Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Foray Into Adult Skating: Sur La Glace

After five and a half weeks of being off the ice with a sprained ankle, I ventured back on the ice yesterday.  I spent a great deal of time on my ankle this weekend and was feeling uncertain, but I had set a date on the calendar to suck it up and try skating again.  Last week, I felt like I probably could skate.  I've decided to hold off on skating until I did at least a week's worth of yoga in order to strengthen the balancing muscles in my ankle.

I've made sure to work out and keep up with my conditioning while off the ice.  Never before have I felt strong from my upper body and core compared to my Polish thighs and dancer calves.  The feeling of gliding has been missing from my life and there were times I was sad about it, but I found myself nervous about the inevitable painful hot mess that skating again would likely be.

My friend, the red-headed Tessa Virtue, has a way of nagging people to skate with her and play wonderful classical music.  She is an utter vision on the ice, so it was mildly traumatizing to be struggling with my left-forward-outside-to-back-inside three turn in her presence.  There are times I find that my balance is better on my left leg than my right.  This may be due to all of the rehab and yoga I've been doing.  I'm actually able to do my spiral on that leg, which is a surprise.  Part of my struggles are clearly mental, while some are actually taking some work.  By the end of yesterday's session, I was able to stroke around and gradually get some mobility and accuracy back into my ankle.  My balance is just off, but that is going to take a bit of time.  The more time spent on the ice working on accuracy, the better my balance and confidence get.  RH Tessa and I put on some flamenco music and worked it a bit.  The older men on the session watched us and I'm pretty sure we both didn't mind.

Today, I ventured to the small neighborhood rink near my house and spent the session having the rink to myself.  It was just what I needed.  If there is one thing I hate, it is being instructed by someone other than my coach when I'm just trying to get my feel back for the ice.  One of the well-meaning skate guards at Palisades has a way of trying to coach everyone on the rink.  I'm polite and appreciate the tips, but there are times my inner Maria Butryskaya comes out and I just want to be left alone to figure things out.

Call me OCD, but I like working on figures and lobes.  It reminds me of working on the ballet bar in a way.  The more I work on my figures and lobes, the more confidence I feel with my balance and alignment.  Of course, I put on my skating playlist, which includes 'Just For You' (Nikodinov's 2001 short,) 'Seventeen Moments of Spring,' 'Tosca,'and 'Cry.' Yes, I put on the corny song Maddie danced to on Dance Moms.  I also had a Tara Lipinski moment and put on Ben Harper's 'Forever,' because I applaud anyone who goes on national television to skate a program directed at an ex-boyfriend they recently broke up with.

After warming up, I decided to put on my skating music and improvise.  I've decided to ditch Adios Nonino after getting hurt while skating to it.  In addition to the bad energy connected to it, I think a tango may be biting off more than I can chew for my first year as a dreadful adult skater.  I've decided to use Schindler's List.  It may have been used, but I am on a quest to make everyone in a cold ice rink 'feel the ovens.'  In other words, I'm going to 'bring it' like a full blown diva.  Sadly, I don't have a Nazi partner to shoot me in the face at the end of the program.  While I was working on it, I found that I was somehow able to do back crossovers on my bad side.  This has to be a result of Rodney Yee opening up my hips and groin and likely sheer luck.  I don't know how or why my back crossovers felt comfortable on my bad side after the time off, but I'm going to run with it and smile.  While I was working on doing a little choreography, I remembered that the rink is owned by a fierce German and that my music was clearly a curious choice.  The fabulous Mrs. Dietl told me she loved my music and skating when I was taking off my skates.  I'll allow her to have good taste in music, even if I am skating to the McDonald's of composers---John Williams.  My skating is another story.  I'm going to spend a few more days working on dealing with the discomfort of skating and I'll call my Belorussian task master to whip me back into form.  I miss that constant yelling in my life.  It doesn't feel right skating without it.  Skating in silence is akin to cheating and pure laziness.  My friends are eager for me to join them on their adult sessions where they skate with Ms. Baiul.  I need to work up my skills to be ready for that hot mess of a distraction.  Oksana Baiul is working on a number with fans (plural) in order to kiss the asses of Yu-Na Kim and her millions of crazed fans at this upcoming weekend's Evening With Champions.  The only thing keeping me from witnessing this first hand is my cousin's wedding.  Then again, Oksana didn't show the time I drove to Danbury to witness her skating to her own vocals.

May the three-turns be with you,
Aunt Joyce


  1. While alot of figureskating blogs and commentaries are from those who only watch the sport from the boards, I love that you're actually making the effort to go out here yourself.
    May the three-turns, choctaws, jumps, spirals and spins all be with you !

  2. Your skating playlist is utterly magical. Dirty little secret - I totally have Just For You on my iPod and I listen to it on my commute sometimes and replay Angela's short in my head. Of course, I'm Angela, and my layback is even more superb (if that's even humanly possible). I also found Malaguena and pretend I'm Sasha circa '04 Worlds before she gained three pounds and lost the ability to jump. I wish I could lift my leg that high. You're making me want to skate again!

  3. I've always been more comfortable on my left leg than on my right even though I'm right handed. My right forward crossovers were what I had to consciously work on to improve. Glad to hear your ankle is healed enough for you to skate again. And yes, your legs look hot!

  4. I also am more comfortable with certain skills on my left side despite my right-handedness- in fact, I rotate everything clockwise and always have, making me a lefty in skating. My favorite spirals are still on my right foot, though. I think I remember reading that Nadia was a lefty in gymnastics but right handed in general. I'm not sure exactly what factors determine a preference for one side or another, but it's definately not as cut and dry as you'd think!

  5. Looking good, bitch! Glad to see you back on the ice. I'm totally feeling the ovens already!! You are indeed looking a bit more butch ;)

  6. Also, I think we need to add "Cry Me a River" to your playlist. If you recall, it does tend to produce rather inspired performances!