Yesterday was  a fantastic day.  Class was tremendously fun and gratifying.  The right push-off I was struggling with just suddenly clicked, and I am now able to push off with enough power to go all the way across the rink.  No balance problems at all.   I did it and suddenly my whole body said “Yup. That’s how this is done.”  I love when I suddenly get a skill like that.

Physical knowledge is acquired in a vastly different way than the intellectual knowledge. it doesn’t feel as if I am “learning” it so much as becoming it.  I intellectually  knew how to do a push-off long before I could actually DO it.  Knowing mentally is part of knowing physically, but only a small part.  I don’t just know how to do push-off–I have to keep practicing push-offs until I literally become a person who can do them.

This morning, I worked on outside edges, my new nemesis.  Definite progress happened.  I can feel it–I can feel myself becoming a person who can do them once again.  I’m not that person yet, but I am becoming that person.

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Surprised By Competence

Interesting practice yesterday.  I had been doing push-off after push-off, still chasing that elusive right outside curve.  I am doing better with it, but the progress is slow. After about an hour of struggling with that, I thought “Well, I better do some backwards skating, because I promised Big D I would.”

I was going around the rink, still grouchily mulling over my outside edge conundrum, when I noticed something.  I was skating backwards.  Not only was I skating backwards, but I was doing it smoothly, changing my weight perfectly AND I was going fast.  Whoa, where did THAT come from?  Was I really that fabulous backwards-skating person with the insouciant air? I was.

I guess my obsession with this one stumbling block had blinded me a bit  to the work I was doing in other areas.  I was spending so much time thinking about what I wasn’t doing and what I wanted to be doing in the future, that I had forgotten to notice what I was doing RIGHT NOW.  And what I was doing was learning and mastering new skills.

So, I made real forward progress…while going backwards.


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Order in the Court

Image  I have had a couple of practices and I can report that things are getting better.  That outside edge is closer to re-entering my skating lexicon. The trouble with having to relearn something that I already knew is that it is doubly frustrating.  In my heart of hearts, I think I should be able to do edges as well as I did before I had my bearings cleaned.  There is an evil muttering-personal-attacks-under-its-breath Judgemonster part of me that resents that I don’t. “You just knew this and now you DON’T?” it mutters.  “Pathetic. You are getting worse and not better.” It hisses. “That eight-year-old is a million times better than you. ” It sneers.

Because of the invective Judgemonster hurls at me, any every minute I take to get back to where I was felt like I was wasting valuable time. Thinking like that, though, at makes any progress I make not enough.  Way to cheat myself of feeling like I am accomplishing something, Judgemonster.

Nothing helps solve skating problems like the wisdom of other skaters and I got some great advice from the peeps at the Skatelog Forum.  One of the best pieces of advice was to skate curves while on on both skates (which is really easy) and to really pay attention to my balance and positions and lean while I did so. Once I was doing that smoothly, I had to slowly transfer my weight to one foot, so I was now skating an outside edge.  It was not starting at the beginning and working from there, but starting at the side and easing into it.  It was a good way of kind of sneaking up on the task.

Since I was doing a “new” thing and not just trying the same “push off to an outside edge” move I had been failing at, there was no peep out of  Judgemonster. Sweet. I hate that nasty sonofabitch.

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Shortage of Confidence

I am back from my fabuloso motorcycle trip and have been to class twice and one long practice.  And I just thought you might all want to know that I SUCK.

I still can’t skate on outside edges.   I NEED OUTSIDE EDGES.  My figures look like I just started skating yesterday.  I am not exaggerating for comic effect, I swear.  Other parts of skating are progressing nicely, like learning the steps to a new dance or  my Mohawk turns, but these edges are, as you can see from my liberal use of capslock, KILLING ME.

According to Big D, it’s a matter of confidence.   And I don’t seem to have any.  I have always been able to push past fear and I was always proud of that trait (well, if you don’t count spiders, because it only makes sense to be afraid of those freaky eight-legged motherfuckers who clearly have it in for us).  I jumped off the high dive when I was 7, even though I though I was going to die.  I  spoke up to the boss at my high school job at the movie theater after he made another employee cry.  I asked guys out on dates.  Including the guy I am married to.

But this fear, this nameless fear of falling? Being off balance? Nothing?  This unreasonable, stupid, irrational fear is getting in my way and I am having a hard time getting past it.  I know I just have to keep at it and I will.

In the meantime, if you have any spare confidence, send some my way. I am back at the rink tomorrow and will be using all I got.




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Momentum Is Your Friend

I drove through incredibly dense fog this morning to get to the rink by 8.  It made everything ghostly and wonderful.  Headlights would suddenly loom up at me from the mist . Without the familiar line of stores and stucco apartment buildings and auto repair shops visible along the street, the whole landscape looked different. The rink, of course was wonderful in its own way–grungy and workaday.

Still working on that right foot.  We practiced push-offs onto the right skate and then gliding until I just stopped.  As you no doubt remember from all of the science classes you took in school (or if you have ever, you know,  ridden a bike) momentum helps balance.  The slower I was moving, the harder it was to balance on that leg.  I am happy to say that I can now get halfway across the rink on one push and although it is not BIG progress, it IS progress, so yay, me!

No practice this week, as I am temporarily moving from eight wheels to two.  Mr. Red and I are taking a motorcycle trip around Arizona, and I will be too busy snuggling up behind Mr. Red and taking in the scenery to get online.

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A Confession

This is the time of year when diet books and diet articles and diet shows and diet ads blanket the media landscape.  I ain’t gonna lie–I myself am planning a gradual de-pudgifying over the next few months, so I understand the impulse.

In the past, I would probably say I was dieting to “be healthy” and not because I want to be thinner, due to body-acceptance-vanity-is-bad-personal-empowerment-societal-pressure-sucks-not-an-object-of-the-male-gaze-self-esteem stuff. You know.  The thing is, I can’t really say that anymore.  Because I skate and that keeps me active and is making me healthier all by itself.   I am moving and active and sweating and all that wonderful stuff. My last physical showed great results all along the board.

So skating made me healthy and being healthy forces me to make this admission to all of you.    I now want to be healthy and wear a slightly smaller size of jeans.  There, I said it.


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Not Skating, But On Wheels

Mr. Red, my adorable husband, clued me in to this video.  I don’t how this guy came up with the idea to turn himself into a giant skate, but  I am so glad he did.

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