Sunday, November 8, 2009

What is up with Wednesdays?

I performed boot surgery last Saturday afternoon. Sunday I went skating to try them out. Normally I don't skate two days in a row never mind three. My muscles typically don't have the stamina and my performance degrades each day that I'm on the ice. However, with the new arch supports in the boots and the tongues fitting much better I skated wonderfully. My figure eights were better, my three turns were easier and I managed my first perfect camel spin as an adult. I must admit it surprised me. I didn't think I did anything different but here I was spinning fast and easily, arms and free leg parallel to the ice. I wasn't slowing down either. I lost count of my revolutions after four. I was totally blown away by how easy the spin felt. I finally came out of it and ended the spin with a perfect scratch spin. I looked down and all the loops of the tracing were contained in a space of a dinner plate. You couldn't tell how many revolutions since it was centered so well. Wow! That is what it feels like! Amazing! Please let me be able to do that again some time soon!

As is my wont, I did my lower body weight lifting workout on Monday instead of skating. It kills me to loose a day of ice training but I know the weight lifting is doing me good. My legs are stronger, my knees are doing better and tolerating the abuse of ice skating much better than they used to, and my core is getting stronger so I can hold myself erect more easily. As an added bonus I seem to be dropping inches off my waist if not pounds off my scale weight. In general, lifting weights has improved my skating. However, it seems to have wrecked havoc on my Wednesday skate. After being able to skate wonderfully this past Sunday I get on the ice on Wednesday and can't even center a simple scratch spin. I have to go back to basic figures to get my edge control back. Then I slowly work up the difficulty scale and work on spinning from a standstill, simple spirals and spread eagles before moving on to spinning from speed. I am a wreck. I can't center anything even from a standstill. If I manage something resembling a centered spin and I try it from speed it has a three foot long trail instead of neatly turning on top of itself. OMG, why is it so hard to skate on Wednesdays? This isn't an isolated incident. It happens every week. The only thing I can attribute it to is the weight lifting.

Now I know that, in weight lifting, in order for the muscle to get the idea that it needs to grow, and hence get stronger, you need to damage the poor unsuspecting sod. So you go into the weight room and literally rip up your muscles until they can't lift any more. Then you take a day or two off, eat lots of food that is good for you, get lots of rest and voila new muscle mass is born. Turns out that I must need to teach the new muscles how to skate on Wednesdays. The old muscles haven't shown them a thing. They must be tired from being beaten up on Monday and don't feel like talking with the new kids on the block (leg, arm, torso..). By the weekend everyone seems to be getting along again and skating progress can be made.

But now, instead of loosing one day of training due to weight lifting I really am loosing two days since Wednesday is remedial day. I can't quit weight lifting. It really is doing me a lot of good. I am particularly impressed with how well my knees are doing with the new routine. I just have to accept the fact that the weight training is slowing down my skate training. Since I am older I need to make sure I am doing as much as I can to make myself strong and resilient instead of beating the crap out of myself as if I was 16. I have watched parents at the rink beg their kids to either get off the ice or not jump since the kid is injured and under doctor's orders not to skate hard. What does the kid do? Land an Axel, do double toe loops. The kid's competition is coming up and they don't want to loose training time. It is more important to me to be able to climb stairs pain free than land an Axel but that is 47 year old me talking. When I was 13 I thought casts were cool rather the pain in the butt and months of rehab my older body knows. I guess Wednesdays are going to have to be figure skating 101 days for a while.

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