Sunday, July 28, 2013

Thank God for good days: how much is too much?

Last Friday I stunk up the ice.  I couldn't get out of my own way.  Absolutely nothing was working.  Today--totally different.  My legs decided to report for duty.  What a relief!

I'm still trying to work out what is the minimum timing between sessions on the ice to permit my legs to recover.  Public sessions vary between an hour and a half and two hours.  Some of the other skaters that I'm on speaking terms with tend to come to the same publics but unlike your overly thrifty diarist, those skaters come late and leave early.  Do they know something about over-training that I've yet to discover?  I did notice today that with 15 minutes to go my legs were feeling distinctly "gassed".  Should I have stopped then and there?  I pressed on until the Zamboni came out.  Did I really do anything worthwhile with the last few turns, jumps, perimeter skates?  Or, did I set myself up for another stinky skate two days from now when I plan to next skate?  I'll find out Tuesday!

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Slow but steady

Diaristdaughter and I are back taking summer group lessons.  I've been skating with the free-style group while she's been sticking with the mixed bag of adults.  This past Tuesday my group was flooded with extra kids dropping in from Bowie's ISI team, so I decided to wander back over to the adults and skate with them since the two groups share the same time slot.  The usual instructor, coach Mike, takes the  summers off so there was a new person at the helm of this group.  I told the new gun that one of  my persistent issues in advancing up the free-style ladder is that my CCW turns suck.  She asked me to demonstrate and after observing a couple of LOF3s and CCW Mohawks she offered several suggestions that immediately improved those turns.  She also suggested that I try entering the half-flip jump from a Mohawk rather than my wonky left 3 turn.  I tried it and while the jump was not a thing of beauty at least I got in the half rotation.  This experience reenforces my opinion that I really need to concentrate on cleaning up foundation elements rather than beating myself up attempting jumps that require strong execution of those preceding turns.  It also was good to have a different coach take a look and make suggestions.  Sometimes you just need to hear advise from a different angle to make a concept click.  I plan to continue with group lessons but I hope to hire this particular coach for occasional private lessons to refine foundation stuff and give me fresh perspectives so that I continue to advance in the group lessons and don't plateau.

One of our pre-teen nieces from Georgia (that got me back into skating two years ago) is up visiting for a few weeks. I've tried to talk her into taking lessons while she's here but she's a hard head and just wants to skate fast and turn left.  Must be that southern NASCAR influence!   I've tried to teach her the snow plow stop without much luck.  Her mode is to just hit the boards when she wants to stop and that's OK since it's summer and the public sessions are relatively uncrowded.  She is enthusiastic, and has become noticeably steadier each time out. She's taught herself a couple of little spins and things like forward swizzles mainly by observation so I know she'd benefit from formal instruction.  But while you can lead a mule to water you can't force one to drink.  In her defense, back home there are no ice rinks close to home, just roller rinks.  I recon she'll be prefect for roller derby some day...  

Saturday, July 6, 2013

I'm Baaaack! I'm tanned! I'm rested! (Did you miss me?)

At the end of June Bowie finished the annual two month cycle of maintenance and painted the ice as shown here.
Like fresh powder snow to a skier, freshly done ice looks beautiful to the skater!
Our pro shop is under new ownership. The long time owner of "Blades of Bowie" sold out and "Pro Skate" is the new name for our rink's skate shop.  Rumor has it that one of the pair of new owners works for the Caps and the other works for the LA Kings.
This is this year's skate camp mascot.  He needs a name.
Today, the 6th of July, was the first day Bowie Ice Arena reopened for the new season.  Diaristdaughter and I were there for the first public session.  We hadn't been on skates since mid-May and so we were a little nervous about how much rust had formed on our respective muscle memories. As it turned out mercifully not too much but I'm glad we did get a chance to knock some of it off before lessons kick off this coming Tuesday evening.  I fell hard once at the very end of the session but no damage was done to either your diarist or the new ice surface!  Photo credit for this post: Bowie Ice Arena.