Saturday, June 4, 2011

Learning a Lesson Through A Forgotten Video

I'm still not back on the ice even though it's been about fourteen months since I had ACL reconstruction in my knee, but it's ok, I'm not looking for sympathy or anything like that. It's just what it is. It's like I'm climbing this very high mountain called Mt. Recovery, and I've only scaled about fifty percent.

Last Tuesday I had a hole in my tire. You're probably wondering why I'm telling you about a hole in my tire because this blog is about writing, skating, and laughter, not automotive repair. But, let me tell you, that hole was significant. Because when I called Sears Auto Center I found out I had purchased that tire April 23, 2010, almost exactly one month after ACL surgery. And do you know how many miles I had driven on that tire in thirteen months?

40,000 miles.
My poor knee never had a chance to recover properly. Driving, especially in the first 6-9 months was the most uncomfortable thing for me to do, it irritated my knee, and it always stayed swollen, but I did it for my job.

As of a few weeks ago I left said job and now have time to do all sorts of things, such as clean out the hard drive of my computer. As I was doing some digital cleaning this afternoon, I came across this video from 2007:

Watching this video of course brought tears to my eyes, but it also made me think about a couple of things:

Fighting Back
This video I've posted was from a performance on Saturday December 1, 2007. There is actually a second video from the first performance on Friday November 30, 2007 that I did not post. The Friday performance was horrible. I fell on two jumps, flipped my program around, and almost skated into the chair where the flag and uniform rested. And in general, the performance was lacking. I didn't finish off the choreography and the spins were lackluster at best. But, then I came back on Saturday and landed all the jumps (albeit shakily) and only fell once. I felt the spins were better and it's always good when one doesn't skate into a chair. But, rather that being defeated by Friday's performance, I came back stronger on Saturday's performance, and I'm proud of that.

To be honest, I was never really proud of either performance. I remember how back then, in 2008, I was so focused on all the negative aspects of it that if someone complimented me I was convinced it was only because they were trying to be polite. But, now as I watch it three and a half years later, I appreciate what I could do so much more. Sure, I fell down and and some jumps were shaky, but I was skating. You never realize how precious something is until it is taken away from you (aka your toe pick gets stuck in a hole and you tear your ACL). I just look at it now (and please don't think I'm being egotistical when I say this) and I think it's beautiful, not because I was some fabulous skater-- I wasn't. But, because I was skating and gliding and expressing myself through music.

Hands Circling Over the Head
So yeah, there are apparently some types of choreography that I just don't do well, and that would be the two instances where I circled my hands over my head. What was I doing? Spinning invisible pizza dough in the air? I remember feeling awkward when I did it and and watching it now makes me cringe. They always say if you're not comfortable with something you should let your choreographer know. But, silly ole' non-confrontational me didn't say anything. Note to self: In future, if you get to skate in a show again, ex-nay on the hands circling over the head and any other type of choreography that makes me look clumsy or uncomfortable.


  1. Focusing on the negative.... I so get that... sometimes it's hard not to when one's a perfectionist to their craft, but from an outsider POV, I am amazed by the skill/grace you have (yes, that's not past tense, b/c you will get back). I am glad you can now see your performance for what it was.

    I'm sorry recovery's taking so long. As someone who's lived and breathed basketball for twelve years, one of my biggest fears is an ACL injury. I cracked my skull once, even got a plate in my head, but I was able to get back on the court in 6 weeks.

    You will get back there, in large part, I think, because of your wonderfully positive attitude.

    PS - 40,000 miles... you do a lot of driving.

  2. I really liked your performance. It's amazing what we can't appreciate without perspective.

    40k? That's a lot. We put on maybe 10k a year.

    I wish you the best with your knee.

  3. You are lovely! I can't skate worth beans (well, I can skate a bit, just can't stop worth beans!) but I do watch a lot of figure skating. You truly are lovely on the ice - your knees are fluid and you're a joy to watch. thanks so much for sharing! :)

  4. Thanks for all the supportive comments guys. I'm going to try skating tomorrow again. Nothing fancy, just skating around the rink. Wish me luck. *crosses fingers that its pain free*

  5. I saw the fall. I even saw the awkward jumps. But, even though I was looking for it because you drew attention to it, I never saw the awkward pizza hands. All your hand movements seemed fluid and graceful. So, maybe you're still too hard on yourself.