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.