The following Monday, I felt little bit better, but still tired. Unfortunately, I still had a dry cough that was adversely affected by the cold. Back on the ice, everything was more or less there. I still managed a run-through, with no doubles though. At least that day, I had an excuse. Best of all was that the discouragement was gone and my motivation was back.
Unhelpful self talk in training
Some days, it’s hard to get going for no real good reason other than I am feeling lazy, and sitting in the sun or on the sofa would be preferable. The hardest part is driving into the parking lot and asking myself “what on earth are you doing here”? “How am I going to survive the next two hours?” “I’m cold, I have dishes to wash …” “The car is so nice and warm; there’s a huge shopping mall half a mile away ….” Would milady like some cheese with her whine?
The first five minutes on the ice is the worst; I’m cold and uncoordinated. Somewhere in there, I transition away from stiff, cranky old lady to totally happy and comfortable old lady. The first five minutes seems to last two hours and the next 115 pass in five minutes!
Unhelpful self talk – competing
The same thing happens when I compete: “What am I doing here? It’s a Saturday! What if I crash and burn? I’m up against the kids (well, usually they are 16-18 year-olds); they will make fun of me.”
I remind myself that as soon as I walk into the arena, the adrenaline will hit and brain and body will remember that they’ve got a job to do. My family is off doing their Saturday activities and are looking after themselves quite nicely; don’t worry, my kids even sends me encouraging text messages!
As for the “kids”, once they get past the initial shock of realizing that I’m not some skater’s Mom or coach, they are intrigued and enthusiastic. I’ve had some nice conversations with competitors in their early twenties who feel they are at the end of their competitive career through a combination of injuries, reduced training time, due to school or work, or just plateau-ing as far as their skating skills.
Few of them ever realized that adult figure skating is growing and there will be a chance for them to continue for as long as they want to. This would allow them to continue setting goals that are important to them. Their coaches don’t even realize that opportunities are out there in adult figure skating. This is essentially the reason for this blog. We need to get the message out – there is no need to give up on your passion just because you are past a certain age!!
So, everything happens for a reason, the good days and the discouraging ones. Last year could have been extremely discouraging as I was unable to train at all due to my left hip joint finally self destructing. I admit it’s been tough watching competitions from the sidelines and not being around my figure skating community. Since April I’ve had a clean bill of health from my surgeon and while I still am nowhere at my level of skating that I was at a few years ago I skate (and walk,cycle, swim, dance) pain free for the first time in five years!
And every time I get on the ice I make small but steady improvements. My goal is to start training my interpretive by September and hopefully compete it by December. I have time; strictly speaking, I don’t have to “peak” in time for any particular event. Although at my age, I’d settle for an “upward trend.”
This week’s video is my current “Go-to-Happy-Pick-Me-Video” Vivir Mi Vida by Marc Anthony For all you non-Spanish speakers here is a translation of the lyrics: