Still Training

by Mary on February 2, 2015

skating my 'Walking Through' program

skating my ‘Walking Through’ program

Getting out to skate these days is more complex now that I’m juggling it with my new job of taking care of my mom and ferrying her to OT, PT, and various doctor appointments. I’m arranging help from friends and family and I’m still getting out there. I figured I could make it work and signed up for adult Sectionals in March and Nationals in April.

Recently my training partner and I videoed each other at our lessons with coach Lisa.┬áIn the background you can hear Lisa yelling out encouraging things. It’s poignant for me right now to hear her. She had a bad skating accident a few days ago and will be off the ice for a long time.

In the last couple of years I’ve had too many skating friends suffer fractures, concussions, or both. Skating can be a rough sport. I do wear head protection a lot of the time and knee pads whenever I practice. In this video I have a Force Field headband under my knitted hat. I’ve considered elbow pads after taking a few hard elbow hits and knowing three people now who have shattered an elbow figure skating.

I’ve never even thought about using wrist guards, though, and yet here I am taking care of my mom with a poorly healed broken arm and seeing how much it is affecting her life. If I didn’t currently wear knee padding I’m sure I’d be thinking about that because of my mom’s broken kneecap. I haven’t worked through all these things in my mind. My mom’s OT says they have several gymnasts on their caseload right now with arm injuries. It’s these darned sports where we are supposed to look pretty (and therefore not wear padding) while doing potentially dangerous things.

Meanwhile I’m still training. You might notice a few changes in the video since my event last November. I’ve added a lutz to the program where there used to be a flip. The lutz is still inconsistent, sometimes I put my free foot down on my landing when I don’t even need to. I’ll be very unhappy with myself if I do that at Sectionals in Las Vegas so I’m trying to train that out. I’m telling myself a slightly Yoda-like phrase: Land or do not land the jump. Do not put your foot down.

You might also see a little improvement in the camel spin though I still need to get that free leg higher. Lisa took out my spread eagle out and put an Ina Bauer in its place. Some day I really do want that spread eagle in my program, I asked for it this time. I showed my training partner both my Ina Bauer and my spread eagle, and she said the Ina is prettier, so I know my coach was right to make the change. If I want the spread eagle I’m going to have to figure out how to make it look nicer, and it won’t be for my next event, I have too many other things to try to clean up. It’s crunch time for both my programs: I’d better figure out how to keep getting on the ice.

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

George A. February 2, 2015 at 2:17 pm

Hi Mary: I broke my right radius three years ago, and although my employer was understanding, I realized that I needed to “gear up” if I planned to stay employed. I’m a molecular biologist and it’s impossible to don gloves and perform sterile techniques with one arm in a cast. I now wear d30 padded snow board shorts, d30 padded knee pads, foam elbow pads (haven’t found acceptable d30 elbow pads yet) and Flex-meter brand wrist guards. The only time I don’t wear the wrist guards is when I’m in a partnered ice dance hold. The wrist guards are bulky but they’ve saved my bacon several times since I bought them. I don’t presently compete. I suppose if I get to the point of competing I’ll need to dispense with some of the safety gear for the sake of art but I’ll feel naked without it!
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mary February 3, 2015 at 6:46 am

Hi George, thanks for sharing your choices in padding, I’ve been down the rabbit hole of internet research on padding choices this evening, still not sure whether I could make myself wear wrist guards… but maybe if they were low profile enough to hide. I have had two friends fracture their elbows while ice dancing with their coaches (two different coaches, neither one mine). It’s been really upsetting to hear about these accidents. What brand are you using for elbow pads?


Eva February 2, 2015 at 2:38 pm

I signed up for Nationals too, so I will hopefully get to meet you in SLC!

You are skating so much faster than before, Mary. The lutz looks great and your camel spin has improved. Please keep me posted on when you skate so I can come cheer you on.
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mary February 2, 2015 at 7:41 pm

It will be great to finally meet at Nationals! I’m really looking forward to the social aspect of that event. Thanks for the thought of watching me skate, I will definitely try to watch the gold ladies, too. My coach challenged me to skate faster and work on it throughout January, I’m glad you see the improvement!


Marcia February 2, 2015 at 4:05 pm

Wishing all the best for your mom! It’s got to be hard to reshuffle everything to take care of her so kudos to you.
So sorry to hear about Lisa. I hope she’s ok. I just had this convo with my kids as we watched Nationals last weekend. About how dangerous our sport is.
Your program looks pretty!
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mary February 2, 2015 at 8:40 pm

Well it needs to be done, it’s most of what I’m doing right now but I’m glad I’m in a position to be able to help. As far as my coach, I don’t see any way that her accident could have been prevented, it was one that is just part of the inherent risks of being on the ice. A different coach who I’ve worked with broke her wrist last year, there was an ice hazard involved in that accident.


Melissa March 9, 2015 at 2:38 pm

Hi, Mary, it was great watching skating together at Sectionals. I loved both of your programs; you are a wonderful skater! Looking forward to seeing you at Adult Nationals.


mary March 11, 2015 at 5:09 am

It was great! And thanks for the compliment! I can’t wait for everything to be up on icenetwork so I can see some of the things I missed, including your free skate and the rest of our bronze group. I don’t like to watch the skaters before me and I am in a daze after I skate, so I have no idea yet what everyone else did! I’m looking forward to Nationals too. Haven’t yet gotten back on the ice, I’d better get going soon!


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