Wednesday, March 09, 2011


There's that exclamation point again.

I skated today and I was wretched. I can "do" crossovers at will, but they're awful--I look like Judy The Wonder Horse answering math questions as I paw the ground with my skate. I just slap it down, and then I'm not in position to do anything quickly because I'm in a very weak position. Since I'm not doing it right, though, it's hard to get the feel of what I should be doing.

My skating instructor is very nice and very skilled, and he's a ton of help, but I would learn easier with more engineering/physics-based explanations. So instead of showing me a body position that I can't really duplicate, he could explain to me all the forces and angles involved, which would help me understand what needs to happen and why, and I could sort it out from there.

This is all relative, because I skated for half an hour and didn't come close to falling even once, so I've gotten much better, but I always pay much more attention to the wasps than the cake.

I heard something very interesting at the rink yesterday. There was a figure skater, probably in her 20s, and she was working on something or other about thirty feet away from me. I had my back turned to her, and I heard this sound like a high-pitched helicopter rotor. I turned around and she was doing a "scratch spin"--the move where skaters spin around at very high speeds.

Interesting coincidence.

I turned back around and kept doing my BabySkate 101 practice move, and then I heard the sound again. I turned around and this time, there was no doubt--it was her.

The sound was coming from her skate blades.

Have you ever seen the cartoons where the superhero starts to spin at high speed? It was a variation on that sound, with the helicopter rotor thrown in.

I never think of figure skating as a powerful sport, but those skate blades were telling me something entirely different.

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