Saturday, September 27, 2008


Fuzzy pictures of the amazing choreography Tim made up ... captured from video

Friday, September 26, 2008

Friday is drill day

Today Julia and Jordan joined us on the ice and we all worked together on the drills we learned at the high dance camp. We tried to synchronize the four of us as we skated the length of the ice doing twizzles, power pulls, and the rocker/counter sequence. I think we should compete as a team of “four” if we do this often enough and get synchronized well enough. There used to be an actual "Fours" event ...

They taught us a power pull drill we hadn’t learned which was a killer. We then worked a little on silver samba together, trading partners and advice.

This is what we all love about adult competition. We will be going head to head with them at adult nationals this year in gold dance, and yet we are all having fun skating together and helping each other improve. The more all of us improve, the better the level will be in the gold dance event.

Afterwards Tim and I worked on the opening to our free dance, which is a rhumba. Our coach has given us some ballroom dance steps to do on the ice, which is much harder than it sounds. The steps are challenging on the floor and near impossible on the ice. We did that for what seemed like hours and it started to improve. Now we need to put the music on and see what happens.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Portland is Dance Town

We went to Mountain View today for our final lesson with Jon and Pam. We have had 3 hours of private lessons in addition to the High Dance Camp seminars and we feel like we have made significant improvement.

This morning from 6 to 8 AM there were 4 (FOUR!!!) dance teams on the ice, 3 of them adult teams. There were Julia and Jordan, Laura and Kiel, us, and Maddie and Nathan (Intermediate competitors). Wow, this is what it must be like to be in a dance training center. What an energizing morning! Mostly the 3 adult teams were working on similar things; all of us were working on silver samba, for example, so it was just a samba-fest out there when the music came on.

We are sore and tired. I stayed up late last night remaking a skating dress so I can wear it for Tim's starlight test, then got up at 4:30 AM for the lesson, so I am sleep deprived as well. I lost 5 lbs. over the weekend and I ate like a pig. That's how hard we worked. We thought about taking a rest day tomorrow but decided to skate, just make it an easy day on our training plan. We are psyched, we are making progress, and we are motivated once again.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Friday, September 12, 2008

The Walking Wounded

Today Tim and I had our private lesson with Jonathon O'Dougherty and Pam O'Connor, AKA "The O's" -- (2002 British Nationals Champions and guest coaches for the Adult High Dance Camp). We are truly the walking wounded, munching Advil as if it is candy and wearing ice bags as if they were high fashion, but we were there at the hotel promptly at 5:45 this morning to transport Jonathon and Pam to the rink.

So there's me, with sore hips from skating this week, limping through the parking lot. And here comes Tim, post auto accident, with back and neck hurting and his "good" achilles tendon acting up. Jonathon and Pam had no idea we were injured because we put on our happy faces and pushed through our hour long lesson and loved every minute. Our Samba is now so much better! We need to work on some things but if we do, well, our Samba will be even more better. And there's nothing better than more better.

We go back to the rink tonight to work on the Tango Romantica at the High Dance Camp clinic. We know one of the steps quite well, since we stole it for our OD in 2007, but the rest of the dance will be a challenge.

Can we make it through this weekend? My Costco-sized bottle of Ibuprofen is only half full. Or maybe it's half empty. Time will tell.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Feeding the Rumor Mill

As an attempt to start a rumor about myself and create some "buzz," I am hereby reporting that this morning I skated two sessions with someone other than my partner; a handsome gentleman not seen very often around these parts. Who is he? What does this mean? Has Tim dumped me? So many questions.

We worked on (gasp) the gold competition dances for this season, Viennese and Samba. Send that through the grapevine all ye rumormongers!

As if that weren't shocking enough, we worked on the Quickstep, Argentine tango, and Westminster Waltz ... and even a pattern or two of the Blues and Kilian. Who WAS that masked man?

Now a serious thought on the anniversary of September 11th. I think most of us remember where we were and what we were doing on September 11th. I know I do. Today is a day of remembrance and mourning for most of us. It's also a good time to pause to tell our loved ones how much we care about them, and to reflect on ways to make the world a better place. My number one wish in this post-9/11 world is to reduce our dependency on foreign energy sources, something at which I personally have not been very successful. I drive a car to the rink, the rink uses a vast amount of energy to maintain an artificial frozen surface, and I frequently fly to destinations for skating events. It's a dilemma. Something to ponder.

Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

If it's not one thing, it's another

We did not skate as planned yesterday as Tim was involved in a motor vehicle accident. Not his fault, and he walked away with no major injuries, but he is suffering from whiplash and hurting today. We are going to wait a couple of days to skate. I am extremely glad that he is OK.

Between injuries, family issues, and accidents, it has been a challenging week or two. I have not skated and thus I am able to walk. It's an interesting tradeoff. I feel like going to the rink but then I get anxious about what will happen on the pain scale if I do. In some ways I'm in denial because if I don't skate, I feel almost normal. But really, what good is feeling normal if I can't skate? It's a paradox. You know, the place where you keep two boats.

I hear all of you groaning. You've just been subjected to one of the two jokes that I have made up in my lifetime. The other one is, "It's a paradigm -- you know, 20 cents!" There you go, a pair o' jokes.

Obviously comedy is not my thing. Signing off now, for obvious reasons.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Back to work

Tim and I have taken a week off to attend to family matters. A week off the ice has done wonders for my ability to walk. I was walking with a cane the first day, and as of today I am walking pretty normally and almost pain free with no assistance. So clearly the doctor was right - skating is bad for my hips.

However, this doesn't mean I am not going to skate. We plan to skate this afternoon, and every afternoon this week, preparing for a lesson with some outstanding coaches in Seattle on Monday. So I'm getting ready for the onslaught of pain, and hoping it doesn't happen. I'm ready to do a lot of stretching. I've been using a fit ball instead of a chair when I work at home. That helps. Work is another matter. It has been 4 weeks since I put in a request for a sit/stand work station. They obviously don't care if I'm in a lot of pain since they are taking their time. I have rigged up my own sit/stand using a cardboard box and a clipboard, but my chair is really awful and they need to get me a new one. I'm not allowed to sit on a fitball at work (!) as it's deemed "unsafe." Sometimes they pop and people fall down, I was told. So what? Like I'm not used to falling down??

I digress, and I promised to limit this type of talk to my hip related blog. But it is relevant right now. I am excited to skate again after time off and also apprehensive because my pain level is so low and I hope it stays that way. Tim and I will be working mostly on his starlight to test. I think I can handle that but we'll find out today.