Saturday, May 14, 2011

Kate: Tears Dry On Their Own

Putting it out on the front street: I cried after skating class today.

Thankfully not at the rink. I may not have much dignity, but my pride allowed me to keep a stiff upper lip and talk to my fellow classmates and not bawl into my disgusting smelling skate bag like a little kid that had dropped her ice cream. No, I waited till I was in the car with Candice and she forced me to talk to her, and that's when the weeping began.

See, we've been skating together for a year, but I am suddenly very, very far behind her in skill level. Today we were working on jumps and the coach made me practice my bunny hops and waltz jumps (jumps I learned months ago) because they need improvement. Candice was doing much more complicated stuff. I spent the whole class feeling like a frustrated failure.

Here's the truth though: I was not a failure. I finally mastered the 8-step, which is a step sequence that we learned two weeks ago that's basically this:

- 2 crossovers
- forward inside mohawk
- back-step
- backward crossover
- backward inside mohawk

I was having so much trouble with it and today I finally got it. I was doing it fast, too! My jumps were much improved, my footwork is suddenly developing much more rapidly. The reason for all of this improvement is happening is that I got new skates. New skates that fit right - my old ones were a FULL SIZE too big, which was part of what was holding me back. Lack of practice also held me back, I'll admit it, but the change between the skates is huge. The feeling is totally different. I feel much more in control of my feet with these skates.

So, why was I crying like a big old baby after class?

I've had a lot more time off the ice than Candice due to health problems and travel issues, but I feel like if I had taken care of this six months ago, maybe I'd be at the skill level I feel like I should be at. I talked to coaches a little about my skates and was generally told "Oh, don't waste the money to buy new skates, just get some insoles and you should be fine". That was also a big part of why I was so upset - I felt a little betrayed by the crappy advice and frustrated with myself for not being more assertive. I have a long history of not being assertive, and this time it really came back to bite me. I could tell something was very wrong about my skates and I wish I had listened to my body instead of outside commentary from people who could not experience what I was feeling.

You can't go back and change the past, however, so I am going to take another round of Adult Workshop and work these skates like a BOSS. I hope that in eight weeks I can report that I have mastered the elements for the pre-bronze test and am on my way to actual competing. Cross your fingers, my beloved three readers.


  1. Oh, honey. I'm glad you have the problem figured out, and I'm sorry your coaching staff let you down. I hope they are not NOT taking you seriously because you're an adult learner. That sort of thing pisses me right off. You're obviously serious about this, and I an cheering for you from up north in figure skater central (Ottawa).

    You're going to nail this thing. You are.

  2. Thank you. :) I think that I wasn't getting taken seriously because of being an adult, but we've been working with a new coach for a while now and he's great - he listens, he gives excellent advice, and he is not afraid to bust us back down to basics if he thinks our technique is wrong (which he's done with me lately). Just gotta remind myself that slow and steady wins the race.