Saturday, November 17, 2012

Trying to answer ice skating's persistant mysteries.

There are a couple of things I may never understand about this ice skating lark.  First off, why do Zamboni machines have headlights?  What's up with that?  Does it ever get dark 'n stormy inside your rink?  Mine neither.  And nope, no on-coming traffic either.  I may never figure it out.

Your basic Zamboni Model 540.  Why the headlights???  (I've discovered that the Wells Ice Rink in College Park offers Zamboni driving lessons--I may be unable to resist!)

The other thing, and I've got to come to grips with this one soon, is whether I'm destined to jump and spin CCW like 90% of the skating population or be one of those weirdos that go CW.  Right now I'm in that unenviable situation of jumping CCW but preferring to spin CW.   Both my first grade teacher (the Sainted Miss Monaghan) and Kelly, my current free style instructor very much want me to be a "righty".  Thanks to Miss Monaghan's insistance I write with my right hand rather than my left, which was my first choice as a primary schooler.  At about that time I also acquired the tendency to kick a ball with my right foot.  So, at age 66, with a dominant right arm and leg you would think that it's a forgone conclusion that I'm fully programed to go best in the CCW direction.  Not so!  My natural tendency seems to mark me as a CW kinda guy; for example both my CW forward outside and inside 3 turns as well as my CW Mohawk are much tidier than my CCW counterparts.   Kelly tried and tried to get me to do two-foot spins CCW and I can't get two clean revs try as I might.  However, in the meantime I've started doing Waltz jumps to the left and when I attempted one to the right it just didn't want to happen.  Being stubborn I tried another one to the right only to biff the landing.  My reward for that effort was a knot on my right knee about the size of a golf ball--almost as effective as Miss Monaghan's ruler.  The swelling has gone down but it still wakes me up at night.  Last Thursday Kelly watched my pathetic attempted spin and said "Well, maybe you should try it to the right after all."  I did and was immediately rewarded with a clean spin of 3 revs (6 revs are required to pass this little element).  For the moment it appears that I'm stuck in "confused and conflicted" mode. I hope my left and right brain hemispheres kiss and make up...I need a decision!  Soon!

Headlamps!  Really!

On other news fronts, diaristdaughter successfully passed her Pre-Alpha, Alpha and Beta ISI tests the other night.  She's on the road to Gamma--Woo Hoo!


  1. I am a naturally right handed person, and very right side dominant (my muscle mass in my right leg is VISIBLY larger than my left- it is kind of sad.)

    And yet, I skate CW. It is about rotation. If I turn over my left shoulder, I get really dizzy. I can turn over my right shoulder for hours.

    You could be one of those real weirdos who jumps and spins in opposite directions. Our skate director does. She said it gets real limiting when you get to doubles, and she never got beyond them. For most adults- not a concern.

    1. Yes, Kelley mentioned the limitations of jumping and spinning in opposite directions when one gets to double rotational jumps but I quite agree with you--I'll probably never get that far!

      Maybe if I can stuff enough bubble wrap down my shorts I'll be brave enough to continue trying half-rotation jumps in both directions. We'll see how long that strategy lasts...

  2. If the ice is being groomed after closure, it's probably cheaper to do it with the overhead lights out and with just the zam lights on. Also, some rinks have multisheets of ice, the zams may travel on poorly lighted non-public hallways occasionally.