Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Kate-Triumphant Return

Another blog update! I know, it's very exciting. It's going to be all about what you've been waiting to hear about - my triumphant return to the ice. And triumphant it was!

I have a long and storied history of not taking proper care of myself after surgery and ending up back in bed, weak and worn-out. This always makes my recovery take longer, and yet, every time I try to get up and get back to business too soon. This time, however, I resolved to actually rest and recovery properly. I spent a lot of time reading and lounging about and generally letting my body actually heal. I took six weeks off the ice, and when I returned I was really nervous and convinced I would have lost all of my skills.

Well, there was some backsliding, clearly. My first day back I was very shaky on things I had been doing well on before - I got busted back down to a one foot spin (I was learning scratch spins and backspins before) and baby jumps. But I've been practicing a lot and doing strength training off-ice, and I am very quickly returning to where I was before. It's true that practice makes perfect.

The most exciting news about all this practice is I am now learning the salchow jump. It's incredibly frustrating because it's taking me a long time to get it, but I'm practicing. In class, I could not seem to get it, but then when I went to practice on Sunday I just worked on jumps for an hour and fifteen minutes, and by the end of practice I had had a few successful tries! The amazing thing about figure skating is the feeling you get when you finally manage something that you've struggled with.

I'm still on one-footed spins - I've reverted to some bad habits that we need to correct (going into it from two feet, for example). I also need to get over my fear of gaining momentum - speed is what you WANT in a spin, and it always makes me panic. This week I plan to practice just that - gaining momentum and not being afraid to fall.

I was really frustrated with the changes at the rink and with skating in general, and during my time off I considered quitting. But now that I have returned to skating, I honestly can't imagine leaving it behind. No matter how hard it is, no matter the problems at the rink, it's worth it to be able to do something I love so much.

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