Skating Changes

by Mary on June 23, 2016

Kim, Mary, Ty

Kim, Mary, Ty

Lots of surprising and frustrating changes afoot with my skating. I had my moves lesson with Kim and the next day heard from her that she’s retiring. I knew she’d been slowly cutting back but I had no idea that would be my last lesson. She had still been making the decision on my lesson day so hadn’t said anything then.

That certainly put our plans for me to test my juvenile moves before long on hold. In addition to moves Kim has been great at helping me with my freestyle elements and programs. She’s positive and patient and always able to come up with one more way to explain things to help you get it.

She’d specialized lately in helping skaters get their moves tests, including the highest level ones. Her retirement will be a big loss not just to me but to the local skating community. I’m sad! I’m trying to be happy for her, though, for all the time she’ll have to enjoy life outside the rink.

Coach Ty is also gone, just for the summer and early fall in his case. I’d signed up to test my Foxtrot and Fourteenstep ice dances with him in early May, but that test session was moved, then cancelled. We made a new plan to test at a different club in early June, but when I tried to sign up the test chair told me they didn’t have the right judges for the pre-silver dances. That turned out to be wrong but I didn’t hear that until far too late to be able to test.

Ty had made a very long drive back to town to be able to be at that test session, so neither of us were happy. Now I won’t be able to test with him until at least October.

I think I’m done with my PT, too, the session I had yesterday was either my last or next-to-last. I’ve made so much progress but still need to keep working on my knee alignment. The right knee in particular still buckles inward when I jump which is sure to aggravate it. But the well-respected local chain I’d been going to, Olympic Physical Therapy, was bought out by ATI and is undergoing some changes that make it hard for me to continue. It’s alright because I’m close enough to done that I can continue by working with a trainer.

I had been supplementing my PT by working with a trainer through Olympic’s Athletic Engineering (AE) Program. Julie, the knowledgeable AE trainer I was working with, is a former high-level skater and a yoga teacher. I had to reluctantly stop working with her over a month ago when ATI discontinued her AE program. AE continues (for now anyway) at another location, and Julie referred me there. We’ll see how that works out: I will have my first training session in a week. I feel like I’m starting over again.

I’ve been doing a little hiking and gardening lately too. I have to skate less when I’m going to hike. For me at least, skating during the week and hiking on the weekend does not work.  That dovetails well with the catch-as-catch can nature of summer ice times which keep me scrambling to find a time and place to skate.

I have one important-to-me skating project that is going to keep me motivated and figuring out how to train: my neglected and half-baked freestyle program which has to be ready for competition by the end of August. My choreographer/coach Lisa, my skating lifeline at this moment, can help me with that.

I hope you are enjoying your mix of summer activities whether they include skating or not. Let me know how you are doing, readers, and I will try to catch up with you soon as I add new opportunities back into my training.

{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Jo June 23, 2016 at 3:19 am

Oh, how sad to have these coaching changes. It is really hard to juggle everyone’s lives and schedules in skating over the long haul. I’m glad you are continuing the progress you’ve made in all these areas, including off the ice. Keep us posted on the new developments!
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Mary June 23, 2016 at 2:26 pm

Thanks, Jo, appreciate the support.


Marcia June 23, 2016 at 11:01 am

So sorry to hear Kim is retiring. Bittersweet for sure. Coaching changes are hard. I swear sometimes getting the testing done is so hard. I’ve been struggling with this myself with my daughter. Schedules are impossible now that she’s getting older. All the best with your program. I’ll be excited to see it!
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Mary June 23, 2016 at 2:35 pm

Thanks, Marcia, appreciate your perspective and support. I can imagine how hard it is for you with your daughter, I know a lot of families choose homeschooling in order to skate, while other seem to ‘do it all’ and maintain regular school and academics too. Then there’s all the rest of us who don’t get to the super-high level in either skating or school. but try to enjoy whatever mixture of things we’re able to pull off.


Eva June 23, 2016 at 1:17 pm

I’m sad to hear that you’re losing 2 coaches in such a short amount of time. Hopefully you’ll be able to test those dances and moves soon. Keep us posted on the freestyle program!
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Mary June 23, 2016 at 2:38 pm

I’m used to Ty coming and going, he’s gone every summer and often at other times too. But Kim’s been steady. Thanks, Eva, I hope I will at least be able to make some progress on that freestyle program now.


Melissa June 23, 2016 at 10:13 pm

Such a lot of changes, Mary. I hope your choreographer/coach isn’t planning to go anywhere for a long time! Good luck working on the freestyle program, and hope the new location for PT/training will work out for you. And that testing in October will happen for your dances AND moves.


Mary June 24, 2016 at 4:45 am

Yes it is a lot of change! Lisa is definitely still here and will try to come to Vancouver since she has several skaters going (though it is the first week of school, which is tough). Thanks for all the good wishes!


George A. July 4, 2016 at 7:42 pm

Mary: Changes like the ones you’re going through are always disappointing. When faced with the end of arrangements which I’ve become accustomed to, I try to tell myself that as one door closes another usually opens. It is daunting to face several big changes at the same time. I’ve been off-ice since just before our son’s wedding back in mid-June. But I have had the chance to race my small sailboat twice and won at both regattas. My rink reopens next week. Hopefully I will still remember how to skate!


Mary July 13, 2016 at 1:56 am

Hi George, I’m looking forward to that next door opening. I am telling myself that I should do my best to be adaptable, it’s a really good skill. Sailing sounds like the perfect complement to skating, you can do it in the summer when ice is hard to find. Congratulations on winning both your regattas! I’ve been off skating for over two weeks now with an injury so the changes continue. I have been spending more time in the garden– if I sit on the ground I can weed a little– and I’ve been reading. So I do have some things to fall back on too.


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