A Slippery Return

22 Sep

It’s been almost a year since I posted here and I’ve thought of this blog often. I worked ALOT this year, more than I ever had before. I did skate at least once or twice a week throughout last fall and into winter. In that time I took lessons and worked on my silver moves and my freestyle. However at one point, I’ll call it my zombie state, where I was working so much that I wasn’t sleeping I stopped skating. Crazy? Yes. Such is the entrepreneurial world of weddings that I am currently in. Deadlines, assembly, printing, email after email and skating time slowly slipped away. It was sometime in April when I hurt myself (again, very minor but still) skating, that I realized I was taking more lessons than practicing. When did that happen? I was working so much that I wouldn’t put that time aside for skating unless it was in a lesson. Unfortunately that didn’t equate to much progress.

I even received new skates as a birthday gift in February, I picked out a pair of Reidells with new blades. I was ecstatic! My reliable Jacksons were still my fave but the mounting plate on the blade had actually cracked so the blade on my right was very unstable, making weird creaky noises and the boots were pretty broken down so it was definitely time for new boots and blades. I tried to break them in as quickly as possible and even took group lesson classes for a month or two. Again, no practicing just all lessons. I lost all my spins when I switched to the new blades although my toe jumps seemed more secure. I’m not sure if it was the combination of the new boots making it harder to just skate at my usual level or too much work but when I inadvertently pulled something in my leg I took a 2 week hiatus from skating to focus on just off ice exercise. I had been putting on more weight since I had started working from home and I viewed the break from the ice as a perfect way to get into better shape. Unfortunately I developed a bad case of the shin splints within 2 weeks of off ice jumping and running. Go figure. I’m a bit of an extremist if you haven’t noticed.

Well, that was it for me. I decided to give up skating & exercise all together for a couple months until I was completely injury free. Probably not the best case scenario, I lost all the muscle I didn’t know I had from skating and worked more until I realized about a month ago that even with the all the injuries it was better to skate than not at all. When I first stepped back on the ice a few weeks ago I discovered that I had lost a lot of skills that I had taken for granted a few months ago. My muscles were weak and I was exhausted from just 30 minutes of skating.

I decided to go back to skating and take a few basic group lessons to get me back into the groove of things (no pressure!). I took it easy concentrating on my silver moves and basic turns/jumps/stroking. Then last week I fell straight back on a spiral. I hit my tailbone and spent the next 2-3 days bent over with an ice pack on my ass. I have fallen hundreds of times on my butt but never have I felt pain like that. Luckily, it seems to be healing, I’m only a little sore and back to skating after taking the last week off.

However, in that last week I seriously for the first time EVER contemplated giving up skating. It seems to be easier to get back up and brush things off in my 20’s. It seemed easier when my knees didn’t hurt and I was thinner to skate around the rink and try new moves. Now, it just felt hard and as I walked around with that ice pack on a different part of my anatomy from last year, I thought… wouldn’t it just be easier to take up swimming?
Non impact, easy on my knees, good for my body type (tall), great work out and a good deal safer. Maybe I should try softball? or maybe I should just ride a bike for god sakes! Anything but killing myself over and over again with this crazy, demanding, perfectionist sport which was made for people who are under 5’3! At 5’6, 32 years of age, and pronating ankles, I started thinking maybe skating was actually hurting me more than helping. This thought persisted until this past Monday when I realized that I could give up skating for all those reasons and yes, I might not injure myself as frequently but I would also be giving up a lot of other really important things as well. The friends I have made throughout the last 11 years skating, the new places I’ve visited just because I wanted to go skating in a new place, the discipline that I found whenever I wanted to learn a new skill, and the health benefits that I didn’t even know I gained until I stopped practicing. Not to mention the fantastic stress relief that I still get when I am so completely immersed in practicing.

I’m not sure if I am going to do this forever but for now at least I think I am back to skating.
I’m not ready to give up and stop just yet.

So, as of yesterday I started skating again (with the sore butt) and today I fell again (on the sore butt) but it’s ok because it feels good to know now what I may not have know years ago or even last year that I’m lucky just to be able to skate. I will try to be more appreciative of that fact rather than bemoaning all the things I can’t do while skating because there are still plenty of things that I CAN do like fall on my butt a hundred more times trying to perfect that back spin.

Sounds like fun doesn’t it?

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