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Where I’ve Been and New Skates! – Part 1

29 Oct

Since this is a long blog post I’ve broken this into two posts so it is easier to read! If you just want to know what skates I bought skip to the next post! 

This is my favourite sport and I have my own pair of skates but also it is a great way if staying fit and improving your balance! I hope you have ago but just remember it is harder than it looks!

And so I find myself once again back in the saddle, on the ice and skating with a purpose once again! A little bit about the last year and a half as I took an extended break from the blog. I have been skating over the past year or so just not with any regularity as it really did take some time to recover from my last injury. I still find myself limping here and there as it effected an old injury I had and it was a bit of a struggle to just walk normally for a very long time. I still have to baby the bad foot and go slower off ice, watch how much I practice and in general, really pay attention to my body. I kind of did that before but I am extremely vigilant now. If I feel off, you better believe that I will not step on that ice.

Plus, I finally got married last year! WOOHOO!!

 

After the Ceremony in Tuscany

 

I was distracted from skating (to say the least) and very much focused on being injury free. Walking pain-free was much more important. Our wedding was in Italy so I was determined to not risk any chance of injury so I could walk to my heart’s content in Tuscany, Rome, Sorrento etc.

 

If you’ve been to Italy, you know that walking there involves a ton of uphill, uneven cobblestones, and stairs of every kind.  Even skating couldn’t tempt me! And that’s saying something as anyone who has read any part of my blog knows that I am a true skate-aholic! So I stuck to walking/cycling for most of the last year and then returned to the ice about 2x a month toward the end of 2016 and beginning of 2017.

However, in the very beginning of this summer, I started taking group lessons at a local ice rink to get my bearings again and go over the basics. I wanted to really feel the ice, make sure my crossovers, 3 turns, and spins were solid again. I also wanted to introduce myself to having someone make corrections to my skating in an informal atmosphere where I didn’t feel pressure. Not that private lessons were tons of pressure, it’s just that I wanted to feel free to skate slower and not get wrapped up in where I was before versus where I am now. Also, the cost was a lot less $$. This helped a lot. It forced me to have a regular skating schedule again and to build up some of those skating muscles which I had lost.

I ended up taking one other group lesson and going to a 2-day adult skating camp focusing on basic skating skills. This forced me to remember the correct posture and gave me some new skating skills that I didn’t have before.  Then I decided to take some time off the ice at the end of the summer for vacations and other family type events. I was doing pretty well before that and had really regained a lot of the skills I had lost but then when I returned again at the end of September it was like starting all over again with the basics so that was uninspiring, to say the least.

In general, I was able to regain or at least try to do all the things I used to do without much pain with the exception of one skill, my toe loop. Not because I couldn’t do it or I was afraid but because every time I did it the darn boot would bang against the plate in the side of my leg. This was a little upsetting as it is one of the easiest jumps I do and pretty integral to any program but it was very painful to do the jump. Almost like a shock every time the boot banged on my leg. For a little while I just ignored it (although it bothered me) and then I started feeling like other elements (while not bothering the plate) were just a little slidey.

I then had my blades sharpened but I still felt like things were not quite right. I remembered before the break sometimes feeling my boot slip a little on jumps so I thought perhaps it was time to get new boots. It had been 5 years after all with many hours on the ice and I was starting to tighten my boots every 30 minutes or so in the sessions I was skating. Not to mention the large creasing in the boot by the ankle, a sure sign that my boots were breaking down. So, despite the thought that I would probably have to start all over again with building my skills up, I realized I needed new skates.

On the bright side and I’m sure many would agree, there is nothing more thrilling than imagining all the new skills you will be able to do if you can just get the right skates. Of course, the boots will not magically make new skills appear, sigh…. but they can make it easier or harder to do them! It’s great imagining and I must admit, the main part of the fun in buying new skates. Ahh, the axels, the doubles, and those damn moves… all mine, once I find the right skates! Right? HA! Probably not but I can dream, right? After all, this is what this blog is about, dreaming to skate, right?

More realistically though what if I could do my toe loop again without pain? My Riedells were laced up so tight I thought maybe I could find a skate that would not bother my leg as much, not be as tight. Maybe my landings would be more secure? Yes, that’s what I was looking forward to and hoped to fix and so the hunt for new skates began!

 

 

 

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