Monday, August 30, 2010

Countdown to BAID

I sent in my application for the Bay Area Ice Dance Weekend (AKA BAID). I figured it would be a kick in the butt to get me on the ice knowing that in 6 weeks I'd be at the most high-powered dance weekend in the country. My goal is to skate all of the dances through Silver plus the Viennese and Samba, with notable exceptions (dances with outside to outside mohawks which are still only possible in my mind).

August was pretty much a washout as far as skating is concerned. I was traveling to judge, refereeing and hosting out-of-town guests. I did skate the High Dance Camp a week ago, but that's it until today.

As I've said before, lack of practice is not a foolproof method for improving your skating. However, it's working for me. After basically a month off, today was my best skate since surgery. I think the time off helped promote healing which allows better movement. Perhaps my neurons are firing better and in a more coordinated way. Perhaps my brain is talking to my damaged muscles and they are listening. I have no idea, but it was a good skate.

I am finally making progress on the FI 3 turns. I did all 3 turns (inside, outside, forward and backward) as well as alternating forward 3 turns. I had some progress on the Starlight mohawks (still have troube stepping from the RBO to the LFI and then doing a mohawk without touching down). I did all inside brackets (forward and backward). I did FI and FO takeoff double twizzles both directions. I did the blues choctaw. I did the choctaw sequence we learned at the HDC in both directions (example: RFI/LBO choctaw, cross in front, RBO/LFI choctaw). Most exciting, I did some tango stops on my left foot, even on one foot. I didn't have the strength in my quad to stop at all (not even a snowplow) a couple of months ago, and stops have been iffy until now.

My edges are not deep, but they are deeper than they were; I am not skating fast, but I am skating faster than I was. I ended the 45-minute session with the 5-step mohawk sequence, heard some edges "rip," and called it a day. I may be sore tomorrow but I think it was worth it.

Monday, August 23, 2010

High Dance Camp

Tuaca Girls at the High Dance Camp (I am on the right)

A fellow bilateral hippie had a post labeled, "10 Hours of Tennis!" This post could be called, "8 Hours of Skating!" but that wouldn't be very original.

I spent the weekend at the Portland High Dance Camp, and was on the ice for most of it. I was not able to do much of it but I was able to get out of the way of those who could, and nobody seemed to mind. I can step through the Midnight Blues (certain steps on two feet of course) a bit better than I could before the clinic, but won't dare partner it.

I also judged a marathon test session (9 hours) directly after. At one point we were missing a judge, so I ran (yes, ran) from one side of the ice to another.

After all that, I assumed that I'd spend today eating ibuprofen in the recliner with various bags of ice plastered to my anatomy. But I am happy to say that my pain level is no worse than normal. I always have pain with activity no matter what I do because the damage to my hips is still there. There is no "pain free" to my recovery. But the pain is minor and I don't notice it most of the time.

Physically, I feel darn good.

My major skating limitation as I've said all along is lack of flexibility which prevents me from doing many turns and steps correctly or at all. Some turns are relatively easy (twizzles). Other turns are hard to impossible (mohawks).

The beat goes on.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Long time no blog

Just a quick update since I'm busy at work, busy judging, busy traveling, and busy with family. No skating for a while; just no time.

Hips are pretty much a non-issue if I don't skate. I've been walking a lot, including on the beach, and can go for about a mile before my muscles get tired. When they tire it happens quickly and I have to stop and rest. I would like to be able to walk longer distances but right now that's it for me.

I will try some skating at the High Dance Camp this weekend, but after several weeks off I am not optimistic that it will be anything to brag about. Life goes on.