Back on thin ice I'm still chipping away at the Cha-Cha. Just couldn't get my head around how the first chasse step flows into the following wide step or how to transition from the final slalom/chasse step into the RFI edge which starts the end pattern of the dance. Last Tuesday Coach A. and I picked up where we'd left off before I disappeared for a week with me trying to verbalize that which I didn't understand and she trying to demo the bits. That approach was going nowhere fast so she told me to just follow her as she did the dance. After a couple go-rounds things finally started to click. We did the dance partnered and then she wanted to have me skate it solo so she could watch my feet and see how far off pattern I'd get.
The Tuesday evening Free-Style session during which this weekly lesson takes place tends to be busy-busy. Folks in military circles would refer to it as a "target rich environment." Some may remember my post about how my rink was finally adopting the convention of the skater with the right of way wearing an orange vest. Sadly that appears to have been a passing fad. Last Tuesday night music was playing, skaters were skating, but no orange vest was to be seen to indicate who was "in program" (i.e. who had the right of way).
I pushed off on my solo skate. Somebody's music was playing, but who's music? Who knows? I had just started the slalom section of the dance when I suddenly felt contact from behind. In my surprised state it took me a few seconds to figure out (as I accelerated from the push) that another skater and I had collided back to back. For a minute I thought we'd be able to stay on our skates and ride out the momentum but in the end we both slid down to the ice. As I went down I found myself thinking "you'll soon find out who's music that was." My "assailant" turned out to be M. a young, powerful adult lady who was practicing some advanced field moves pattern with lots of power 3-turns and backwards skating. I was going forward, she was skating backwards at the time of contact. Thankfully neither of us sustained injury, her probably due to being young, strong and flexible, me by virtue of lots of D3O padding. We scrambled to our haunches, offer joint apologies and continued about our respective business.
I don't think twice about wearing padding. A man of my considerable gravitas needs all the padding he can lay hands on. I am totally beyond such questions as "Tell me the truth, does this Ice Halo make my head look phat?"
One question I am wondering about is: do I need rear view mirrors or maybe a signal which beeps when I back up? Perhaps mirrors like the ones cyclists clip onto their sunglasses could be incorporated into my next Ice Halo. Or maybe I could get Volvo to design a wearable "BLISS" system. How Volvo gets the acronym BLISS out of Blind Spot Detection System is anyone's guess but I suppose it does have a cheerier ring than calling it the "BS Detection System". Maybe Volvo could incorporate all that into goggles with a head's-up display giving me coordinates indicating how far off pattern I am in a given compulsory dance, the range and bearings to nearby "targets", "objects of interest" on collision courses and so on.
Goggles with such a display probably aren't happening during my skating life time. As Mark Knoffler would say:
"Sometimes you're the windshield
sometimes you're the bug;
Sometimes it all comes together baby,
sometimes you're just a fool in love."
Say, maybe a version of this tune might work with the Hickory Hoedown.
Final observation: Afterwards, I asked Coach A. whether or not I blurted out a stream of profanities as M. and I death-spiraled down to the ice. This is a concern--after all I am a sailor and so have a reputation to think about. She said "Not that I heard." I swear that woman massages the truth.