Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Off Topic

This relates to skating only slightly; it's about my job. It relates to skating because it PAYS for my skating. In the 5 months I have had this job, in my incredibly small department of 7 people, 3 people have resigned. TWO of those 3 people were MY BOSSES!!! Now, I know it has nothing to do with me, but, it's beginning to make me a little uncomfortable... Should I start looking again?? Should I have never stopped? Why does my chest hurt all the time? I think that's stress... Three people in five months? My VP quit 2 days after I started. My director sent me a text message this evening because I had already left (after working 10 1/2 hours). Has this ever happened to you where everyone seems to be leaving and you're not and no one is telling you why?

Monday, January 18, 2016

Jump! (For Your Love)

I JUMPED TODAY!!!! Sorry about shouting, but I haven't been able to jump since late April when my old Klingbeils still had some support. Fast forward to today and I JUMPED!!!!! Was it pretty? Nope. But the jumps were high and they were landed. I hit some of the worse positions in the air and managed to still land on one foot. Weeeeeeeeee!!!!!!!!! I also did some of the ugliest spins known to mankind and they traveled to Istanbul and back. BUT, I was able to spin. I can only say to myself, "Welcome back!!" The lyrics to the old Pointer Sisters song are pretty inappropriate (don't you just love the music of the '80s? After all, "Every Step You Take" is a not a love song but about stalking someone.) and as a result, I won't be quoting that song here. But I will leave you with this... "Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase." Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. 1929 - 1968

Sunday, January 17, 2016


Can you believe this debate is STILL going on?? Recently, I was the unwilling audience to a parent who was "educating" me on the nuances of ISI vs USFSA. She was insisting that ANYONE could compete with almost no skating skills in under the ISI track. Her son, she mentioned, had started in ISI, but quickly out-grew the program at the age of 6 because he could already do a waltz jump. According to my educator, a waltz jump was the HIGHEST level in ISI. Apparently we participated in two totally different program, since ISI makes you perform jumps in the opposite direction and the USFSA does not. I made the foolish attempt to tell my educator all about the ISI, but my attempts seem futile. FS5, she insisted was the highest level and there was that waltz jump again. No, I told her, FS5 has a axel in it. You don't have to do it, I was told. Yes you do, I insisted because I WAS a FS5 skater and have the scars from axel practice to prove it. While I understand that ISI isn't usually for the "competitive" skater, as an adult, I can say, it's the way many of us began. If you recall some of my earlier posts, it was in FS5 where I had my very cheated axel (all the way around, but on two feet) and the beginnings of a double salchow and double toe loop. Not bad for someone who was told that ISI is only for Basic Skills skaters. And for the record, I think Basic Skills is pretty challenging. If I don't have to do a hockey stop, I won't. That's a move on Basic Skills. Perhaps my educator was confused between Basic Skills and ISI, I thought. Nope, she knew the difference, even quoting the moves on Basic Skills 8 (which includes a waltz jump). No, ISI was for people just shy of wearing rental skates and a helmet. My first competitions were ISI and while I struggled; I did enjoy it. I only stopped competing ISI because they stopped including adults. Initially, ISI levels were allowed in USFSA levels, but I'm not sure that's still the case. Regardless, many Silver skaters cannot do an axel, but there it is on FS5, which I think is the equivalent. Unfortunately for me and anyone else within ear-shot, this unfair comparison is really snobbery (is that a word?). Her son was a really good skater who quit and perhaps she is still having trouble accepting that fact. That's no reason to put down ISI, adult skaters (who, she says will NEVER achieve much of anything... You might want to tell that to the adult skater who is working on her Senior MIF) or anyone over five feet not working on doubles. As for me, I am just a recreational skater who is much more useful monitoring and announcing at competitions. Wow. The only skaters who are important are the young ones because they have the opportunity to go to Nationals or Sectionals. The rest of us are really just wasting ice time. But we pay, so we have our merit. For the record, I knew a young skater who competed in both tracks. She was on FS8 and Novice FS when I lost track of her. And for some reason, it didn't bother her, her coaches and the judges in any way, shape or form. As for my own skating; it's getting better. At least the pain is gone, but I'm working on my confidence. It seems to have packed up and moved away... Skate on, my friends.

Sunday, January 3, 2016

A Woman Has Dreams....

Good news! I took all of the padding, cushioning, etc. out of my skates and went "old school". Old school, for those of you who are unaware, was when you took thicker socks, wet them with hot water, put your skates on and either skated or walked around until the socks dried. Yes, it feels weird, but it actually works. Add to the mix, a new lacing pattern taught to me by a post on Skating Forums and (drum roll please), I can wear my skates!!!! Thank you, thank you very much. I added to my skate an inexpensive rubber arch support that seems to hit the spot. Today, I skated for 50 minutes and my arches only started to hurt at the final 5 minutes. I AM impressed!!! I am starting from scratch again, so my lessons consist of crossovers mostly. The skates aren't flexible at all and dig into my leg, which causes me to pitch forward on crossovers, but if I don't think about them, I can do them fine. It's a little frustrating to have to start all over again, but I am hopeful. And I refuse to quit. Today I discovered that there is a rink 10 minutes from my office and they have very quiet public sessions during the day. Looks like I found a place to go for lunch! At least I won't be disturbed while trying to watch videos of funny cats as I am now. I'd like to see my co-workers follow me to the rink! HA! Here's an odd bit of information. My new Jackson skates with the blades on them still weigh less than ONE of my old Klingbeils without the blades on them. That being the case, why do I feel as though my new skates are two blocks of cement strapped to my feet? Prior to this new result with my skates, I felt that I would just have to sell them and try again. You have no idea how happy I am. The lyrics below express how I felt BEFORE. "A woman* has dreams Of walking with giants To carve her* niche In the edifice of time. Before the mortar of her zeal Has a chance to congeal The cup is dashed from her lips The flame is snuffed aborning She's brought to rack and ruin in her prime"*** * The song was written for a man to sing, which I am not. ** A Man Has Dreams from Mary Poppins Music and lyrics by Robert B. and Richard M. Sherman.