball in your hand." "As we stumble along 'cross life's crowded dance floors. As we push and we shove we live and we learn. And when we finally leave the bar, And we see that morning star, we pull our boot straps up and homeward turn..."** As We Stumble Along from The Drowsy Chaperone. Music and lyrics by Lisa Lambert and Greg Morrison.

Monday, September 22, 2014

Knocking My Head Against the Wall

I believe it's in the movie "Rush Hour" when Chris Tucker asks "Do you understand the words that are coming from my mouth?" I understand his frustration on many levels. My dear readers, in my last blog, I posed the question as to whether or not you'd be interested in an adult skating competition in the NYC area in February/March. I asked that you please post your responses. I've received no responses, but only ten people have read the blog at this point, so I'm still hopeful. However, if you're reading this PLEASE tell my your thoughts on a competition in the NYC area in February/March (of 2016) before I try to convince a skating club to sponsor such a competition. Today, I skated part of a public session that began at 9:00am. It was relatively empty, with one speed skater (how DO they skate on those things? The blades look like my kitchen knives!), two hockey skaters; one who could skate and was semi-obnoxious about it, and another who couldn't skate well and lived in his own little world, singing at the top of his lungs to the music from satellite radio. Also joining me was a woman I know, doing figures and a young girl working on jumps and spins. Pretty empty. I worked on three turns until my back and legs ached. I must find a better warm-up for my creaky back because after ten minutes, I was in pain. Forty minutes later and I was in a lot of pain. My back doesn't really like the cold, or the heat, or humidity, or standing, or sitting or lying down. I'm not sure what my back does like, but as soon as I find it... The three turns were not my best, the left back inside was better than the right back inside and that has never happened before. I did a few outside mohawks, but that involved twisting too and well, twisting was not really on the menu this morning. Back spins. The bain of my existence. I managed to eek out several of them, but they were probably the ugliest, slowest back spins you'll ever see. After doing what I considered my best, another skater popped one out like she was taking in air. Oh well... That which doesn't kill us makes us stronger. I limped home, my knees and feet throbbing. My head achy from a lack of coffee and my back reminding me who the boss is. I sit at my desktop, typing this, wondering how many OTC medications I can take before it gets dangerous. Hopefully I'll be on the ice again on Wednesday. Until that time, I'm off to locate my heating pad...

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

What About Us?

This weekend, I volunteered to ice monitor at the 89th annual Middle Atlantic competition. I was lucky enough to witness some beautiful and exciting skating. It made me want to work harder. Since I spent the three full days standing in a cold ice rink, I was unable to skate an early morning public session. That's okay, I will workout and remain inspired. As a result of watching the competition, I have decided to try to organize an all adult competition in the NYC Tri-State area. I don't exactly know what it all entails but, since the Winter Classic was eliminated about six years ago I feel there's a need for an adult competition in the NYC area. The Winter Classic was canceled, not because of lack of interest, but because there weren't enough volunteers, nor enough competitors from the sponsoring club. Hershey no longer has adults at their competition, nor does Princeton. I skated all of those competitions, during some of the worse and best times in my life, including when my mother was dying in a hospital. While I wasn't always prepared and my nerves got the best of me 99% of the time, once I signed up, I skated. I miss those competitions; it gave me something to work towards other than hoping to test to go to Adult Nationals. I would like your opinions on the matter. Would you travel to NYC for an all adult competition prior to sectionals and nationals? Would you come at all? Yesterday, while battling NYS Unemployment (they have my name wrong. I have submitted EVERYTHING short of digging up my dead parents to confirm that my name IS my name), and possibly having to change my name to what NYS has on file and then change it back to what it is, I discovered that the rink right next door to my former employer has evening freestyle sessions. Another rink, not far from that location also has evening sessions. Where were these sessions when I was driving 42 miles round-trip to that hell-hole? THAT would have made the job tolerable. What a slap in the face! Trying to stay optimistic while spending 2 1/2 hours daily looking for a job. Will workout later, after I try to put my sister's new bed together. I had it together yesterday, but had two major pieces upside down!!!

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Love It When A Plan Comes Together

Middle Atlantics, the local and somewhat large competition held by the Skating Club of New York, is this weekend. I know because not only am I volunteering (it prevents me from having to pay to watch Junior and Senior Ladies), but because the rink had two solo competitive ice dancers, a senior man and a senior pair team. Toss in two little girls who didn't reach my waist, another skater, who can't see without her glasses and me and you have my freestyle session today. It really wasn't that bad. We, Amy and I, have figured out the problem with ALL of my three turns: twist. I don't twist enough. She thought it could be because of my back, but that's not the reason. I don't know what the reason is because it doesn't hurt to twist. I think I felt that if I thought about the three turn, it would automatically happen. Nope. So with more twist in my spine, I tried my worse three turn: right forward inside. Guess what? It worked. They ALL worked. The ability to complete my MIF was interrupted by the competitive skaters listed above, but that's okay. I'm going to hit the rink again on Monday morning (9:00am public session - wish me luck). In the meantime, I am hopeful and optimistic about my skating and finding employment. As a side note. it is my hope that one of the most recently overused piece of music will fall back into obscurity: Feelin' Good. Most people use the Nina Simone version (yes, that's a woman) and know nothing about the song. I surprised a coach today by giving her this information, and for the record, I never saw the show because I wasn't born yet. Feelin' Good is from the 1965 musical "The Roar of the Greasepaint, The Smell of the Crowd", written by Anthony Newley and Leslie Bricusse (same folks who wrote Candyman for the original Willie Wonka & the Chocolate Factory). The song is sung by "The Negro" (remember, it was 1964 when it was originally produced in London, came to Broadway in 1965, thus the term "Negro" was acceptable). The character is abused by the two main characters (Sir and Cocky) and despite that abuse, still manages to soar in the face of authority and win the Game. He leaves with dignity, much to the amazement of the other characters. It's a very deep song with a very deep message. Sadly, I don't think anyone who skates to it, gets it. If you can hear the original version of this song, do so. You may understand it better. That was my lesson on American Musical Theatre for today. The original singer was Gilbert Price, RIP.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Bring Back Figures!!

I am still winded from yesterday's lesson. Because I would like to take my Silver MIF test before they change it AGAIN, I stated that I want to test this year. I was also adamant that I would not move down to Bronze (which I can because I didn't pass the Silver freestyle test) in order to compete at Adult Nationals. I either do Silver or I don't attend. Me and my big mouth. So yesterday, 99% of my lesson was on the MIF. I did every move at least twice during lesson; some more than twice. Everything was picked apart. Everything. Toes were pointed, back was straightened, head was aligned, shoulders were down and arms were positioned. So, how'd it go? Well, some moves are ready to test: cross strokes, power pulls and spirals. Unfortunately, some are not: the mohawks, half of the three turns. My right forward outside mohawk is almost a figment of my imagination. It was getting better and then it went on vacation, sent me a postcard and has yet to return. The forward outside three turns aren't bad, but my right forward inside three turn is now inconsistent. And let's not talk about my back inside three turns. So, those four three turns have gone on vacation and are determined to stay away. I have sent out a search party to find them. The search party is being lead by Amy - the Wonder Coach. I'm not twisting enough in my inside three turns. This is a problem because my back doesn't always cooperate and my skates are breaking down rapidly. I am determined to figure out how fix this situation before October. The mohawks present another problem. The only time I've ever taken a bad fall while skating was on a mohawk; actually a split jump. I missed my toe and fell on my face (missed falling on my knees, hit my cheek instead). I'm sure I've related the story of biting through my bottom lip, having a hairline fracture of my cheek, somehow spraining my wrist and my mild concussion. I'm sure I mentioned driving home (on the street, not the highway) straddling both lanes. (At the time, I could swear I heard Tweety Bird singing.) With that in mind, I have had a mental block about mohawks that I'm still trying to overcome. I'm looking for a hypnotherapist to cure me of that problem. Until I find one, I'll just keep trying. Any suggestions?