I was walking around the house in my skates last night because I had them rebuilt and I’m trying to soften them up. I realized that I was limping less while wearing the skates than I had been just walking around, and that my balance was fine. So it occurred to me that getting out on the ice might just be possible.
Even though I had planned to go to a public session in the middle of the day where nobody would know me so as to keep this little experiment under wraps, another ice dancer happened to be at the mall, so I had a witness. It turned out this was a good thing since he encouraged me (thanks Doug) and reminded me to be careful.
I spent the first lap or two holding on to the rail, then ventured out into the flow of traffic. I found that I had more pain in my abductors than anywhere else, although both legs were generally weak, right more than left. Bending my knees hurt, so I was pretty stiff. I did a lap of forward swizzles and a lap of forward slaloms before trying to do anything on one foot. I then did forward outside and inside edges on half circles. They were slow, stiff and barely recognizable as edges, but I think I had a silly grin on my face just the same.
Then the true test – I did the steps to the Dutch Waltz. Even in the tiny mall rink my pattern was miniscule. There was no way I could get any push with my right leg because my abductors hurt too much, and pushing onto my right leg was also difficult. I did a lot of toe pushing. I was on flats. My knees were stiff. My posture was terrible. Had music been playing I would have been off time. My pattern barely filled half the rink. I would have absolutely failed the easiest dance if I had been testing. But I did a full pattern and I was ecstatic.
8 weeks and one day ago I was in surgery having my most valuable skating muscles cut and reattached while my pelvis was sawed into pieces and screwed back together. Just a week ago I had not put any weight on my right leg for 7 weeks, and at that time I could not even balance on my right leg. Considering the timeline, what I did today was damn good. But as skating goes this shows me just how far I have to go in order to do even the easiest dances socially. Getting myself onto the ice does not indicate that I’m all healed and better, it just indicates that I’m a little bit crazy. And very, very determined.