Sunday, July 5, 2009

Lake Placid Day 4: A day of rest

Well sort of....
We did start the day off with sleeping in which was fantastic. I couldn't believe that I slept okay even with my shoulder being messed up. I had made a big pile of sofa pillows and perched my bed pillow on the apex and slept quite comfortably slightly upright. My arm felt a bit better. I had expected it to be much worse particularly since it was only a few months ago I couldn't dress myself due to the pain from the tendinitis in that arm. I was shocked that it was feeling so much better. Thank you Zach!!!!

While I missed the morning stretch, we managed to get over to the rink in time for the second power stroking class with Lorna Aldridge. I was worried about not having enough stamina to keep up but I did fine. She showed us the correct technique to do crossovers so that they don't curl into the center of the circle. This was another ah ha moment for me. Instead of turning the upper body to face the into the circle you are skating around, you skate with the upper body square to the crossovers. This keeps you from spiraling into the center of the circle and lets you gain speed during the crossovers and actually forces you to trace larger and larger circles. Cool. Good to know for one of the advanced MIF tests. I tried it and found that it worked wonderfully well. I'll have to use this on my test next week. To get us to not twist up our upper bodies she then had us do the crossovers but with dangling arms and then using our arms in a running style swinging back and forth. I couldn't do this with my left arm but what a difference in my crossovers. Wow.

She then had us start to slalom around the perimeter of the ice. She had us push very hard into the ice until we felt it in our thighs. It didn't take long before I was winded. Another good endurance exercise for later.

Class ended much too soon and I moved over to the patch side of the ice. I only had a half hour left and because of my arm I stuck to fo and fi eights. No three turns today!

I got off the ice and was busy taking my boots off when Lorna joined us. I had noticed that she had pink blades so I asked her if she was skating on Paramount blades. Turns out that she switched over a while ago and absolutely loves them. She had skated on Coronation Ace since she was little (same as me) until she switched to dance blades. Then sometime after the Olympics (yes, she competed in the 1980 Olympics in ice dancing) she switched to the Paramount blades and won't use anything else. Well, I'm sold. The guy who sharpens my skates had recommended these and I was dubious about it since it was a newer company and both my parents only skated on Coronation Ace blades but after talking with Lorna I'm sold. I'll switch after my test and competition.

We had the rest of the afternoon off. We weren't due back at the rink until 6pm so we took off to Saranac Lake. We had lunch at one of my favorite places, McKenzie Grill, and then went shopping. I hadn't been around Saranac for quite a few years and it has changed a lot. There used to be a shop that sold home made soaps, talcs and lotions. They have moved to a larger very cool shop and now also sell fabrics and yarns and have expanded their toiletry line to include some French soaps that I love. Of course we left with some Peony soap for me and some Shea Butter soap for Mom.

We finished walking around just in time for a downpour to hit. We were both tired so we went back to the condo for some rest. We both fell asleep for about an hour which is unusual for both of us. We must have been tired.

Back to the rink for more skating. This time it was backward outside figure eights. Only one other girl showed up beside myself. Yeah! A semi private lesson with figure goddess, Barbara Colby. She proceeded to show me an entirely different way to start my back edges. The beginning position is the same; you stand perpendicular to the direction you want to skate in, on both feet facing the center of the circle you are going to trace out. You then pick up your right foot and bring it into the left shifting all of your weight onto your left foot. Now here is the new bit; you twist around on your left foot so you are now on your circle facing backwards, then push off. This is a tricky bit of balancing and I was really nervous from falling yesterday. My first bad fall after I got back on the ice a year ago was while I was doing a push off for a back edge so needless to say I was a bit dubious, nervous and terrified. I didn't really want to twist around on one foot but I kept practicing. I managed to start a few circles. Barbara showed me the hook I was making due to not twisting around fully so now I understood why she used this method. I kept working at it. Two feet, look at the center of my circle, pick up the right foot, shift the weight to the left, turn, push and step, bring free foot in front and glide... Down I went. For some stupid reason I had shifted my weight to the rear of my blade when I got about 1/4 of the way around the circle and of course I fell over the heel of my blade. I sat down hard on the ice on my right cheek. It hurt and of course I was sitting in a puddle of water. I couldn't get myself up since my left arm wasn't working. I couldn't put any weight on it so I scooched over to the boards on my knees so I could use the boards to help myself up. In the meantime both Barbara and the other student had rushed over to help me up. Now both arms hurt and my butt hurt and I was soaking wet. Time to get off the ice. I had wanted to take her next class, the loop, but I couldn't skate again and loops are tricky. I didn't want to loose my balance and go down again. Neither arm would take another fall.

I wasn't about to be defeated so easily though. Barbara's next class was on loops and I might not be able to skate but I can listen and take notes so I can try it on my own later. Off to my bag I went, put on my jacket to keep warm and pick up my pen and notebook and back to the lessons. I drew lots of diagrams and took lots of notes but didn't actually try them. I have always wanted to be able to do a loop and I hope I can remember enough of the lesson to attempt one back home.

I was soggy and in pain. It was time to go home. We got drenched in the rain just on the short walk from the car to the condo entrance. I couldn't change into my pajamas fast enough. Clean dry warm clothes. Yum. I had some leftovers for dinner and took some aspirin. Them Mum and I sat and watched an old Sonya Henie movie together until bedtime at 9:30. What fun!

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