Monday, October 11, 2010

The Good, the BAID, and the Ugly

I know some of you (ahem, Larry) are waiting with baided breath to hear all about the past weekend. And so, without further delay, here goes:

I am sore. The end.

Those of you who are not ice dancers can stop reading now. Those of you who are ice dancers or masochists can read on for the gory details.

Last time I went to BAID, two years ago, I had been diagnosed with dysplasia a couple of months earlier and thought my skating life was coming to an end. I was waiting for my first appointment with Dr. Mayo which would be at the end of October, and was still thinking a PAO was out of the question. I was skating with a lot of pain. My partner Tim came to the dance weekend too and I took him through his Starlight Waltz test so that we were finally qualified to skate the Gold Dance event at Adult Nationals. For fun, I tested my Standard Silver Samba with a coach in the Bay Area (after about an hour of practice with him). It was a rather crazy idea to "throw it out there" but I was able to pass it.

Now, two years later, I am in a different body and not going to throw anything out there and my definition of crazy has changed considerably. On Friday night I was feeling very good and energetic and skated most of the three hours of social dancing while dressed as a lion tamer, complete with bullwhip, as part of the "circus" theme.

I attempted dances with partners for the first time, including a Tango (could do all but the mohawk, so frustrating), a Willow (with Coach Peter, so the "gold version" of this dance), a Viennese, a Paso, a Samba (solo), a European, a Cha Cha Congelado, and various lower dances. I skipped the usual suspects that are just plain un-doable (Fiesta, Blues, Quickstep, Foxtrot, Rocker, Kilian, Starlight, Arge). Coach John gave me a fabulous 5 minute "mini lesson" on my outside to outside forward and backward mohawks which seem impossible right now, and I had an epiphany (more on that in a future post). I skated a lot and when I went to bed that night I was surprised that I didn't have any more pain than usual. I thought I might be miraculously cured.

Fast forward to the next morning when I woke feeling beat up and run over. I went to the morning seminar which involves more standing around than skating, thank God, and did the lower level seminar (canasta and hickory) and not the higher level seminar (blues and quickstep). I rather regretted being in the lower group because it was too easy, but the higher group would have been impossible in my stiff and sore state. I was dying to work on blues and quickstep since they are two dances I can't do right now, but in any case didn't want to get in the way of the better skaters who can legitimately do them.

In the afternoon I managed 2 dances during the four-hour session, and I think one of them was a Dutch Waltz in which I could not make the pattern very big so people were passing us, and another was something like a swing dance (but I don't remember, it's all a painful blur). I was limping pretty significantly and went to the evening party, where I parked my butt in a chair to watch the ballroom dancing.

Sunday was better. I spent the first part of the morning judging the test session and getting very cold. I then sat in the sun to thaw a bit before venturing out for the last hour of skating. I was in medium pain (better than Saturday) but decided to just push through it. I did a fabulous Dutch Waltz with Mike (He didn't hold back and while I could barely hold the edges I grit my teeth and stayed on my feet) and a great European with Coach Jimmy (he didn't hold back either and I was able to stay with him). It felt good to make myself push through and I while I didn't do any difficult dances, I tried to make the easier dances look good - head up, extended free leg, edges as deep as I can do with my minimal quad strength. It was the best I could do and I was happy with it.

All in all, I did better than I thought I could on Friday, was surprised at how much it took out of me on Saturday, and surprised myself again on Sunday with how well I could do things if I used all my effort.

I am taking today off. Tomorrow I go back to the rink to work on what I learned from Coach John on Friday night. The 5 minutes he gave me were, as always, full of wisdom. I need to work hard on what he told me and perhaps there will be hope for the mohawks and choctaws. I will describe my epiphany in a future post, so stay tuned.

1 comment:

Gordon said...

Good for you Terri!