Saturday, January 19, 2013

Back in the Saddle

So, it's been a while since this was last updated. A lot has happened since last April, as is usually the case in people's lives. I got a job working for a law firm, I'm in my last semester of school. I got some serious news about my health that I'm still processing. I made new friends, tried new things, and drank a lot of wine.

I almost walked away from skating.

See, our city used to have two rinks with a fairly decent public skating schedule. Then, one of the rinks closed, which severely cut down on available practice time unless I wanted to spend ungodly amounts of money on freestyle sessions. I kept taking lessons on Saturday mornings, but then last semester I had a Wills & Trusts class on Saturdays that ended that. Basically, skating has become an expensive pain in the ass.

I did start working with a private coach around September. Then, during the holidays, I ended up missing a month of lessons due to illness and other factors, and after the new year I took a long look at my life and my health problems, and thought "Maybe I should give up this sport. It's expensive, it's hard on my body, and it just doesn't seem worth it any more."

My coach sent me an e-mail saying we would restart lessons January 12th, and so I decided to go and give it one more shot. Oh, what a shot it was. I was so out of shape - I sweated through all my clothes just doing simple elements and ended up limping off the ice with miserably sore feet and legs. I need a two and a half hour nap that afternoon! The next day I went to practice again and was so sore that night I needed to take painkillers to sleep comfortably. It was ridiculous, and I loved every minute of it. Even with the weakness and the loss of elements I had really gotten a handle on, I still felt better than I had in over a month.

It's easy to forget when you're away from the ice how great it is. What it feels like when you get something right. I have a lot of chronic pain issues, and figure skating probably isn't the kindest thing I could be doing to my body, but when I land a jump right or I finally manage a good spin or even do simple elements well, it gives me such a rush. My coach is great at pushing me to do my best while also being encouraging when I have a hard time. I realized that no matter what happens with the rink, there's no way I can walk away from this. I love it too much.

Next week I'm going back to practicing jumps, so I suppose I better get my butt in gear and do some practicing this weekend so I'm not a hot mess. I'll report back on how it goes!

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