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

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 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




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?"


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 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...


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