Monday, January 17, 2011

Candice: I swear to God, I'm going to kick skating's ass this year

I mean well. I think that comes across, right? I pick up a challenging hobby like figure skating and I say, "I'm really going to dedicate myself to this." I make big goals about what I'll have accomplished with it in just one year, I make plans about how I'm going to increase my flexibility. I start a blog with my friend, and I make big promises to myself about providing regular, insightful, hopefully funny updates. Grandiose dreams of becoming "internet famous" (one step above being famous in a small town) without putting in much effort in ensue. The new year starts and I say, "No really. Diet Town. Population: Me." You already know where this is going.

While the blog and the diet (and the attempts to get more flexible) have all become cobblestones of failed good intentions on the road to becoming lazier, heavier and still inflexible, the skating, at least in part, continued. In the face of the holidays, social commitments, and well, let's say challenges at work, the temporary sabbatical from lessons unfortunately continued for the full 8 week semester. Thankfully a lack of lessons did not stop me from skating at least once a week. (It did, however, stop me from learning anything new.)

I'm happy to report that I've gotten even better at the things I was already pretty good at. The footwork sequence making use of all of my strengths can now be done at a speed that feels impressive (at least, I'm impressed). Forward crossovers, feh, easy peasy! Backwards crossovers? Much less terrifying and way more consistent. Outside three-turns? I can do a hundred of them before breakfast.

Oh but what about the things that I wasn't so good at? Inside three turns? Footwork that puts the emphasis on my weaker leg? Again, you already know where this is going. Don't patronize me with your insincere curiosity and I won't patronize you by pretending that they're not just as dreadful as ever. Despite all the good intentions, practice, and trying I've done in the past months, if there's one thing that I've learned it's that I'm more stubborn than myself.

Wait, what?

What I mean to say is no matter how many times I tell myself, "You're going to work on inside three turns until you've mastered them," the outcome never changes. I will get on the ice do a few, shaky half completed inside three turns and think, "This sucks. Not being good at something is way less fun than being good at something." Almost immediately I rebel against practice makes perfect, and rely instead on look what I can do! Unfortunately the same applies to nearly everything I want to do that requires discipline. See also: diet and stretching. Further reference: time management and my budget.

You might have noticed that the name attached to this blog is Verochka Grinkov. Verochka Grinkov is the name I decided should be applied not to my imaginary friend, but to my imaginary life coach. In my mind, Verochka is a solid, no-nonsense Russian woman in head-to-toe fox fur. Her hair is dyed the same aggressive red as her lipstick. She frowns at me constantly. Verochka is the voice in my head that tells me to shut up and skate, sighs in dismay when I have the fourth (or fifth, or seventh) cookie, and tells me to walk it off when I get an unexpected kick in the keister from life. If Verochka was a real person, my life would be in much better shape because I would probably be terrified of her. Alas, though, she is easily dissipated with a wave of my hand, leaving me to my cookies and lethargy.

Alas, Verochka Grinkov is not real, but there are figure skating that are. I've signed up for another round of lessons, and hopefully their polite but disappointed faces when they tell me to execute an inside three turn will at last shame me into trying harder at them. I'm hoping that with lessons blog updates will become much more regular, skating will become much more fulfilling, and progress will become much more quantifiable. All good things.

But you know, in that same vein, I should probably start calling my mother after every meal in order to get an approximation of Verochka's disapproval at eating the same soup for three days until I go crazy and decide life will only be worth living if I eat three tacos with chips and queso. Hey! Maybe I could even tape Martha Stewarts face to the side of my cats and be guilted into doing the dishes more often!

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