Thursday, August 25, 2011

Foray Into Adult Skating: Following My Dreams

As an adult skater, it takes a serious amount of inner confidence to bring one's almost-six-foot-tall frame to the ice and work on establishing the balance and posture necessary to be a respectable ice diva.  I've been working off the ice on my posture, strength, flexibility and cardio in order to accelerate my progress.  Learning how to skate as an adult makes me wish I complained, nagged and pleaded just a bit harder as a child.  That didn't happen (despite jumping in front on my television set for hours upon hours), so I have to make up for lost time.

Deep inside me, I have the desire to perform and compete.  It is what keeps me icing my swollen knees and shredding my hamstrings in order to attain the flexibility I've always wanted.  The unfortunate part of being a critical bitch is that I recognize many of my aesthetic flaws and feel the need to correct them immediately.  The drive inside myself is igniting my inner discipline.

After three days off the ice due to landing on my knee cap, I dove back into training with alacrity.

Tuesday, I did my 100 sit-ups, 150 V-ups and 150 push ups before skating my session.  I do them every morning in order to have a core capable of holding my back up on the ice.  After skating, I did level 2 Yoga with lesbian sensation Jillian Michaels and finished with resistance stretching.  Yesterday, I felt my hamstrings dying, so I conditioned, skated and then just did gymnastics-type stretches to get my body in gear for my lesson today.  When learning new things on the ice, it takes my body and mind a few days to get in sync.

Natasha has a way of pushing me farther than I thought was possible or appropriate for this week.  The amount of work that is done in as half hour is mind blowing.  It is thirty minutes of intense focusing.

Now go.  Guud.  Guuuuuud.  Right.  Now left three turn, extension, push right, three, turn extension.  Guuud.  Now this is warm up for most skaters.  Now we go to the line.  Guuud.  More extension.  One-two-three together, extension, one-two-three together, extension.  Think waltz.  

Apparently, I'm such a hot mess that as a righty, I should be struggling on the back crossovers that are my 'good side' and glorious on my ones that are a hot disaster.  I've been given strict instructions to spend fifteen minutes a day on the bad side, thinking edges and 'no scratch.'  I've come to love stroking and doing turns alongside Natasha around the rink.  She moves like heaven and I feel lithe yet strong while doing everything slowly and controlled.  Luckily, Natasha liked the work I did on my own this week.  She saw me practicing on my own on Tuesday while she was coaching a young Russian boy who never looks where he is going and runs into everyone.  I was this week's victim.  He interrupted one of the best series of edges I had done.  I was not pleased.  The more time I spend on the ice, the more confidence and feeling I'm getting.  I'm now able to work on finer details of elements I'm mastering.

When I was young girl, I was like horse on the circle on back crossovers.  Push push push.  I tell myself no scratch one circle.  

My waltz jumps and toe loops are now getting higher, with better entrances and exits.  This Russian discipline is going to turn me into one glorious ice queen.  I already have a choreographer lined up for my programs, which is keeping up my inner-Lipinski work ethic.  The plan is to use Adios Nonino should I be ready to compete and iieee for shows.  This goal keeps me working. While I didn't skate Saturday-Monday, cardio and conditioning was still done to keep myself in shape.  If I'm going to put myself out there, I'm going to give it my all and not live with the regret of being a hot disaster.

Skating really is the best therapy.  It isn't any cheaper than talking to a flaky liberal about your problems, but it does get you in shape.  As I decide the course of my life, I find that focusing on stroking and balance has a way of centering my thoughts and helps me with listening to my own voice.  That said, there is nothing like power stroking and jumping when pissed off at a guy in your life.  It always adds at least five miles per hour and seven inches to any attempted jump.  You might look a little manic like Masha Butyrskaya during the process, but it always keeps everyone else from daring to ever get in your way.

The rink near my house is closed for a week, so I won't have a lesson for two weeks.  There is plenty to work on in the process.  Between the accent, the new turns and learning my right from my left, my mind is spinning into wonderful new pastures.


  1. Internalise the Russian mindset, you have done! Freedom to your inner diva awaits!

  2. AJ, you are so right about the rarely mentioned mental rewards of adult skating. I did not learn to ice skate until I was 24 and ended up teaching kids learn-to-skate classes. Keep up the good work!

  3. True that about skating as therapy. It is a reliable motivator for working out daily and gives me an escape from my "other" life and whatever problem's i'm facing there. I think I would either be an alcoholic or weight 300 pounds by now if not for my skating.

  4. I admire your courage. Will be cheering.

  5. Jillian Michaels is a lesbian??

  6. Like Rick McCharles I'm cheering for you on the sidelines too! I look forward to reading about your progress-and when you announce you will compete! :)

  7. Good work, sister. We will be vatching your progress vith critique and displeasure. Nothing vill ever be good enough. So skate. Now. Harder! Higher!

  8. I will stand on the sidelines with a cigarette in my hand while you practice holding your edges and looking sexy!

  9. I'm an adult skater, too -- started in alpha at 31 and now compete silver level/FS4 and working on an axel. It's almost meditative for me: when I'm skating I'm so focused on every movement of my body that there's no room for anything else.

    I commend you for being able to take a Russian coach, though. I started out private lessons with one and dropped after a month. Having someone bark at me every instant was so overwhelming my skating deteriorated through the lesson. I have a more easy-going American coach now and just bitch at myself.

    Maybe we'll meet at some future competition!

  10. Good job AJ! You put so much of what I feel about adult skating into words, from the ambitions to the therapeutic effect. Perhaps we'll see you at adult nationals some time!