Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Hippiversary

Friday November 18th was my two-year hippiversary for my left (second) PAO. I am a little late with this update as I was traveling. I celebrated by walking a mile uphill in snow and rain (the snow wasn't sticking to the ground so it wasn't as bad as it sounds). This is something I couldn't have done without major repercussions before my surgery. I was a little stiff the next day but not incapacitated.

When you have a PAO, they tell you that it takes a full two years to heal. At this point I can say that I'm probably as healed as I will ever be. So what's it like two years later?

~I can walk without crippling pain, although walking a long distance, up hill, or carrying a load does make me sore and stiff. I still limp on occasion but it takes a lot. Walking used to be something I loved to do but now it's not my favorite activity. I think I could build up my walking ability if I wanted to work on it, but so far I save my time and energy for other things.
~My overall flexibility and range of motion is far less than it used to be. Period. This has been discussed in prior posts and is probably my biggest bummer. Like the walking, I could probably work harder on this by going to yoga every day or really working on it, but even with a lot of work I will not be where I used to be. It is what it is.
~Skating is generally not painful as long as I don't do anything challenging. My coordination and balance are not what they used to be and this prevents me from doing a lot of things that I used to do without thinking about since I learned them as a kid. It has been a strange and frustrating journey to try re-learning. Sometimes the things that were easiest are now the hardest and vice versa. It's as if my entire body has been re-wired. (Help! I'm trapped in somebody else's body and it won't listen to me!)
~The usual suspect muscles are still weaker than they were, but I am stronger than your average 48-year-old. Hip flexors, glutes and abductors are still fairly lazy -- not for a regular person, but for a figure skater. I say that because for normal activities and perhaps if I took up a different sport, this would not be an issue. Let's be honest; the surgery cut right through the most useful muscles for skating and they have not fully recovered and probably never will.
~My psoas is still very tight and causes some back pain. I am trying different stretches to alleviate this.
~I am not pain free. Now my pain is muscle fatigue, soreness and stiffness and not bone-on-bone arthritis pain. I can deal with that.
~I still don't like to stand for long periods of time or walk or stand on hard surfaces. I can do it, but I pay for it the next day with soreness.
~I still use a cane for long walks and downtown, where I work. This is for balance and also self preservation. I have been wacked too many times in the pelvis by careless people swinging bags around at hip level. Ouch. I use the cane to keep them the hell away from me. I thought about getting a hiking pole instead, but I actually prefer the geriatric look of the cane. It says, "be careful, I have something wrong with me" vs. "I am cool, I like to go hiking in the city!" I still feel vulnerable enough that I want to broadcast the "something wrong with me" part. I also don't want anyone to give me dirty looks if I have to sit down (on the bus, during a tour, whatever) and don't give up my seat. Of course, I do give up my seat to anyone worse off than I am, and that's most people. But it's my choice.

A happy Thanksgiving all. I am still thankful that medical science has come far enough to keep me mobile; in past generations I would be in a wheelchair by now.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Cha Cha, Continued ...



I promise to update this blog on my two-year hippiversary for PAO#2 in November. Until then, life goes on.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Hip in Sun Valley



Found time to skate a bit while judging the National Collegiate Championships in Sun Valley, Idaho

Monday, July 18, 2011

Randy Gardner Seminar

I like to name drop as much as anyone else, so I can't help mentioning that I attended a seminar by 1979 World Pair Champion, world-reknowned choreographer, and all around nice guy Randy Gardner along with my ice dancing peeps on Sunday.

There were 8 of us in the "high" dance group (including some kids) and I was a bit apprehensive about attending because I don't consider myself a high-level dancer any more. But I surprised myself by keeping up. I tried all of the sequences and was able to do many of them and I wasn't way behind the rest of the group. In fact, sometimes I was ahead.

It's nice to know that I can keep up. A year ago it would not have been possible, even on two feet. It gives me confidence that I'll survive the High Dance Camp as well.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Two Year Hippiversary

Today marks the two-year anniversary of my right PAO. That means my left PAO is close to a year and 8 months old. I took this opportunity to re-read some of my early posts. Oh, the drama! Not that all of this hip stuff isn't serious of course, but with the wisdom of two years of healing, I can say that I have mellowed and lost most of my anger about why this happened to me.

In the beginning, I was told that there was a two-year rehab period for this surgery. I was also told that even after two years my hips would not be normal. I would probably have continuing pain and reduced strength/ROM even at maximum recovery.

That's turned out to be quite accurate. While I am happy with the outcome of my PAOs, I am not "cured." There was no promise that I'd be pain free and I'm not. There was no promise that I'd be able to do all of the things I used to do and I can't. I still have many limitations despite what my surgeon and PT would both call a stellar recovery. Their goal was not to give me back the abilities I had before, but to give me as much ability as possible, and they did that.

I realize now how strong and fit and coordinated I used to be, which I didn't realize at the time. I have experienced an interesting progression of aging rapidly, from a sports perspective, practically overnight. By that I mean that I went from being a very fit and fearless 45-year-old, often feeling and skating like I was much younger, to being a 48-year-old with hips that feel and perform like those of a much older person. I am much more risk averse. I am no longer fearless. I don't have the same balance, strength, flexibility and especially coordination that I used to. Despite telling myself that some of this is in my head and it will get better, I know in my heart what I really don't want to admit aloud most days -- I will never get some of my abilities back.

Sounds defeatist but that doesn't mean I won't stop trying. It gives me something challenging to do and provides good exercise for me.

I don't regret my PAOs (and in any case, what choice did I have?). I think a PAO is a wonderful fix for a bad situation that nobody chooses. Truth in advertising: for athletes and dancers, realistically, a PAO may not allow you to perform at your prior level, especially if your hip capsule is opened and a lot of key muscles are severed. (A "simple" PAO where the pelvis is broken and reset but the hip capsule is not opened may be a different story.)

So. See you on the ice, where I'll be working diligently on what I can do, and trying not to think about the things I can't do.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Falling ... really?

Over the holiday weekend I fell on my butt twice. In the same day. In spectacular fashion.

This would not be a big deal if I did it while skating because, well, falling happens on the ice. But it happened OFF the ice, which is worse because the momentum of sliding on the ice tends to absorb the impact of a fall. Falls on gravel and wood don't have the same benefit.

Fall #1 happened while I was walking on the side of my house in the morning; a garden step broke when I stepped on it and I went straight down on my back on some gravel. The encore fall occurred in the evening when I slipped on a wood stair riser and fell down a couple of stairs in the house. And I wasn't even drinking.

I've never had a stair problem before, and even navigated stairs for several months on crutches without a single mishap.

I had been scheduled for a lesson on big ice with Coach I on the Cha Cha the next day. After fall #1 I took some Ibuprofen and felt a bit sore, but still planned to skate. After fall #2 I asked Perry to bring me the phone (as I sat in a heap at the bottom of the stairs) and called Coach from that position to explain that I would not be there in the morning.

I hit my left arm on the stair riser and it has a lovely bruise the size of a baseball. My back and hips hurt. I am trying not to whine. I had high hopes of skating a lot this week so I'll load up on Ibuprofen and I'll be at the rink tonight. Because in life, as in skating, you fall. The important thing is to get up and try again.

Monday, June 20, 2011

Cha Cha Confusado

My dance coach told me Thursday he wants me to test my Cha Cha Congelado on August 20, which is close enough to my 2-year hippiversary for me to use it as a way to celebrate that event (pass or fail, doesn't matter, it's just the act of getting back out there that's important).

But wait, there's more.

We are playing musical clubs here and my club has now been told to leave the ice surface they have served for 40 years or so which is where I want to test since I practice there and the rink is large enough for the CCC (there's no way to do it in a mall rink and fit it in). Another club is moving in to that rink. The test schedule is all messed up and even the test chair of the other club doesn't know about the alleged test on the 20th at that club's new rink, which my coach seems to know about.

I wanted to let the test chair know I'm testing in advance so he could get an international-level judging panel -- not easy under the best of circumstances -- and with it being summer, and people taking vacations, and dates/rinks changing, and with one of those judges (me) skating the test and therefore totally unavailable, it's not likely this is really going to happen.

This is what happened with all of my gold and some of my pre-gold dances, BTW. I signed up for the test and it was months before a judging panel was found that didn't contain me. It occurs to me I may just have to go out of town, with coach in tow, to actually take this test anywhere close to my two-year hippiversary.

But I'm training as if it's going to happen and we'll just have to wait and see.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Apocalypse No

Ho hum, looks like the world didn't end. You didn't really think I'd stop blogging, did you? Besides, I had a big BIG big BIG big BIG very BIG Humongous breakthrough tonight. I have already shown or told everyone at the rink, several times. Now I can tell the rest of the world through the magic of blogging.

Tonight Coach R and I worked on the Blues Choctaw and figured out a way to get my lazy hip to push forward. I won't go into excruciating detail (L., I will tell you privately since I'm sure you'll want to know), but suffice to say that I did about 20 Choctaws, with more speed than I have managed since surgery, and they finally felt like Choctaws. Let me say that again - THEY FINALLY FELT LIKE CHOCTAWS. !!!!!! That's big news. I've been trying everything and anything for the past year to fix that turn and this is the first time I've had success of this magnitude.

A few other turns I have not had much success with I was able to do in a very limited, developmental way today, which is still an improvement over nothing. These include the Mohawk at the end of the Paso, the Quickstep Choctaw, the Argentine Twizzle, the Westminster Mohawk, and, just barely, the Foxtrot Mohawk. If the world did actually end, I guess I'd die happy.

Friday, May 20, 2011

When Hell freezes over, can we have a patch* session?

With the end of the world imminent, I wanted to put a little closure to this blog.

First, I want to apologize to my readers for many months of boring posts. This blog has morphed into a catalog of things I can and can't do on the ice which may or may not be hip related. This appeals to about 3 ice dancers who have nothing better to do because their ice is down for repair before the rapture.

And I know what you're saying. "Terri, you were so much more witty and entertaining back when you were lying in bed all day with your pelvis broken." And you're right, I was. Occasionally readers even laughed out loud, which helped them deal with the pain of their own dysplasia diagnoses and upcoming PAO surgeries.

I hear those readers who tell me that "hip dysplasia is so 2009, get over it and move on already." You're right. The details of my hip dysplasia saga are archived here for all eternity, which might end tomorrow, for anyone who wants to read them. I can still give major updates when appropriate, but there's really not that much left to say.

I also hear those readers who say "ice dancing, major yawn. While we appreciate the entertainment value when you post videos of you falling on your doubly-PAO'd ass, can you please write about some of your more interesting hobbies instead?"

Why, yes I can. My very interesting hobbies include the following:

~Blogging: I don't think a blog about blogging would gain much traction.

~Judging Figure Skating: Snore.

~My On Again, Off Again Obsession With Yoga: I'm not even interested enough to write about it.

~Bargain Shopping: While I am the queen of the bargain clothing shoppers, bargain blogs are a dime a dozen (actually a dozen costs just a nickel at The Rack). Besides, if I posted my secret source for Michael Kors cotton blouses at 90% off retail there'd be fewer bargains for me. For those of you who are not my size, contact me privately.

~Sewing: While I thought my one post about sewing was fairly entertaining, I am not sure everyone shares my view. There are many other more entertaining sewing blogs, such as The Selfish Seamstress. I admire her fashion sense, clever use of third person and, well, selfishness.

~Criticizing the Table Manners, Driving Habits, Child-Rearing Practices and Grammar of others: This idea has potential.

~Making Fun of Current Events: Ah, so much fodder for fun here. For example, the recent circumcision ban proposed in San Francisco just begs for blog attention, but I am not sure I want to blog about the politics of foreskins.

~Making Fun of Myself: Narcissistic, but this is a blog, after all.

Signing off ... for now ... must change into something more appropriate for the end of the world. You can catch me next week, probably from hell, which I hope has frozen over and is not full of hockey players.

*"Patch" - A figure skating activity during which each skater is assigned a strip of ice on which to practice school figures (figure 8s). Interestingness score for patch as a spectator sport for non-skaters is on par with watching grass grow or paint dry, thus this aspect of figure skating has been phased out to boost figure skating's TV appeal. Purists and judges lament the passing of school figures and concurrent decline in basic skating skills, but that's a topic for another post.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Breakthroughs at 1.5 years post LPAO

I haven't given a hip status in a long time, so it's probably time to do so and tie that status with some breakthroughs I'm having on the ice.

I am at about a year and a half from my second PAO, which puts me at 1 year and 10 months for my first PAO. I was told at the beginning of this journey that I will continue to see improvement up to (and sometimes beyond) the two year post-surgery mark, and I'm hoping to see the progress continue.

I had a bit of a setback at the end of February when a car seat slammed into my knees, pushing my femurs back into their sockets abruptly. Before that happened I had been experiencing very little muscle pain. Now I am having more muscle pain with exertion, but Dr. Mayo thinks it could take up to 6 months to heal from that trauma. He saw me 6 weeks after the accident and noted that my abductors were very weak, and I'm working on getting that strength back - I think it was due to lack of activity right after the accident.

Hip status:
~My scars have faded into oblivion and can barely be seen.
~Certain muscles are still weak (hip flexors, abductors). When I say "weak," I mean "weak compared to what they once were." They are probably normal or better for someone my age. Skaters have strong hip flexors and mine were cut and atrophied to nothing, so building them back up so that I can do nice forward flare extensions on the ice is probably going to be impossible.
~I no longer have low back pain.
~I walk without a limp unless I'm really, really, really tired.
~I don't like to walk long distances although I can. It's not the best exercise for me as it puts the most pressure on my hip joints and can cause fatigue and soreness. For the same reason, I don't run, but I never did.
~I can sleep in any position.

Skating breakthroughs have been notable this past week. I am able to bend better and extend better. I have finally taken the training wheels (two-footing) off my FI mohawks and can push and extend on the FI edge before the turn. This is partly balance and partly strength. FI mohawks are considered an "easy" skill and it has taken me about a year to be able to stroke into them with confidence, but before this week I felt very unstable in that position solo.

I still can't do many turns that start with a FO edge (other than rockers and twizzles). The abductor weakness is probably to blame, as my legs aren't stable enough. I can't do FO counters (although I can do BO counters). I can't do the Argentine twizzle, but that's because it's really a counter. I can do the QS choctaw slowly with a touchdown but I think if I spent some time on it, it might improve. Can't do FO closed mohawks except slowly with a big touchdown but that should be no surprise! That will probably be the last thing to come back, if it comes back at all.

I can do full patterns of the Intermediate and Novice twizzle sequences and they are better than some of the kids' tests I've judged, if I do say so myself. Very happy about how those are coming along.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Cha Cha Congelado

This is Thursday's rendition of the Cha Cha Congelado, skating with K. This was a crowded freestyle session on 2/3 ice so no way to skate it out or do full patterns, and we didn't have music. You can't really tell this is a Cha Cha, and for an international dance this isn't done very well, but considering my week-old boots I'm pretty happy with this. I suppose considering that a year ago my friends were holding me up to do the Dutch Waltz, I should be ecstatic:

video

My finest hour:
video

Thursday, May 5, 2011

When the Doctor Becomes the Patient

Great article on hip dysplasia from the perspective of an orthopedic surgeon who is also a bilateral PAO patient:

http://www.bmj.com/content/342/bmj.d2152.full

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

New Boots

Orthotics are great, but they make boots smaller. So my feet have been killing me because they are squished into my 10-year-old custom boots, which were fit exactly to my feet.

So I felt the time was right to break in my new boots. I have a pair of Klingbeil dance boots which have been mounted on my picc frames. I've worn them a couple of times with the piccs but since they were slightly too big I didn't think I would switch them out. With the orthotics inside they fit perfectly. I have regained enough balance and stability that I feel OK about breaking in a new pair of boots.

Today was day 1 with new boots + orthotics. My feet don't hurt like they did in the old boots, but I have some different pain because the boots are new and stiff. They still felt a bit big in the heel, but I am going to wear thicker socks tomorrow. I like the higher heel and lower cut of these boots - I feel like my toe point is better. I did the MIF group class tonight and was able to do everything in the class, so I think the boots are going to be fine with some break-in time.

Tomorrow I have my second lesson with Coach I. to work on my Cha Cha Congelado. I would like to test it this summer. We started working on it again last week. We'll see how much I can do tomorrow with the new boots.

I didn't blog about my lesson with John D in San Francisco last Monday. Look for that in a future post.

Monday, April 4, 2011

See No Evil

Not what Dr. Mayo had in mind when he said, "return to normal activities"!



But at least I got the t-shirt!




My husband Perry came to the rink to videotape me yesterday. Part of me wanted to look, and another part of me was horrified at the thought of seeing myself on tape. (Our video recorder is ancient, so "tape" is actually the correct term.)

Perry's remark was, "you are skating so slowly." This is very true; everyone else is whizzing by me on the session and I am plodding along as if skating through sand.

I also took a pretty sick fall by catching an edge. The video never lies - it was just a dumbass "for no good reason" fall - but you can see one of the other ice dancers in the background clapping when I fell. I'm sure he had no idea my husband was directly across the rink from him filming.

It was a hard fall on my backside but I was able to get up and keep going for the rest of the session, and I feel OK today, so no harm done.

So after reviewing the film, I noticed the following:
~On the good side, I have some very nice deep edges (however, see the final two points below)
~I am skating very, very slowly and tentatively
~I have very little free leg extension
~I overuse my arms and hands and they look awkward
~I carry my arms and hands too high
~I take very short choppy strokes
~I kick up my feet behind me when I stroke instead of extending (this is because my feet hurt from the orthotics but I didn't realize it was so obvious and constant)
~I am bent over with poor posture most of the time
~I hook my edges at the end of lobes
~I tend to take edges that are TOO DEEP for my speed

Some of this I can do something about, some I can't. I find the last two things very, very interesting. I think they are causing some of the problems I have. I never thought I'd be telling myself to "try for flatter edges," but that's definitely something I need to work on. My take on this is that my body still remembers how to hold a good solid edge, but I no longer have the leg strength or velocity to use it to advantage, so it's hindering me from flowing from lobe to lobe and doing turns like I used to.

It's a theory which I'll test out in the near future.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Great Orthotic Experiment

Day 2:

The progress continues. Today I was able to pad my foot enough to avoid some of the existing blister pain. I also removed the original insole to make more room for the orthotic (since my boots are custom and very tight fitting).

I was able to do some things that I hadn't even dared try since surgery (Quickstep choctaw, for example) since the outside edge had been too unsteady and it just seemed impossible.

I think I may have always had this problem but was able to muscle through in the past. Now that my muscles are not nearly as strong as they were pre-surgery, I must use good technique to do things and can't just get through them by pushing harder. My balance is also different now and my new hip alignment has exacerbated the problem.

This isn't going to fix everything, but it certainly makes it easier not to fight my own body all the time. I didn't realize how much I was doing that until today.

Friday, March 18, 2011

The Great Orthotic Experiment

Day One:

Brief history - I have always had very flat feet but no pain and no pronation
problems with walking. I have always had the tendency of rocking over easily
to the inside edge of my skate when I don't want to, so have to really force
outside edges. I managed to do OK for many years skating freestyle and figures,
but in ice dancing always struggled and just thought it was caused by other
factors (laziness, bad hips, weak muscles, tuning out my coach).

Fast forward, two hip re-creations later, I'm still re-learning how to skate. I moved my blade over and considered shimming it several months ago, which helped slightly. But I still didn't feel secure and stable on outside edges. It occurred to me that perhaps I'm pronating in my skate even though I don't do so in shoes. On a whim I just thought I'd try orthotics in my skates even though I don't pronate.

And, Voila, today I held real outside edges with no struggle. They felt right.
They sounded right (without that scrapey, "it's about to change to an inside
edge so I have to force it" sound). Some of the things I had to muscle through
in the past just to stay vertical seemed suddenly easier. It made a HUGE
difference.

I didn't have time to try very much and the new orientation of my foot meant a
blister formed so I'll have to fix that, but ... but ... but ... well, this is
all very exciting. Wish someone had told me (or I had figured out) to do this
years and years ago. What a difference it would have made! I had heard about
orthotics but since I didn't pronate off the ice it never occurred to me I might
need to fix what was happening to my feet inside my skates.

Happy birthday to me!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Flirting with Mediocrity

Yesterday was my first time on the ice since the week before the Costa Rican travel accident. Skating was mediocre as expected, but considering the time off and the fact that I'm still sore, I am OK with mediocrity.

I have an appointment with Dr. Mayo April 12th (soonest available) but I think I may end up canceling it since I am improving and there is clearly no boney damage to my hip joints. In my (haha) medical opinion it's just soft tissue damage which will resolve over time. Sara, Dr. Mayo's PA, confirmed this was her suspicion as well but said if I'm not better by April 12th I should come in, so that's the plan.

Based on yesterday's mediocrity I now have a goal to strive for on the ice. I plan to compete in the All Figures competition in the Novice Twizzle event.

Novice Twizzle Demo:
video

Even on days when I can barely walk I can usually do a decent twizzle, so might as well showcase that strange rotational ability somehow. I did several patterns yesterday and realized later I had done them slightly wrong, but no matter. I have several months to perfect the pattern. I am referee for the competition but see no reason why I can't make a fool of myself as well!

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Post Vacay Decay






Back from my Costa Rica vacation, where I did not skate but did swim, zipline, body surf, hike and drink beer without hip pain. An unfortunate accident having to do with a car seat on the last day jammed both legs into my hip sockets, leaving me sore and unable to skate or exercise at all since my return.

I've left a message with Dr. Mayo to find out if I should come in for an examination. I am finding it difficult to limp since both hips (and my back) are sore. Which leg do you favor when they both hurt? I've got the cane out but I always hate to use it ... so many questions from people who have recently seen me doing just fine without it. Crap.

Will post more later but I'm hoping it's just a matter of rest and time and ice and NSAIDS, and that it's soft tissue injury and not a fracture.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Living on the Edge

I have been making good progress in my weekly moves-in-the-field lessons but I realize that in order to make real progress I need to practice more hours and do so more consistently.

So in that spirit, I am trying to skate 5 or 6 hours per week instead of 1 or 2. I skated Friday, Sunday and today (Monday) for an hour each time, and I have actually seen improvement.

Friday was my lesson and we worked on rockers, brackets, and outside edges. Sunday was social dancing and rather than work on basics I worked on the Cha Cha Congelado and Ravensburger solos. (Hey, a girl has to have some fun!)

Today I went over the turns from my lesson but spent most of the time just doing FO edges. That's right, I'm living on the edge. RFO, LFO. Foot in back, foot in front. Knee up, knee down. Knee up and down and up and down. Regular check, counter check. It's all good isometric exercise for my still-weak muscles, but they are starting to remember how to do a real outside edge instead of rocking to an inside edge when the going gets tough.

Now I need to repeat these exercises 6,000,000 times and I'll be ready to move forward.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Greensboro 2011



Thanks to my friend Laurie for this great shot of Maia and Alex Shibutani, Championship Free Dance, at the U.S. National Championships in Greensboro, NC. I am judge #8 (right in the middle between "AT&T" and "2011").

I consider it a privilege to serve as a judge and was honored to have the best seat in the house as our talented skaters showed their stuff. Thank you Greensboro for my new addiction to grits and sweet tea!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

And down ...

...as in falling down. On the judges stand, before my first event at Nationals on Sunday morning.

Last year I was just off crutches from PAO#2 and had a cane at Nationals and could barely walk a block. The year before I was pre-surgery but also had a cane. This year I am walking normally, no cane, looking like a pretty normal person, reassuring everyone that I am just fine. As we were walking out to judge the first event I missed a step on the judging stand, fell down, and land on my hands and knees in front of a pretty large audience. Of course I twisted my ankle, so I LIMPED to my seat. Good thing I know how to limp with style and panache!

Before the splat I had been reassuring people who asked that I was just fine and needed no assistance. Geez! All of the times over the past several years I judged with a cane and once even on crutches, I never came close to falling down. It's so ridiculous. Luckily the IceNetwork cameras were not turned my way and big TV is not here yet; perhaps some lucky fan caught it on video but I sure hope not.

I have been super careful on the other events because if I fall down again I will just die of embarrassment!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

And up ...

After doing some hydroblades over the past week I seem to have irritated my psoas, which is not entirely unexpected. So I'm laying off them for now and concentrating on less glamorous tricks which are in fact not even tricks, but basic skating.

I had hit a plateau on some of the formerly (pre-PAO) easy maneuvers - in particular FO rockers and stepping forward from back crossovers to the inside of the circle. I have been really concentrating on just doing these things and not jumping ahead to do the fun things like twizzles and patterns of the Rave. I've also really been working on my lazy glutes off the ice. Due to the lifelong dysplasia they have never fired correctly and now I am forcing them to work, so that my other muscles don't incorrectly take up the slack. Today I had the ice to myself and really saw improvement, although I am sore. I touch down with my free foot much less frequently as my skating muscles get stronger, although I still use training wheels when turnout doesn't happen.

Some of the things I struggled with 4 - 6 months ago I now do easily, such as LFI 3 turns and the Starlight mohawk section. I am still skating very slowly for me, but my speed has increased and I don't think I look like a slug. Maybe a turtle!

Friday is my last day of skating and lesson before 9 days at Nationals, so I hope to show Coach R a lot of improvement.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Today ...

Hydroblade down AND up.

'nuff said.