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(Warning: Heavy-duty skate geeking to follow. Side effects among those without a tolerance may include glazed eyes and tinnitus.)

I ordered my new boots last night. As it turns out, the boots I had years ago have changed significantly and become MUCH stiffer. What this means is that I can get more support out of a less expensive boot. I walked in there prepared to drop $300-500 dollars, and they only cost me $200. and they're a full size smaller than my shoe size, which is weird, but they make my feet look cute. ;-)

Then the guy showed me the new Snyder plates (Snyders were, back in the day, the ne plus ultra of skate plates, and apparently still are) (also, the plate is the metal apparatus that holds the wheels). They were so light -- I'm told they're made out of aircraft aluminum. And with what I saved on the boots, I technically could afford a new set of plates, but I think I'll hold off for now. I need new wheels, and I have no idea how prices are running or what the current top wheels are. At least my bearing are still in good shape; those can run a pretty penny.

I need a new skate bag, too -- mine has my maiden name in GREAT BIG LETTERS on the side, and the zipper is beyond sucky. I think I'm going to get this one, in red, and put one of my Dooley nametapes on the side.

I just got off the phone with the head coach at Skateland, and she was so nice, and so welcoming, and she said that most of the skaters these days are over 35. She also mentioned that I could skate in the Elite division, since I'm over 35, and that I could skate in some sub-classes, too, since I've been gone from the sport so long, and given my level of experience, I could even win at Nationals.

Well. Crack to the addict, right there -- I always dreamed of competing and winning at Nationals, but I'll admit I dreamed of winning in freestyle. I have to remind myself that I'm in this for fitness and testing, but still... Nationals. Le sigh. I have a lot to relearn. I must be patient.

I'm wicked excited, though. This is going to be fun.

i feel: chipper chipper

21 trips or shoot the rapids
skittl1321 From: skittl1321 Date: March 12th, 2006 11:43 pm (UTC) (base camp)
That sounds so exciting!

I just got my hands on some videos of Adult Freestyle skating at Bronze level (the first eligble for Nat. level) and looking at it it looks nothing like what the olympians do. Honestly, I think with lessons- I can do that.

I am so excited, and I'm glad I have a virtual skating buddy, even if you are on wheels.

tashabear From: tashabear Date: March 12th, 2006 11:50 pm (UTC) (base camp)
Hey, if I fall down, my ass doesn't get wet. ;-D

Of course, if you fall down, you don't get friction burns. X-D
skittl1321 From: skittl1321 Date: March 13th, 2006 12:02 am (UTC) (base camp)
I think falling is going to be the hardest thing for me to learn in skating.

Kids have a huge advantage- they have less distance to fall, and they aren't scared of it because they don't have a history of injuries.

Right now, I can skate at the level I do without falling. There is no way to learn spins and jumps without falling sometimes. I need to learn to do it.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: March 13th, 2006 12:16 am (UTC) (base camp)
Just relax and let go, and don't try to catch yourself. That way lies sprained and broken wrists.

Look at it this way... you don't fall far when you fall out of a sit spin. :-D
wengeue From: wengeue Date: March 13th, 2006 01:15 am (UTC) (base camp)
It hurts a lot less to fall on ice. But you do get wet, true! My worst falls were definitely on roller skates. But my worst injuries didn't come from falls at all. (Let's see: groin injury from who knows what, and knee injury from repeated jumping. *sigh*)

I tell you, though, skating figures with no toe stop scares the crap out of me. Especially as an ice/roller skater. The three turn is totally different and if I try an ice-type three I go right over the toe of my boot. OW. That was the hardest thing for me; three turns on quads are just so much more terrifying. On ice you have the heel of the blade for those back 3s, and you roll up to the toe, sort of, for the forward ones.

But as an over-35, technically I don't have to do figures with 3s. It is pathetic, but at least I will not crack my skull on Figure 7 in front of a bunch of judges.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: March 13th, 2006 01:29 am (UTC) (base camp)
You're JOKING. No 3-turns? I was working on rockers and serpentine brackets when I quit, with an eye on loops.

Shit. I am gonna clean up if I compete, she was right.

As for technique, the balance is similar, but more subtle. The shift doesn't gop beyond the ball of your foot. I could show you if we weren't, you know, on completely opposite coasts. ;-D
wengeue From: wengeue Date: March 13th, 2006 01:47 am (UTC) (base camp)
Well, I've been off skates for 4 years now (knee problems/grad school) so you should check the current competition rules. But when I was last competing, in Esquire figures, they were forward only. Your previous experience might force you into a different level that would still include turns, but maybe not. It was frustrating because there were lifelong skaters in there, who could still skate really difficult figures, but they were doing figure 1 right along with me in Esquire. Made it difficult to be competitive.

Before that I was in Novice and that did have Figure 7, at least, so I was skating backwards there. I kept getting slammed by the judges there for my step from backwards to forwards, because I have car accident injuries that mean I can't open my hip fully in the way they like, and I can't turn my head as far to the right as I can to the left. I could do the tracing but my turn was a bit ugly. (The judges in the Northwest Region were way more generous than the ones at Nationals, though!)

I can do the two three turns OK, it's just that without the toe stop on I still feel as if something awful is going to happen. (I don't *use* the toe stop at all. I'm well-trained that way. It's just another mental block -- if it's there, I feel as if I have something to save me if I mess up. If it's not there, OH NOES I WILL DIE!) ;) Yes, I drove my coach nuts.

It is interesting, really, how subtle the balance shift is to do the 3 on quads. Makes the ice 3 feel almost sloppy in comparison.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: March 13th, 2006 01:29 am (UTC) (base camp)
Also, I'd rather fall on hardwood any day, than on ice.
wengeue From: wengeue Date: March 13th, 2006 01:22 am (UTC) (base camp)
You can totally get to Bronze level. I've watched so many people start from scratch and end up at Adult Nationals, including this one guy who I think was in his 70s. With lessons? As long as you are motivated, you can do it.

One cool thing is that even if you are an adult skater and triples and doubles are out of your range, you can still learn world-class spins and other elements. (Still takes a while. But they are easier than jumps.) ;) I saw adult skaters with the most amazing sit spins, laybacks, etc. Even at the Bronze level, you can do that.

Fall a lot, and you will get used to it and it won't be scary any more. And the faster you are moving, the less the falls hurt, because you slide on the ice when you fall. More slide = less hurt.

I miss skating... both ice and roller.
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tashabear From: tashabear Date: March 13th, 2006 12:01 am (UTC) (base camp)
Quads might be easier -- more stable wheel base. Maybe when I get up to speed again, we can have a Carolingian skating party.
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tashabear From: tashabear Date: March 13th, 2006 12:21 am (UTC) (base camp)
That does make it hard. Definitely, maintaining posture will be important towards that end.
tashabear From: tashabear Date: March 13th, 2006 12:04 am (UTC) (base camp)
Also, if she shows an interest in country music, we'll know your suspicions are correct. (I also taught and competed in country western line dance.)
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tashabear From: tashabear Date: March 13th, 2006 12:19 am (UTC) (base camp)
It could be worse. It could be hip-hop and really loud, rude rap. In the grand scheme of things, there are worse interests than country dance. (alo, I was REALLY good.)
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tashabear From: tashabear Date: March 13th, 2006 01:07 am (UTC) (base camp)
Jazz dance is fun, too!
rufinia From: rufinia Date: March 13th, 2006 12:26 am (UTC) (base camp)
Well, *I* would. :P

Seriously, Tibor, you've mentioned concerns about Anna learning new physical skills and her disabilities several times recently. And I know you want to protect her from being teased and from failure, but she has to learn to deal with her physicality- and something like ballet and/or martial arts might be really, really good for her. Who ever said that both of these skills teaches the student *how* to make the movement is absolutely correct. Especially in children's classes. (I've taken both, I know of what I speak.) Skating, too... but I never really did learn how to skate. (Wish I had, really.)

If she deicdes she wants to give dance a shot, I have suggestions on what you'd want to look for in a dance school... but i'll save those until/unless needed.

Failure is part of life, and learning how to deal with it as a small child when the stakes aren't terribly high is a lot easier than as an adult (or semi-adult).
tashabear From: tashabear Date: March 13th, 2006 12:32 am (UTC) (base camp)
I don't think it's the dance so much as the country music. There's an unbelievable prejudice against country music in the Northeast.

And I'd be happy to teach you to roller skate, Red. (I don't feel qualified to teach ice skating anymore.)
rufinia From: rufinia Date: March 13th, 2006 12:36 am (UTC) (base camp)
If he killed her for country music, I'd be mad at him. not *all* country music is bad, and msot of it is tune-out-able.

That would be fun. This summer, maybe?
tashabear From: tashabear Date: March 13th, 2006 12:44 am (UTC) (base camp)
Sure! Just gotta get the skates tuned up and re-learn my balance. (There's a couple of other parts I need in addition to the boots and wheels.)
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tashabear From: tashabear Date: March 13th, 2006 01:32 am (UTC) (base camp)
I don't know how to teach for roller blades, but I can give pointers on posture.
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tashabear From: tashabear Date: March 13th, 2006 01:31 am (UTC) (base camp)
The other kids will behave themselves if they're in my class, or there would be a game of follow the leader they'd not soon forget.
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rufinia From: rufinia Date: March 13th, 2006 01:46 am (UTC) (base camp)
First: That's one of the things you'll be looking at when checking out dance schools/dojos.

Second: You can't protect her forever. Andwould you rather let her learn this lesson when she'll still come to you, or when she's "too cool" to ask for support from her dad?
21 trips or shoot the rapids