Skating Neep

Going  into the last regional quad-skater meet for 2011 this Sunday, I’m a little steadier with my new form.  The good core—a strong abdominal wall and a correspondingly strong back and sides—holds my torso gently rigid, if that makes any sense, and if I want to get lower I bend at the knees and ankles, not at the waist. 

This is my proudest moment so far—the time I finished a race at a meet only two strides behind a gold medalist national champion quad skater in my division, Benita Warns, a.k.a. Batterin’ Gram. Of course she smoked me the following month, but hey, this showed me I’d been improving. Used to be I couldn’t even see her contrail.

Lean over from the ankles into a controlled fall toward the left on the corners, and never stop committing to the left: commit maximum weight to the left-leg stride, commit to the left with turned head about 75% of the time, and commit left with the eyes virtually 90-100% of the time.  If I want more speed, if I feel slow or feel I’m falling behind, take a longer stride at a 45o angle.  I’ve been doing this for about five weeks now and I think it’s beginning to get into the reptile brain.

Thank the gods I was born with these monster legs: thick cankles, monster calves, knees for someone 6 feet high and 300 lbs, and Christmas hams.

Thanks to the amazing coach Jack I have a stretch that keeps away the lower back pain on those 80- and 100-lap pace lines.  Thanks to coach Rowena I have another stretch that helps prevent those.  Thanks to coach Jason kicking my heinie three times a week, I’m always pushing, no matter how much faster I think I am.

It’s hard to tell.  In practice or in competition, I’m always skating against people who are also training hard and getting faster.

Now to fix my lame-ass starts.

This week they’re recoating our rink floor, for the first time in about two years.  That should help.  Unless my form is 100% perfect, it’s hard for me to commit all that weight to the left stride on a slippy-slidey wooden floor.

Welcome to the Outfit skaters who have begun to show up for Fleetwood speed in greater and greater numbers!  I’m seeing improvement in them after only two weeks or so.  This is heartwarming.  Shout out to my regular speed-and-derby peeps, Mariah, Kim, Brooke, and Lisa.

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