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.