I have a game going with a skating friend of mine to keep us both motivated. He said he'll attend yoga class at least twice per month if I will skate at least twice per month. This little game was invented by L. when I let him know that I was feeling a bit down and frustrated with my (lack of) skating progress. As a good friend, he took the necessary steps to help increase the level of motivation.
I am happy to say that today was my fourth time on the ice in the month of June. I've been busy traveling coast-to-coast both for business and to judge, so doubling my promised number of skate adventures shows some increase in my level of motivation. I'll probably skate again at Sunday's social session, so that makes 5. This is nothing compared to my pre-diagnosis 5 or 6 days per week skating habit, but I can't handle that kind of schedule right now. I need at least one day of rest after any strenuous activity.
Improvement breeds motivation, as any obsessive-compulsive skating addict knows, and I've had plenty of that lately. As I look back to the social session at Adult Nationals just over two months ago, where I hugged the wall and had to be held up to do the forward dances at a snail's pace, I am very, very happy with my progress.
This morning I had a lesson with Coach R, who works with me on moves in the field. We hadn't worked together in a few weeks due to my travel schedule, and the last time she saw me I was struggling to do three turns on one foot and couldn't check them at all. This morning she came in to see me working on the new Junior MITF straight line footwork sequence. "What's that?" she said, because of course my turns are not yet recognizeable and some are on two feet. But she had a smile on her face and made me do the entire sequence again, and said, "wow." Quite an accomplishment for someone who was holding on to the barrier a couple of months ago.
I am also more confident now that I'm more agile and can move out of the way quicker. In addition, I am finally able to stop. Stopping was almost impossible at first due to muscle weakness, but I can do a snowplow, T stop, and (shaky) tango stop on my left, and snowplow on my right.
Today we worked on one-foot turns (easier for me than two-foot turns):
~Double 3s in the field (FI/BO and FO/BI) on one foot - As of today I can do all 3 turns but the LFI 3 is still a bit difficult. It's better if I do the BO turn first and then go into the FI turn. Today was the first time I've done all of the back turns primarily on one foot instead of two.
~Brackets on two feet and occasionally on one.
~Rockers on two feet and occasionally on one
~Counters on two feet - I did the last RFO counter on one foot and lost my balance, so I put my foot down. I glanced over at Coach R. who looked concerned, and said, "hey, you know that I'm going to fall at some point ..." and she answered, "yeah, but I'm not ready for it yet!"
~FI double twizzles - these were "impressive" she said. Of course, twizzles are and always have been easy because they require no turnout
~FO double twizzles
~Alternating 3 turns to the center (the stepforward is still really difficult)
Overall I need to work on "glute involvement." Lazy glutes, go figure!
As I was taking off my skates I was smiling, and told Coach R. that this was "the best lesson ever." She had pushed me to do things I hadn't really tried yet (twizzles, back three turns on one foot), and I was able to do them. Now I'm motivated to do them better.
I am confident that I will get all of my one-foot turns (threes, twizzles, rockers, counters, brackets, loops) back. Two-foot turns (choctaws, mohawks) will be an ongoing challenge as they were before surgery. I learned to compensate before, and now I need to learn to compensate differently. It might take some time.
And now, some motivation for fellow hippies - my post-bilateral PAO Paso Doble solo video (6/15/2010):