Weird what some focus can accomplish, eh?

This has been a banner week for skating. I've made more progress with my back spins and loop jumps in the past week than I have in the past year and a half, my sit spins are a work in progress but are that rare move that feels like I'm making noticeable progress every day, I'VE STARTED WORKING ON MY AXEL ON THE ICE, and my primary coach must have told me "that's your best one yet" not only more than ever in one lesson but also about so many things. AND all five of my Bronze MITF test elements felt the most proficient and fluid they ever have in terms of a cohesive, passing test. I love feeling so into this sport and in the zone, and those days when leaving the ice is almost painful are proof that I can get so much accomplished if I just let my brain follow along with my body. Also, I'll be writing for the blog Adults Skate Too and already have my first post  up. Lots of adult skaters have already shared their stories and advice, too, and there's al

Learning to trust the process

I have taken to pep-talking myself through the most intimidating parts of whatever test, program, or new element I’m working on, but there is nothing I mutter to myself more than “Remember that you do this because you fucking love this.” I’ve briefly touched on this before , but I’ve stuttered for nearly 30 years. The ways it directly affects my skating are minimal—I might trip over my tongue while chatting with my coaches, catching up with my skating sisters, or joking around with the custodian, and I am kind of shocked that no one’s mentioned that I talk a little funny, ESPECIALLY when I’m going through a nasty bout of disfluency—but it’s the perspective that it’s given me that correlates to my life as a figure skater the most. Stuttering isn’t fatal, it doesn’t hurt, and it only imposes on my quality of life if I choose to let it. It is, however, irksome at best and humiliating at worst to know exactly what you want to say but either can’t spit it out or are terrified that your ow

All things are cyclical

With Lake Placid coming on fast (EIGHT! FREAKING! DAYS!) and the total tease of signing up for my Bronze MITF test only to have it cancelled literally the next day, I’ve been feeling so up and down and lukewarm about my skating—not the sport itself, just my perpetually underwhelming proficiency in it. I've been back at skating for almost two and a half years, and I love and am dedicated to this sport in ways my younger self never was, so it kills me to admit that, even though I'm skating better in my mid-30s than I ever did with a younger, more agile body, I’m still just not that great of a skater. In my bitchier days, I shamelessly, openly scorned mediocre writers for adding nothing to the craft but who were clearly so delusional to think that their sloppy jumble of clichés held together by more clichés had any merit or deserved to see the light of day. I can't erase my lesser moments or wantonly judgmental ways of the past, but I can appreciate how utterly non-productiv

Progress in context

It is remarkable what a little perspective does. My primary coach and I usually do private lessons after Saturday group lessons; if one of us can't make it, we'll try to find another day. When we can manage to link up on the nights she teaches at the rink 10 minutes from my house, it's like the stars align as a choir of angels warbles on. We’ve managed to catch up on Tuesdays fairly frequently: The first was for the make-up lesson shuffle, but the week after was purely scoring some free ice time while helping with an adult Learn to Skate class she was teaching—and now, apparently, it looks like it's gonna be a regularly scheduled routine. I've been grabbing all the skating time I can get because I AM taking my Bronze MITF this June, and because I'm simply tired of not giving skating the time I want to be spending with it. I just skated six days in a row for the first time ever earlier this month: If nothing else, learning how to accommodate more skating t

It's (almost!) the most wonderful time of the year

Usually, the first day of spring means I run full-tilt at florals and flip-flops and dresses sans leggings while remaining convinced that I can wish immediate 75-degree days to happen by sheer force of winter-weary will. However. I didn't realize my favorite season was officially upon us until embarrassingly late in the day. But I have a good reason because there are more important matters at hand: I can finally stop obsessively refreshing the (newly redesigned) Lake Placid Skating site  because 2019 ADULT PROGRAM DATES ARE HEEEEERE!!!!!! I took a chance and already booked a hotel based on previous years' dates because there was nothing but Airbnbs by the time I registered for last year's inaugural dive into adult skating camps; while I absolutely loooooved the Saranc Lake Airbnb hubs and I shacked up in last year, we wanted to stay both in town and in a hotel this year. And, folks, for those of you with similar inklings, book that shit NOW because pickings were getting