Friday, November 12, 2010

Hot Mess on Ice



This week, I had the pleasure of having a skating lesson from one of my all-time favorite skaters, Jamie Silverstein.  I was up in Ithaca visiting 'He Who Will Not Skate' and let it be known that we were going to the ice rink at a certain time, whether or not he wanted to skate.  (He wound up being intimidated by the freestyle session and wouldn't go, as he has only ever skated in hockey skates---and a few times at that.)

As he got his head was talked off by a skating grandma, I took to the ice and tried to get my balance back.  As an adult skater, the heart is willing, but the schedule is not always so accommodating.  Being off the ice for almost a month, my balance needs to be back under control before I feel comfortable doing anything on the ice.  I feel that I am always trying to get back what I've done before.  There is always a period of progress and then I'm off for a while.  Stop and Go.  Stop and Go.


To watch Jamie Silverstein chase her students around the ice with an abundance of energy, one can hear Tori Amos singing in their head.  Her body is downright slinky.  Her knees just ooze all over the ice and her limbs naturally extend.  It makes you took a look at your own awkward body and feel utterly unworthy.

After she finished up with a student, Jamie skated over just as I was feeling a bit more comfortable on the ice and asked me what I wanted her to take a look at.  Knowing that my back crossovers can be a choppy and a mess at best, I decided to just focus on them.

Do you ever have a moment where your brain seems to just shut off?

When asked which direction I started to start with, I realized that I just think about back crossovers in terms of legs and sides.  So I just showed her...

There may be no worse feeling in the world than watching someone try to smiles and be nice as they take in a horrific sight.  After explaining my difficulties and trying to demonstrate what I 'thought' my problem areas were, I threw my arms up in the air mid-sentence and said "correct! Go to town!"


"When you think of a car, what is better a wider axel or a smaller axel?"
-"Um, I don't know about cars.  I'm gay.  Just put me in position!

Before long, a spark plug of energy was yelling at me to fix my ribs, lift my chest and press the weight of my foot on the wood of the boot.

"You want to not have your free leg be dead weight."
-"Oh I don't want it to be dead weight.  It just is."

It is easier to learn something the right way than re-learn it, so I was given all of the corrections all at once.  At one point, I got nervous when I stopped hearing corrections.

"Am I doing them right?"
-"I had Russian coaches.  I don't do compliments."

I've never sweat so much on the ice in just a T-Shirt.  I'll be back on the ice on Tuesday to keep the progress alive.  The addiction continues.

27 comments:

  1. "I had Russian coaches. I don't do compliments." I think I just found my new HBIC. :D

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  2. I know you wanted to be an auto mechanic after you saw Punsalan and Swallow's free dance.

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  3. This blog has been MIA on substantial content for a few weeks now, pretty dissappointing. There were no pairs or freedance coverage for Skate Canada-- not even for Chock & Zuerlein's cabaret; I was curious to see what you thought about that program. Flutzing around is taking all that you used to be good at and nixing the snark...better watch out. Come on, Aunt Joyce. Where's the good, thorough commentary that used to be your trademark even with your snark/sass?

    This is turning into the perezhilton of figureskating. And I really don't give a shit about your skating lesson-- how about some actual grand prix commentary?!

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  4. While I too, like C.X.Z., would like some more Grand Prix commentary, AJ, I do understand that you have a life outside of blogging (work, bf, family, etc). I am willing to wait for the skating posts.

    And hey, if you don't have anything pithy to say about whichever competition's going on at the moment, it's fine by me. I'd rather have witty one-liners than less inspired, obligatory fillers. I'm sure that soon enough, you'll be inspired to write those delightfully snarky zingers. :)

    Unlike my fellow poster, though, I'm interested in hearing all about your skating lessons, especially since you posted about Jamie Silverstein on formspring. Her comment about Russian coaches has made me fiercely curious about her time with Igor. :) I'm also living vicariously through you, because I don't have the time or the money for skating lessons... ;)

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  5. What's happening with Mattie Larson?

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  6. this was your cutest blog ever

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  7. Is that..MK in the pic..? What program was this?

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  8. To describe what Aunt Joyce does as "Snark" shows no appreciation for the point of his humor. He is not just being funny. He calls attention to serious things in skating that are often overlooked by using humorous perspectives.

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  9. Michelle looked graceful on ice even when she fell.

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  10. wtf, CXZ. Not sure how you missed this, but this blog provides a ton of content for FREE. Unless you're paying AJ a monthly subscription, I don't know where you get off bitching.

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  11. AJ, Mr. Rogers and I love you just the way you are. Don't change just because of a cranky bully. This post was charming and insightful, as they all are.

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  12. Jamie Silverstein is a goddess - saw her in Nice in 2000, fuck YEAH

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  13. So true what you say about Michelle's falls. Slutskaya always looked like she mopping the ice with her behind.

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  14. LOVED this post! Always great to read about fellow adult skaters.

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  15. "You want to not have your free leg be dead weight."
    -"Oh I don't want it to be dead weight. It just is."

    YES!!! This is sooooo true. Why didn't they tell me that BEFORE I broke my ankle??

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  16. That isn't MK in the photo---it is a random photo. Michelle's costume would never be that ugly.

    I love how C X Z tried to get me to blog more by trying to think of anything that would insult me. Yes, I really want to write for an unappreciative asshole. I'll get right to it!

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  17. Any Eastern sectional report? Especially curious with the Junior ladies competition.

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  18. Just curious. Why does Caroline Zhang try to look exactly like Michelle? Has anyone thought of taking her to a psychologist?

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  19. I was thinking man that looks like Michelle's face but I knew it couldn't be because of that ugly costume and the size of the skaters legs...too big. They also look a little bowlegged.

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  20. I believe the skater pictured in this entry is Gracielle Jeanne Tan, who represents (represented?) the Philippines. Her face does resemble Michelle Kwan's from certain angles.

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  21. Too big to be Michelle.

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  22. Excuse me, instead of bashing on the skater pictured, who happens to be a close friend of mine, why don't you all just focus on the topic of the post?
    how dare you say Gracielle's legs are too big, they aren't at all. She is an athlete and as one she needs the strength required to participate in her sport.

    Don't you dare bash on young skaters. It is cruel and as I'm assuming you're all adults, it is completely uncalled for.

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  23. thumbs up on previous post, i agree alyssa!

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  24. unless you had ever competed at worlds, four continents or even the junior circuit for all that matter, all you haters can just shut it. Getting to that level of figure skating's not as easy as you think. Gracielle's an extrememly talented and beautiful skater and i think her costumes are amazing. So stop with the negative comments, it's just showing how much you know about figure skating

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  25. and one more thing is it a crime to want to skate like the best skater in the world? If caroline can achieve that, then she will be amazing. I bet most of you people cant even stand on ice.

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  26. i don't understand why anyone could think gracielle's legs are big. the aren't at all. she is an amazing and hard working skaker and athlete with an amazing body. her costumes are gorgous and she is also extremely beautiful in every shape and form

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