Saturday, September 1, 2012

Temporary Toepick Title

I think I've confessed before on this blog about my intense fear of the ice, at least for the first few seconds after I step onto the ice surface for practice or a lesson. There's a very real moment where I'm convinced I'm an idiot and am going to break my neck. "WTF are you thinking? You're breakable. It's colder than hell* in here. Get your butt back into the lobby and go, I don't know, shopping or something."

*note: for me, hell is cold. I hate the cold so much. My office is cold. Operating rooms are cold. Cold is... sucky. And, yes, I willingly ice skate.

There are days when I have to force myself to lace up my skates and get on the ice. There are days when my leg muscles burn during warmup so much that I can't imagine pushing through for another hour-plus.

I'm trying to build back all of the muscle I lost because of my hamstring injury back in February. Months worth of physical therapy and I'm only at about two-thirds of where I had been. So, last Tuesday, I spent the entire 50 minute freestyle session feeling like I was trying to skate uphill. Sweat dripped down my back and I kept wondering why I didn't just get off of the ice. My legs were so tired, even, that I popped my loops, flubbed my salchows... and let's not even talk about spins.

My skates are dead and they'll cost from $400-$600 to replace. Lessons cost a fortune.

Unlike math, 2 + 2 doesn't always equal four. There are days when you could be doing everything right, but it just won't be a spin day or a jump day or an anything day.

An awful scratch-spin tracing from Thursday. See all of those loops?
In a good spin, they're small and in the same spot.
I'll never be an olympian. The only places I compete are at adult competitions and they're few and far between (and the only prizes, really, are bragging rights and a medal.) As an adult, I physically struggle more and learn slower than kids. A little boy or girl who starts now will probably have their double jumps by the time I finally land my lutz.

I've already had to get stitches on my chin and have gotten very good at falling.

Figure skating (freestyle) ice is hard to find in a hockey world. There are days when the ice surface is too hard (hockey ice), too bumpy, or, frankly, crappy beyond belief.

All in all, it sounds really and truly sucktastic, doesn't it?


We started the choreography on my new Winter show program today. My coach and I set the Icelandic version of Never Forget (Mundu Eftir Mer) on loop and let loose. While she played with the opening, I practiced my camel spins. I did my best sit spin of the lesson to the violin solo in the middle, pulling my arm back mid-spin as if I were using a bow and screaming a "Whee!!!" as I came back up to standing. My coach kicked into a doughnut spin and I followed, then had fun on a jump combination she gave me.

I flew and spun and had an amazing time just trying to become the music. It's alchemy, making gold out of sweat and scratches and ice full of hockey player spit.

All of the problems listed before the "But" gave me this... and it's worth every painful, whiplash-filled, bruised second.

What about you? What is in your life that at face value is kind-of craptastic, but is so much more when you dig deeper?


  1. I hate the cold, too! I admire you getting back up. For a while writing was like that for me. I wasn't getting stitches or pulling hamstrings, but the emotional damage from rejection after rejection was crushing. But like you said BUT there are all those amazing times. When someone loves your character or you write a scene that makes you happy, it makes you reach inside yourself and keep going. And now I'm so glad I did, even though I'm sure I'll get plenty craptastic reviews and bumped around a little more along the way.

    1. I think emotional damage is so much harder to bounce back from than a few bumps and bruises! I'm so glad that you did keep going, because I can't wait to get my hands on "Demons" and "All the Broken Pieces" :)

  2. Figure skaters and hockey players amaze me. They make it look so easy! I fell so many times trying to learn how to ice skate I couldn't feel my butt for two weeks. (And trust me, I've got plenty of cushion to suck up the impact of a fall) But on the ice- UGH. It hurts so much more!! And then your booty is so cold. When I'm cold, I'm miserable. I absolutely love to watch ice skaters (and hockey players too :) but it's not the sport for me, that's for sure. I give you tons of props and lots of credit though, because it is hard core to tackle. Good for you!!