Saturday, March 9, 2013


Last year, after canceling several lessons first for back pain, and then after the knee went 'kablooey' (TM applied for)  I gave my coaches notice. It's been several months since I skated regularly, and today I finally think I'm ready for a coach to get me back into shape.

Let me be frank, I'm a weak enough skater now with one bad knee, that  it's going to be a long, long time before I get on public again (unless it's a summer, noon public) so since both my old coaches could only coach me on public, I'm looking for a new coach.

Right now the thought that some slack-jawed jackass who thinks he's God's gift to hockey, but who can't stop without slamming into the boards, will run into me, makes my blood run cold. Ditto for little kids kneecapping me. Or a teenager who will grab me on their way down.  I don't want to go into injured status yet again.

The last lesson I skated on public was a nightmare. It was the rink where I skated with Cruella. Publics there had very few ice tourists. What it had were adults and kids practicing furiously, oblivious to other skaters.  Think of it as an overcrowded high level freestyle combined with a hockey game. Hockey learners practicing patterns,  15 people in the jump and spin area,  people jumping and spinning in the end zones,  hockey guys hogging the corner circles,  coaches on the boards with their little kids, little kids where little kids go which is everywhere. And the sessions were absolutely packed.  Aaaaaargh!

Cruella had me in fast crossovers on the center circle, and no one is paying any attention to the fact that I'm going fast. I have my eyes moving, keeping on top of what the 14 other people inside the cones are doing, when a little girl skates into the coned off zone, directly in front of me and










Ever have that moment where your brain has sent a signal to your leg, and your limb has started its action, then you need to change that action, and your. body. will. not. respond?  My brain is screaming to my leg "don't step down! don't step down!" but the "step down" message is first in the queue.  I can't override the "step down" message in time. We're talking fractions of a second here.  Fortunately, I was then strong enough that I was able to extend the crossover so that I didn't step on the little girl, but my blade did brush her jacket and I actually had to step over her in the cross!

When I think about it, I can still see that little pink jacket and feel the blade touch it. I don't think I could pull out of that step down now. And I'm not going to put myself back in that situation.

So freestyle skating only for me for now!


  1. Don't you just love the falling kid directly in your path? I skated a crowded public session last night where said kid was going against traffic and fell because (surprise here) he was startled by me coming at him in the opposite direction. Of course he didn't know about falling safely, and had his hands just where I could slice his little fingers right off with my skate blade. If I hadn't been quick enough to hop over his hand, it would have been bye-bye fingers for him. Where was the skate guard, you ask? On center ice, eyes glued to cell phone, texting away, oblivious to all the breaches of rink etiquette flying around that teenage head of hers. Parents? Nowhere to be found. Kid must've been no more than six years old, in a rink full of strangers, without a parent. So, kid got an earful from me. I know by now talking to the skate guard would've been futile.

  2. That's a scary story. I hope the little girl's parent didn't coming rushing out and blaming you!

    1. The little girl's coach(!) apologized to me. That coach knew my name, and yet could never see me on the ice. More than once the coach skated backwards into me. I'm sure it was not deliberate or singling me out but I was just beneath notice (or beneath the coach's eye line) . But I learned to keep my eyes open.

  3. I am about to sound like a very mean person, but...

    If the kid had gotten hurt, it would have been her fault and her fault only, I know she was just a little girl, but it's similar to people who drive into traffic going the wrong way. You do everything you can to avoid the person, but in the end, it's the wrong-way driver's fault.

    Glad it worked out okay. I hate public sessions for several reasons; your experience is just one of them.

  4. I took about a 6 week break from skating (Nov-Jan), because public sessions had gotten so crowded. November and December seem to be popular months for public skating here. During a private lesson a coach's kid skated right into me causing both of us to fall. The coach asked if her son if he was okay...but she didn't ask me. Right after my lesson a friend of mine was doing a spin (in the middle of the rink) and a little kid ran into her. She fell and broke her leg. She is just now (4 months later) able to skate again. I can't afford to skate during freestyle sessions and I'm also intimated by the advanced teen skaters. haha Luckily, public sessions have calmed down a bit, and I have a new day/time for my privates when the rink is empty. I hate feeling like the clumsy adult skater that's blamed for kids not paying attention. I absolutely hated taking group lessons with kids. They don't seem to understand that I have long legs and can kick them if they get too close while I'm doing a camel...

    1. The horrifying thing about crowded publics is that even if you can avoid a person headed towards you, is that you will probably run into someone else, or injure yourself avoiding hitting them.

      The good thing about freestyle is that if you see a collision coming, the ice is open enough that you have a chance to get out of it.