A week ago, I had the best practice in over 18 years.  The proof of it all, is in the earlier blog. My practice yesterday was one of the worst. All the progress I thought I had made a week before, seemed to have vanished into nothingness. My coach kept trying to cheer me up. But, there was no cheering. I simply could not be consoled. I was too disappointed in myself. I skated off the ice after the lesson in defeat.

How many times have we done this same thing? Defeat is only defeat when we give up and quit entirely. But, something had to be done. So, I took an inventory of how I was feeling. First of all, my feet hurt and they hurt bad. For a woman who cannot feel her feet, it is rare that I feel any pain at all. But both feet were so sore, I could only concentrate on the pain. My pride did not allow me to tell my coach that. I thought I could just work through it. In talking with a friend and another coach, she asked me if I was tying my laces too tight. Having new skates, it is possible I pulled the laces harder than I needed to. My older skates had arch support that I have not yet added to the new skates. But it was also a fatigue factor. I had spent the previous few days moving heavy boxes. As it turns out, I am not super woman. Though I would like to think I am at times, I am human. I must make human adjustments and take human breaks. Pushing myself too hard, is one of the reasons I spent 15 days in the hospital and two days on a ventilator. Those memories will haunt me forever. But, I also need to learn from them.

I have asked myself over and over, “What do I need to do to improve my stamina and my skating skills?” I never consider my age. I never say, “I can’t do something.” I think about it and then work on the necessary goals to achieve them. Then, I go about doing what I need to do. I now spend more time stretching; more time off ice on cross country walking and hiking; I have stopped fearing the fall. My 8 step pattern, and the backward three turns have caused me great stress in the past. But the one good thing that came out of yesterday’s practice was,  I have finally mastered my 8 step to an above passing score. I am not afraid to pick up the speed necessary to have nice flow on the mohawks. I am confident, I am rounding the corners like I need to now. So, the only thing left to master, are the backward three turns. Which, I really only have to work on the outside ones. So, why did I feel so deflated, when so much good came out of what I perceived to be negative? It’s because my focus was only on what I could not do, instead of what I did do. I think sometimes our human nature works against us.

So, the next time you have an off day – dissect it. Take the time to analyze your lesson or ice time. I am sure you will find that instead of it being 100% all bad, the ratio will be more like 60% good – to the 40% bad. Are those not better ratios? Find the good. You will if you look.

Till next time,


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