Thursday, March 29, 2012

On the edge

I don't really like this photo of me from last night, but I am happy with the depth of edge and body lean going in to the Blues Choctaw:

I still don't have good enough muscle control to make the actual weight transfer happen seamlessly. My left thigh muscles still fatigue too quickly as I go into the turn. I feel I am still building control and strength from after the surgeries.

And this was fun - presenting the awards to the Championship Adult Ice Dancers at the Pacific Coast Adult Sectional Championships where I was chief referee:

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

Travels With Skates

Puddles in Chicago

I shlepped my skates through 4 airports on my week-long business trip -- Portland, OR; Chicago; Portland, ME; and Philadelphia -- with high hopes of skating in all of those places. An unfortunate heat wave in Chicago reduced the outdoor rinks to puddles (as seen in the photo above on the right). Had I been in town just a week earlier I would have been able to skate there.

In Maine, the indoor rink had just closed the week before as well. Philadelphia, my last hope, was open for business.

I skated the adult session at the venerable Philadelphia Skating Club and Humane Society, the oldest skating club in America. The ice was my favorite kind, gray, on sand, and there was a mirror at the end of the rink which was great fun. The ice was uncrowded. Unfortunately I didn't get to skate much because the locals wanted to chat me up, but when I did get to skate I had the ice to myself. There are no barriers at PSCHS, so it's a bit disconcerting to do certain steps near the edge of the rink. I didn't step off the ice onto the mats but came close on a TR twizzle!

Monday, March 5, 2012

My Spirals Drop in for a Visit

Since surgery, I've been lamenting my lack of flexibility. One thing I really miss is my spirals. I used to have nice spiral positions, for an adult. No, dammit, I had nice spiral positions period. Not great when compared to, say, Nicole Bobek or Sasha Cohen, but they were nice for a reasonably flexible skater.

I've been working on my spiral position off the ice and since the surgery could only get my leg to "almost hip level." There is really nothing uglier than "almost hip level," and of course "hip level" is the minimum requirement for a spiral to be counted as a spiral. (Even hip level is not the most beautiful position, let's be honest.) I looked like a constipated goat.

I haven't done much stretching lately but nevertheless today I went to my weekly yoga class, which I missed last week, and without any warmup at all attempted a spiral position in the studio. (I was all alone with a mirror before class started ... what would YOU have done?) And, progress! I looked like a constipated goat with one hoof just millimeters above hip level. The other leg was the same.

I also had a great yoga class in which many things were better than usual. So perhaps I have had a spurt of post-official-two-year-PAO-healing-period healing that has improved my flexibility a bit. Or perhaps this was just an anomaly and tomorrow it will all be but a memory. Stay tuned.

Not a spiral ...

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Hip in the desert

I felt great about our hike at Joshua Tree, where I scuttled up, down and around the boulders for a couple of easy miles with no hip pain.

At the end of the day, I was feeling ... well, fabulous.

The next day I dropped in at the Desert Ice Castle. It's a new facility and geared for public sessions and elite training. I skated the crowded public session. The rink ambiance is zero to none (no windows, just a metal shell really with few amenities). The temperature was warm and the ice was a bit melty but after all, this is the desert. I am happy that there is now something fun for me to do during our annual vacation when the rest of the fam is playing golf.