Jan 14, 2012

Back on the ice

First, I have to do the Adult Whine.

"Two broken ankles! Broken toe! Haven't "skated" in four years! So much weight gain!"

Okay, got that out of my system.

Seriously it wasn't that bad. First day I could not do A-NY-THING. Moving mohawks? Not gunna happen. Left three turn? Nope- no alignment over my left side. (I actually knew this, it's a result of not doing the physical therapy after the bad ankle sprain last year.) Spirals? Yeh. Power warm up? Pant, pant, pant.

But second day out it went quite well. Instructor was someone I taught with for two years, who didn't remember me (because I'm so forgettable? I love 20somethings), which was actually good, because then I just looked to her like a decent adult skater, instead of "she coaches????"

I think much harder even than the actual skills is the feeling, as an adult onset skater (or any athletic pursuit) that you're making a fool of yourself. Another coach who is an adult skater told me that she never skates anymore because she's afraid her less than optimal skating will be judged (and she has, or had, an axel!) When she wants to skate, she goes way out of her way so that no one knows her. I know the feeling.

I watch skating so much, I know so much about it, and am so often on the ice, that I sometimes forget what I cannot do. It's in my brain; I know exactly the body position needed, but somehow cannot make my body do that. The muscle memory and old joints fight the knowledge base, with a little help from the old fear factor.

Last week, after the first session, I wasn't sweaty and the next day I wasn't sore. Yesterday I broke a sweat, and this morning I'm pretty stiff, which means I put some effort into it. And lo and behold, when I didn't hold back, I skated better.

The young coach, at whom I rolled my eyes a bit when I saw her, was actually good with adults--knew when to stay out of it, and when to step in. She kept the class just at the edge of slightly too hard, so you pushed yourself without feeling incompetent, and knew how to adjust the various moves for the many different levels of competence present.

We'll see how long I can keep this up. I'd like, I need, both for my teaching and my self esteem, to be as good as I used to be. Maybe there's a Bronze test in my future after all.

Skating moms--don't worry, I'll get back to writing about kids pretty soon! Thanks for indulging me with the adult stuff this month!


  1. "I think much harder even than the actual skills is the feeling, as an adult onset skater (or any athletic pursuit) that you're making a fool of yourself."

    Word. (Especially with that damn sit spin. Honestly, is there anything that looks more ridiculous than a beginning sit spin?)

    Kudos to you for getting back out there for your own skating, Xan! I felt exactly the same way when I started skating again this summer, and in fact only skated at very off hours on public skate for this very reason. It was at least 3 months in before I would even consider getting on a FS session here, and then probably another couple of months after that before I stopped feeling like someone would surely kick me off the ice for utter incompetence. :) I have finally come to my senses and realized that a) everyone else on the ice is waaay too busy to bother with what I'm doing, and b) the watching parents are actually quite supportive (as are the other coaches).

    Happy skating!

  2. Good for you getting back out there! And good luck on getting that bronze test.

  3. Way to go! Congrats for getting back out there for yourself!!

  4. Oh dear God I am so sore. :)

  5. Bronze moves or Bronze freestyle? If it's Bronze moves, you lucky girl you, you get grandfathered past that spiral in pre-bronze.

  6. Moves. It's a ways off though. Because of my ankle issues, I'm just not jumping at all anymore. My big issue with Bronze moves is the turn they've inserted in the forward/bw perimenter xos-- mohawk from power has always been my Rubicon.