Thursday, December 29, 2016

Star Trek Goes to the Rink

Bad Ass Skater sent me this picture via text:


I responded:

"Bat' Leth Skates?"

He replied:

"Hahah, helps you Klingon to an edge"

For those occasions when the pun is too much for one facepalm to handle

Monday, December 26, 2016

Year End Skating Posts: Summation of Injuries and Falls for the Year

When I took a tumble doing a waltz jump



 When I took a 'slow fall' during a spin

 When I crashed into the boards while going fast during an edge class 

What it's like to blog post after a skating injury. 

Sunday, December 18, 2016

Things only Figure Skaters Understand #11

The moment when for the first time my boots are broken in enough for me to lace all the way to the top





Because I have ankles like a heifer, 
the laces are now too short.





It only took me 2 and a half years.
And now that I'm doing back eights I need the support.
Still using Katsratpz to keep the tiny lace ends under control

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Dealing with a Bad Fall

I took a bad fall on my front steps this morning that were covered by ice. I know, irony.

The edge of the step hit me in the back just at the level of my diaphragm and knocked the wind out of me. I went all the way down the steps on my back, rolled off the sidewalk then lay flopping around on the ice covered grass for about 30 seconds. Legs work? Arms work? Can I get up? I passed the checklist. A-OK

So I got up and staggered to the house, very carefully negotiating the steps on my hands and knees. Then because I had dropped my purse, I went back and got it. Then had to go back down again and find my keys. Finally, I got in the house and settled on the bed.

I lay there decided whether to go to the rink. Mmmm, can't tell how much I hurt myself. I was in pain, but pain is what you make of it. I decided to apply my traditional solution when I haven't broken any bones.

1. Take an OTC anti-inflammatory.
2. Lay down on a heating pad for about 10 minutes.
3. Get up and start moving.

I don't have any medical proof that this is the best approach for dealing with the issue. It's what works for me.

Here's my theory:
1. The anti-inflammatory keeps the muscles that have taken a blow from hurting in the future by  reducing  the inflammation that will probably hit me in 4 hours.
2. 10-20 minutes of heat right after the injury is a technique to deal with immediate pain.
3. The walking around keeps the muscles from stiffening up later in the day.

When I had the breath knocked out of me, I thought I'd had it for the day. But after about 20 minutes lying down, I got up and went to Advent confession.  Usually there's a line but Hey! after an ice storm all the people desperate to go to confession before mass were staying home, so zip zap thunderclap I was done.

Then I went to LOWE's and bought myself a gallon container of sidewalk ice melter.   I'm prepared now, just in case it happens again.


Off to the rink! Feeling all better!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Paul Wylie Adult Skating Seminar

From ISk8NYC over on skatingforums.com

Paul Wylie, Silver medalist 1992 Olympics
Paul Wylie is going to conduct a skating seminar for the Central Carolina Skating Club at the OC Sportsplex in Hillsborough, NC.  There will be on- and off-ice sessions and other skating opportunities.

The planned dates are:

Saturday, Feb. 18 - Adult Seminar  (4-7:30pm)
Sunday, Feb. 19 - Youth Seminar (8am-1pm)

Registration will open on January 1st for non-club members.

The link to registration will be posted over on skatingforums.com in the thread linked above.

(For those of you who are too young to know what a forum is, it's like Facebook, but anonymous)

I took a fan lesson (I'm a fan, and took a lesson) from Paul several years ago. He's got a lot of good coaching techniques (which I was not strong enough for then, but am now). Great coach, and it's a real pleasure to watch him coach another adult skater. If you're interested, keep looking at the skatingforums link and ISk8NYC will post the sign up link when it comes up.


Saturday, December 10, 2016

Titty Tassels

I'm having a problem with hunching my upper body on some elements and my coach says "Keep the girls up!" Waves arm dramatically, "Show the audience the girls, that will keep your chest up and keep you from bending over."

Bending over occasionally, is a left over habit. It just happens and I need to break it.

I wickedly say, "So if I'm supposed to show the audience my girls, can I wear titty tassels on my costume?" Because, apparently titty tassels are pretty mainstream now.


Even guys do it, and it the contra-rotation mode which is harder I'm told.


My coach gives me a frown, "Oh you can do it. But not while I'm your coach, the coach always gets the blame for stuff like that."

So... BETWEEN coaches is Okay?

And, apparently it is....




Things only figure skaters understang #1100 (Base 2)

What Happens when I ask my coach what's on the menu for today's lesson

Mycoach...

ME

 

Monday, December 5, 2016

Volleyball shoulders; Eyerolls; and Three Turns

Last week you may remember that I used a visualization technique to break myself of the habit of jerking my forward shoulder to make a FO3. I visualized that my shoulders were actually volleyballs. 

Meh, that may not work for everyone, but it really helped me. If I focus on the volleyball image, then my turn is smooth. I slip up now and then and forget the volleyballs, and my body falls back on old habits and I jerk the forward shoulder. In the main, 95% of the time, it works.

But while I can make a smooth turn, my coach wasn't happy with my back edge. "You've got a bad habit of dropping your inside hip, and bending your head forward. If we can break that habit, you'll be able to check that edge and increase your run out."

Why am I dropping that hip? I think it's because I drop my head. And that doesn't even have to be much of a drop. I feel my head is erect, ballet like, but apparently it isn't.

So how to fix that, I wondered. I came up with rolling my eye up to the top of the ceiling. I mean, so high that for a brief instant I can't see anything. I did this several times during practice sessions.

And yes it works. In fact it works very, very well. It helps me get my head in the correct position, and maintain my head stability. I won't use it every day, but it's a good technique to break bad habits.

So this week my coach hands me the glove of shame for my FI3  and she's right in my face. Volleyball arms-eyeroll-three turn. My FI3 are beautiful.

My coach was rather huffy with me and said in an offended way, "Why are you rolling your eyes at me?"


Oops.

Sunday, December 4, 2016

The PSA Loves the Ice Doesn't Care !

Love may be a slight exaggeration, but they did call out the Ice Doesn't Care in their monthly newsletter. Showin' the love, PSA, showin' the love...

But, but, that means actual coaches  read my blog!  I've got  the feels of happiness.



And what particular post got called out:  I have a Date with an Advil !




Saturday, December 3, 2016

I get my sense of smell back...at the rink

Back in 1980, I had a head injury and lost much of my sense of smell.  For decades the scent of the world around me has been muted, like looking at a beautiful sunset through a heavily tinted window.

Thursday night after group, we were gathered around the Adult Freestyle Circle of Fire, chatting away. 

Then one of the denizens of the hockey locker room opened the locker room door next to me and suddenly a tide of stench rolled out, hit my nose, and for the first time since 1980, I got a full whiff of reality. Skaters have told me about this smell, but I never...I mean, I really never comprehended..... as if I was blinded by a nuclear explosion of fetor, I compulsively yelled out...

"OH DEAR GOD WHAT THE HELL IS THAT SMELL!!!"



It smelled like a dead cow, left to rot in a summer field,  wrapped in a plague, tied up with a bow of moldy jock straps, then covered in the mildew of scorn and the dew of despair.

The hockey player, a grown man on the farm team, slid out, head down and ran out on some errand.

We figure skaters spoke loudly about the odor, hoping our words would haunt him throughout the building. When he came back we continued  to belittle the filthy habits of the hockey team and yet we managed to do this while not paying attention to him at all. He had to thread his way between a bunch of women and one guy who were ignoring and insulting him at the same time.

We kept the loud discussion of filthy habits, and 'good luck' superstitions, going for a bit more. Then I noticed the door of the locker room had cracked open and a single eye was looking at me in terror.

I gave Bad Ass Ice Dancer a high sign so we could move down to the other end of the bench, and as we moved Bad Ass Ice Dancer made a loud and  pointed comment: "I once shared a locker room with the Wisconsin Badgers Green Bay Gamblers...AND THEY DIDN'T STINK!"

 Now that I've smelled it once, I smell it every time I go to the rink. I'll never be able to eat at the Cafe' again.


This is a corpse flower, with an odor of rotting flesh, apparently they're growing them
in the hockey locker room

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Air

When you're learning jumps, you get air between the ice and your blades. Some people have great air, and other people have 'credit card air.'  In other words, they clear just about the height of a flat credit card. Sadly, sometimes a lot of effort doesn't get much reward, but you have to start somewhere.

Credit Card Air

I don't think I even have credit card air.

Right now,  I have 
yappy little dog overdosed on espresso air.

And I swear, I am this adorable



Sunday, November 27, 2016

Checking Three Turns...Still

You know when you have some 'little problem' with your skating and your coach keeps coming back to it again and again. Meanwhile, you're just toddling along happy enough to be doing that skill 'good enough' until your coach decides to have a 'fixie' lesson.

Yeah, checking FO3 is back. Again. Because I can't check my 3's. Still.

Basically, not enough ice time to fix everything that's
wrong with my skating.
I've developed this turn technique where I jerk my leading shoulder to make the 3 happen.  My coach looks at it, and asks, "Can you not do that?"

"I can try."

Anyway,  so I visualize volley balls in my shoulder joints. I know, you're thinking, where the heck did that come from? Man who knows; Back during '70's  there was all this hippy visualization shit I picked up from somewhere, and to be frank, Volleyballs in my shoulders just popped into my head.

Does it work? Yeah, pretty much. It's a trick to get me to hold my arms and shoulders in the right position, but it's not like a miracle occurs.

Then since I'm holding my upper body differently, I have to fix my push off, upper body, freeleg position, and head position.

Start out 'fixing' one thing, end up fixing 5 things. That's figure skating for you!






Thursday, November 24, 2016

Christmas Gifts for Every Skater

It's that time of year again for the annual Ice Doesn't Care Blog Christmas gift list. A couple of repeats here of things that are really worth while

1.  Conductive fiber.  
This thread can be sewn into the fingertips of gloves so a skater who has a beloved pair of gloves can continue to wear them, and still use them on touch-screens.  I know there's gloves with touch screen compatibility built in, but they're crap. This thread gives you more conductivity.

2, No Slip gloves   These are the stretchy gloves with little rubber/plastic nubbins on the palms to keep  expensive electronics from slipping onto the ice. If you can't find them that are touchscreen compatible, you can always sew in some conductive fiber. Mission done!

3. Freestyle or public ice tickets. Everyone loves gift ice!

4. Pay for a skating seminar or lessons with a ballet teacher, physical trainer, or even some sessions with the Alexander Technique (for adults).

5.  Volunteer to help stone a costume. True friends will do this.

6. Skating protection for the skater with jumping falls. I like SkatingSafe, but there's other companies out there.


For Coaches.

1. Cash. Back when I gave cash as a gift to my coaches, I usually made it for 2 lessons (but never less than $50). Some people don't like to give money, but you and your coach are in a business relationship, it's not necessary to give something personal unless you are friends. And by friends I mean go to each others house, or see each other socially to the point where you know tastes in music, hobbies, sports teams and decoration. If you're reading this blog you probably don't have a high level coach who's taken skaters to national or international events. If you do, discreetly ask  another adult skater  how that coach feels about Christmas 'bonuses'.  That level of coach lives in a different world than I skate in, so no clue.

2. Booze. I do not kid you, the sweetest little ol' coaches that you ever did see will ask for liquor. Some will be very specific on brand.


3. Booze wrapped in money.

Probably a little over the top, but hey! it's Christmas!

Tuesday, November 22, 2016

MovesTests

How you feel at the beginning of the test


Then comes that moment when things begin to go horribly, horribly wrong

Sunday, November 20, 2016

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Introducing the Maple Leaf Flip

According to Miss Cheerleader, air actually passed between my blades and the ice, with a nice upper body position in my Canadian style half flips or as I shall call it "the maple leaf flip".

 AND BOTH WAYS!  Hear that old age and Death, my maple leaf flips has AIR and BOTH WAYS!


 Please Rise Ladies and Gentlemen for the Canadian National Anthem
(with a Maple leaf flipping in the air appropriately)


(okay it was like credit card air, but it was still air.)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

My Skating Stash Has Got Out of Hand

I left the rink in a hurry after Friday public last week, and accidentally left my wrist guards and my gloves. I didn't notice until I got to lesson the next day. Well, I had an extra pair of gloves in the bag, and (I reassured myself) I had a backup pair of wristguards at home.

I went into the storage 'room' (third bedroom) when I got home to pull out my back up wrist guards from my 'stash'.

I'd show you a picture of it, but I'm just too embarrassed

3 old worn out duffels, one of which holds my Death costume and extra bits of fabric for costumes, the rest are filled with gloves I bought on sale, knee highs, winter hats, and 'WTF is this in here for?' stuff.

A huge rolling  tool box that I once thought would hold my entire skating stash. It has a pair of dance boots in the bottom, and the two trays are filled with mismatched blade guards, and my extra wrist guards! Woohoo!

Two totes filled with blade rags, mismatched gloves, moleskin still in the package, callus doughnuts still in the package,  pens, stamps, and notecards leftover from a long ago skating party.

A pair of freestyle boots sitting by themselves all on their lonesome. Plus, 3 pairs of blades (including 1 pair of patch blades), a pair of boot insoles, leftover boot fitting thingies, and a boot punch.

A dance dress that still doesn't fit, a red lace bolero for the failed canasta tango, a body shaper, and a pair of black booty shorts to wear under the dress.

And on top of the pile, like a cherry on a sundae, is a viking hat that I'm saving for a costume someday in the future. It just appeared on my desk one day at work, and I knew what it was meant for. Thank you, unknown skating costume donor, whoever you are.
Now everything is spread over the floor as I try to reorganize it. It looks like  the leftovers of looting in a Winter Wonderland at Macy's after Christmas is over.

I think I'm going to get some plastic containers, and a labelling system. Or maybe, I need something like this...

"Luggage, hand me some gloves."





Saturday, November 12, 2016

Things Only Figure Skaters Understand #11

When You Get to the Rink and Find Some Piece of Skating Equipment is Missing From The Car

GLOVES

TIGHTS


BLADE GUARDS

 Wrist Guards or Pads



SKATES!!!!!!


Friday, November 11, 2016

Spanish Three Turns, Salchows, and the Canadian Half Flip

There are group lessons where I'm totally lost.  Maybe it's because I'm always standing behind the coach so I can't make out what she's saying, or in my old age I'm losing my hearing, but I have no idea how all this stuff ties together. The coach had a lesson plan, and there was a coherent thread of skills development, I just have no idea what it was.



We start off with 'Spanish Three Turns'. A Spanish three turn is where you do a double clap on the entry glide, bring your hands to your chest for the turn, then do a double clap on the back glide. I think this is to teach you to bring your hands to your chest during a turn and to help with timing. Honestly, I just liked the fact that the double clap made me work on holding my back glide. In case you don't know how to double clap, I found a training video.

Yeah, I know, there's a lot of weird stuff on the internet.

Then we did the Salchow. There was a lot of turning, arm positioning, head positioning, use of the core, etc. There's an arm I'm supposed to keep forward, or maybe back. Five minutes after the lesson is over I forget.

But during the class  I could step through the Salchow. That means my feet don't leave the ground, let's leave it at that.

I did get a pat on the back for my upright posture on the back glide into the jump entrance.  Woohoo!

Finally we learn the half flip. We learned the Canadian Half Flip--sadly I can't find any videos.  However, I can explain it. Back inside glide, toe pick in with the free foot, jump up with a half turn, land on the original skating foot.  Sort of an inside out half Lutz.

The American half flip, has like a mini-bunny hop at the end.

The American Half Flip

Anyway, it's my goal to learn all the half jumps. One down! Sorry, it has to be Canadian!


Spreading knowledge of their non-USFSA half flips


Saturday, November 5, 2016

Things only Figure Skaters Understand #10

Ever have one of those moments when you're working on something and a superior skater comes and nails it right in front of you. This is then followed by an exchange of looks....

I'm working on my 1 foot spin, when a girl FIFTY YEARS YOUNGER THAN I AM (15) comes in front of me and when she finishes a decent one foot spin, stops  and.......


She Looks at Me




I look at Her

Thinking: Your life must be pretty boring if you want to smack down an
adult old enough to be your grandma




She looks at me




I look at Her

Thinking: No offense sweety but I've had decades of staring people down
She Looks at Me
I look at Her
Thinking: Jeeze Louise, give it up already
She Skates Away 
I asked another adult skater what she does when stuff like this happens. She says, "Oh, I just tell her 'Nobody likes you'."
Damn, that's harsh. She really cut that 'figure skating ice princess' shit down to the bone with one strike.
 


Wednesday, November 2, 2016

Sweater Weather


Who doesn't love to wear a cute sweater to the rink? 

Champions
Bites thumb looking at Charlie's profile...




Old Fashioned Skaters
I*want*This*Outfit!
Movie Stars
oh yea,...."Toepick!"


That little girl in a sweater with a bunny on it skating fast in the wrong direction right at me on a crowded public  and I had to fall hard on a back edge so I wouldn't crash into her




Sigh...Me