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 ... 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.