Friday, February 28, 2014

Dress Rehearsal

I thought it might be a good idea to run this program with my dress on.  Yes there is a pill box hat (and maybe even a blonde wig) but I have yet to figure out how I will be able to keep either of those things fastened to my head while skating.  Talk about light entertainment … having a wig go flying off your head!

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Back On The Ice

The cortisone shot has helped a little and I had a great practice today.  15 minutes at the end of the public session then back 1 1/2 hrs later for a free style session for my lesson with the choreographer.

First times running these programs with overhead music.  Went pretty well considering you are dodging other skaters and coaches and can't really open up.

Too bad my skating coach wasn't there to see me NOT HAVING A MELTDOWN today!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Major Meltdown!

Today I was really anxious about my freestyle lesson and I let it get the best of me.

I was really negative from the start of my lesson.  I didn't want to do the layback spin in my program because I don't think it looks good enough and it makes me dizzy as hell.  I tried it anyway and ran my program (not the video you see) and 2/3 of the way through I quit skating and got off the ice.

While my beloved coach tried to boost my skating ego and talk me out of the tizzy I was into, it just got worse and quickly turned into TEARS.  Can you imagine.  54 years old, crying like a baby because I "couldn't" or "didn't like" or "wish I were better" …. ridiculous.

I finally calmed down a bit and ran my program all the way through.  Fortunately my camera phone (for the first time) fell off the boards and hit the ice and shut down.  I only found out later that it was not recording my meltdown for my further embarrassment.  (I would have posted it!)

During my complete run, I forgot some of the steps, got tired two footed a jump, changed a loop to a salchow, but finished and it wasn't that bad.

Now that I am home I am evaluating my music.  I have 3 versions of Schindler's List that I have put onto the same run through.  They don't match up perfectly, but I think I am going to change it to version #2.

If I haven't lost you yet, and you get through the video - I would love to hear from anyone about which music choice you would think sounds/looks best.


PART II  of my day was a trip to the Orthopedic Specialist to see why my right knee is hurting (more than usual) and to get some advice on a non-surgical solution to my pain and problem.

I didn't hear much I didn't know already.  In 1980 and 1981 I had 2 (then.. ground breaking) arthroscopic procedures following a skating accident (damn Axel!)  to clean up torn meniscus and repair an ACL tear and on the 2nd surgery they did what they call a lateral release, which, as I understood it was to realign the patella (kneecap) and improve tracking.  All I know is that I recovered and have enjoyed 30+ years of walking, riding a bike, water and snow skiing and now figure skating again, notwithstanding some knee pain over  the years it's held up pretty good.  Lately my training has increased and so has the pain in my right knee (landing leg).

Now I don't expect anyone to have any interest in these sexy legs, but I find medicine fascinating and confusing.  Whenever I have something going on - I try to get as much information as I can to make good decisions.  I have a medical degree from GOOGLE !!

Long story .. longer:   Doc says I have osteoarthritis in the R knee and he can treat it with an injection called Synvisc.  A joint lubrication injection.  But before he can get that approved by insurance they have to first try a cortisone injection.  You should have seen my eyes pop out of my head when I heard the word NEEDLE twice in one conversation.  I agreed to the first injection and I'm sitting home tonight … wondering if was a good idea.  I will stay off it tomorrow and try to skate on Thursday again.  48 hours.  To quote Nancy Kerrigan ….. "Why Me?"

R Knee (on the left) shows the lack of cushion (meniscus) from previous surgeries + osteoarthritis

Same image position but my knees are bent into a small squat position + you can see my chubby thighs!

This side view shows an abnormality in the end of the femur bone (flat line should be curved)

Monday, February 24, 2014

I Love My Choreographer ...

… she is so patient with me.  I am always amazed at dancers can learn steps so fast.  I get really confused and just when I think I have one part .. I will try to run through and some of it just makes me draw a total blank!

Still working on the Bronze Dramatic Program.  Today we got down to the nitty gritty of my upper body.  I wrote it all down and video captured it .. now I just have to get it into my muscle memory.
Is there a pill for that?

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Freestyle Session - Spins

I told myself there were too many on the ice to do any real practice … but I did try all my jumps today. The Lutz eluded me, but I did attempt it. I seriously lack confidence.  My friend Heather was at the rink tonight… looking beautiful as always and helping me try to bow (end of program, thank you to the judges and the audience) I am terrible at them!

Friday, February 21, 2014

Dramatic Program 99% Finished

Skated yesterday on 2/3 ice - video coverage not worth the trouble to upload.

Today I had a full hour with my choreographer - We ironed out most of the program and got the timing down, made a few little changes and have only left to decide on an ending.  We have a few possibilities .. all depending on my ability to execute it properly.   This program should be easy.  There are only 2 spins and 1 waltz jump in it.  It's all the edges, turns and arm positions that I find difficult.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Freestyle Lesson - Loops and Flips

Had 2 lessons today but of course the camera quit during my first lesson.

Freestyle:  Worked on my jumps.  Specifically Loop and Flip and Stag-Flip combo.  Went on the harness for work on the Flip and the Lutz and then ran my program once through.   Video stops during my harness work on the Flip.

Wish I had the camera on for my choreography lesson.  This is always so hard for me to remember.  We reworked things today and added some upper body elements … to my Dramatic program.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Spin Practice

Probably not what I should have been working on, but it's all I had room for today.  Plus the ice was pretty chopped up by the time I got there and there were clumps of fuzzy black glove threads embedded into the ice in a multitude of places that were freaking me out … even if they didn't trip you - it was distracting.  How is THAT for an excuse of not practicing very hard?

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Short Ice Practice

Skated at EWU today as I got a late start and it seemed like a nice idea to be warmer … Practice was ok, not great.  Right knee hurting just below the kneecap on the inside when there is a lot of pressure.  Wearing a stabilizer .. we'll see if it helps.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Why Isn't This Fun?

I should be having the time of my life, getting ready for 3 competitions in March and April.  Instead I am dwelling on my aches and pains and skating below my capabilities.  I get all revved up at home, but when I get on the ice my body keeps failing me and my skating disappoints me.

No progress or improvements shown here …  just going through the motions getting on the ice
for the past two days.

Today I had an off ice lesson with my regular coach (since I was late!) We worked on doing all single jumps off ice - ouch!

Friday, February 7, 2014

Ok, I'm Starting To Get Nervous….

I should have all 3 of my programs pretty much ready to go by now.  My coach keeps telling me not to worry… that they aim to have us "peak" in our training just prior to a competition … but seriously folks.. at my level … there is no such thing as PEAKING

Went to EWU today.  Nice warm rink to work out my frustrations.  I don't want to make excuses, but the thing that is holding me back are my aches and pains.  My jumps are really suffering from my R knee feeling like it's on it's last threads ….  (2 cartilage surgeries in the 1979 & 1980) and my back … which is really my SI joint with bone spurs … all work against me when it comes to skating properly.
After this season's competitions are over, I plan to pay a visit to the orthopedic surgeon to see if there is any hope for restoration.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Thursday Night Freestyle …

I went to a freestyle session last night.  This particular rink has just been rebuilt after a snow load that destroyed the rink a few years ago.  They are still getting back on their feet and the figure skating club is very limited.  2 sessions a week, sometimes just 1 and they are now littered with learn to skate group sessions.  To me, that's not a freestyle session.  Nevertheless, it beats a public session at this same rink.

The session is only 1 hour and I never get there on time or early for off ice warm up… so 1/2 the session is wasted by my just stroking to warm up my legs.  Will I ever learn?

I didn't label my video today - just slapped on one of figure skatings most over-used pieces of music Carmen's "Habanera"!!  I can see why it's used so much though .. it's got some moments.

Really frustrated with my progress on the layback.  The position actually hurts in the back and hips … maybe it's a warning.  Also my camel spin is getting more consistent into position, but I need to work on speed going into the hook as  I am not getting enough revolutions for my expectations.

There just isn't enough time to work on everything - stroking, edges, turns, jumps, spins and 3 programs in 1 hour…. need more ice time … and a can of spinach!

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

2 Lesson Tuesday

I shouldn't bother with a post today.  I had low battery life on everything!
My iPod was dead.  The iPod player was dead.  My phone had 30%.
My body started at 50% and dwindled to 12% by the time I ended my 2nd lesson.

Video doesn't show much today.

Free Style Lesson:

She always asks me if I have any concerns or if there is something I want to work on … or
should I leave it up to her.  I left it up to her and she wanted to address jumps.

She asked for a Waltz.  Then a Waltz-Loop.  The Loop was in one place, so we worked on securing the Waltz landing and getting good spring for the Loop and I was getting about 2 blades length off the Loop.

Then we moved to the Flip.  We checked the tracing.  Something I never noticed before nor was it ever pointed out to me:  The initial landing is heavy and thick .. showing for about 6 inches, then it thins out, demonstrating a lighter glide and more curved when acquiring the back outside edge, then you can see it thickened up again.  She said this is where I struggled a bit to hang onto the landing.  Then it thins out again.  Obviously if you don't video yourself, you can't see how you did, but you can go back and inspect the tracings to see what went right/wrong.  I wish I had taken a picture of them.  Next time I get clean ice I will try to remember to photograph my tracings of all my jumps.

The Lutz - Waltz - Loop and Flip - Loop went ok.  Need to remind myself  while doing jump #1 to get ready for jump #2 !!  It's bad form to land with free leg extended behind, then swing it forward to execute the next jump.

….. end of fine print

Monday, February 3, 2014

Thanks to the Seahawks .. Empty Ice at EWU

Trying to squeeze in practice today before going to a Superbowl party.  Headed out to EWU and found the rink deserted.  The ice was empty and the restaurant above it closed on Sunday - so it was perfect for me.  I spent most of my time trying to practice the beginning of my new Dramatic program we worked on last Friday.  I meet with the choreographer again on Tuesday .. so I need to learn the steps so we can move on.

July 115º - No problem!

 Down in the valley for a few appointments from the White Mountains of Arizona where it’s much cooler.  It’s been over 110ª every day reachi...