Saturday, September 11, 2010

Foray Into Adult Skating

Aunt Joyce made a rare appearance today: in an ice rink. It has been several months since I've tortured the ice with my presence. I've been itching to get back on the ice, but my schedule had taken me away for song long that I was afraid of the level of hot mess that would ensue.

The skating addiction is a funny one. For one, it is absolutely true that the sport draws in intense, neurotic, obsessive-compulsive nut jobs. The moment I get on the ice and start having the ability to do something, it feels like a craving that one can never get enough of. Ice has a way of providing a feeling of freedom and wind that I crave. It certainly agrees with my sweating issues.

Today, I just worked on getting my edges back and doing good crossovers. I snuck in the occasional ina bauer variation because I am definitely an ice queen. That said, it seemed like my return to the ice would be rather short-lived after 10-15 minutes into the session. My feet were KILLING me. This happened the last time on the ice and I thought: Did I buy the wrong skates? Do they need to be punched out?! Is this how it is supposed to feel?! No wonder Johnny doesn't do full run-throughs!

It turns out that after time away, I always think that I need to tie my skates as tightly as humanly possible. They just can't. get. tight. enough! It turns out that this tends to cause a little pain. After wussing out in the penalty box and retying them, my ego took a severe beating when an 80 year-old man asked me to hit play on his music for him. After being shown up by a senior citizen, I was ready to go. (Note that it still takes me forever to tie my skates.)

I was just starting get into my groove when a wonderful Asian skating mother got my attention. Being a physicist, she was helping her daughter with her footwork and spins. (I later came to learn that she calculated her daughter's base value to make her almost unbeatable in Intermediate.) "Are you Aunt Joyce?!" "You love all of the Asian girls!" "I knew it was you!"

Now you know I was feeling like Sasha Cohen did at Nationals when I was approached. If only I didn't have those extra two pounds on my stomach! The AP scholar in me makes me want to show my best to my Asian heroines. I immediately started pushing myself harder once I saw her daughter rock a straight line step sequence that was clearly designed by an ice dancers.

I went back to working on my two foot spins and eventually attempted crossovers on both sides of the body. Way for God to make one side of our bodies so much stronger than the other! Great design work on that one, big guy! For the record, my counter-clockwise back crossovers just never feel like cooperating. We maintain a difficult relationship. I even got a little crazy and rocked some waltz jumps. I know, I'm out of control.

As with any good session, the fun didn't end on the ice. While talking to one of my new favorite skating mothers, she challenged me: Who do you like better, Mao or Yu-Na?!" The pressure was one to establish my flip-flopping nature regarding those two! I may have even been sweating a tad. It is good that I was wearing prescription deodorant.

While chatting and putting away my skates, another inspiring skating mother (this one from Franklin Lakes---home of the Manzos!) interjected with one of my favorite quotes I've heard in a while.

"When people watch Rachael Flatt, they really get the sense that ANYBODY can be a figure skater. I'm sure she's inspired a whole subset of people to take up the sport."

P.S. The lovely Level Four Skating Mother won my eternal love when she let it slip that she coordinated a trip to the 'Michelle Kwan Rink' when vacationing in Los Angeles. They just so happened to find a hotel five minutes from the East West Ice Palace and even made the thirty minute drive to skate at the Toyota Sports Center with Frank Carroll. Clearly, this is something we all need to be doing when heading to the West Coast. If the Kwan's really wanted to make money, they just should've put the rink in West Hollywood, where all of Michelle's fans reside.


  1. There must be a lot of skating moms who read AJ. That Franklin Lakes mom is so wonderful for finding the silver lining in 2010. Thanks for showing me that some good came from Rachel Flatt after all.

    I really like it when you write about skating moms.

  2. Where do you skate, AJ? FYI, I was at MIDS today and Ms. Yao placed 5th in the Intermediate Ladies Final.She's quite the spinner/footwork technician.

  3. AHAHA on the Rachael Flatt comment. Even my mother, who watches figure skating with me (because my friends don't understand the awesomeness that is figure skating) and never has a mean word to say about anybody, could only comment that Flatt seemed like "a nice girl" who was very accomplished academically; she didn't say anything when I asked her how she felt about Flatt's skating.

    Olivia is adorable, and her mother is fabulous. You totally need to invite yourself along on their trip to Michelle Kwan Land (which is what the Kwan family should establish so that the Kween may rule over this domain).

  4. I skated the 8:15 (8:30 by the time I got my skates on) session at Ice Vault. Olivia's mom mentioned that she was competing later on during the day but I thought she said that Olivia also had Chinese school. Frankly, the only thing that could've made that sentence any better or more wonderfully Asian was if she mentioned that Olivia was practicing violin in the back of the van on the way to Chelsea Piers.

  5. I almost went to Mids today but I wound up cleaning and then passing out during the early afternoon.

  6. when are you sgoign to start competing and stuff.

    It sounds like ASM was pretty normal really. How refreshing!

  7. You know I was sweating over that Kim-Asada answer. People who read here really want to KNOW my full opinion.

  8. Willing to include Yao among your adopted daughters, AJ? :)

  9. I love this entry! Quite funny to hear about your own skating