Flat on my Back

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Sunday’s I go to the rink and teach for 5 hours.

This past Sunday, the ice was available before our normal lesson time.  I decided to get on early and warm up, which is something I don’t normally get to do.  So I hooked up my iPad and turned on Imagine Dragons.  I skated around the rink and everything was going well.

Then I decided to skate backwards which is usually not an issue…except for this day.

The rink I skate at is cold.  And I mean…not like the normal skating rink cold.  Growing up, the rink I skated at was probably around 40 degrees.  Cool, yes but not COLD.  The lobby at the rink is heated, but the rink itself is not.  So if it’s zero outside…it is usually about 10 inside.  The ice is set for around 21 degrees.  But, regardless…it’s cold.  COLD. COLD. COLD.  So now that it has been warming up, the roof drops chunks of ice and slush onto the surface.  Like, hockey puck sized globs of ice which then adhere to the ice surface.  Makes for a very uneven skating surface…but, we deal with it.

Well…the first couple of times around the rink were fine.  Then, all I remember is my right foot going out from under me and then staring straight up at the ceiling with my hands tucked to my chest and my booted feet straight up to the sky.  I slid a glorious 10-15 feet flat on my back, like a fat, magenta turtle.  (My coat, which my wonderful hubby bought me, is a cranberry/magenta-ee color.)  My daughter tells me I hit a bump and my foot came up off the ice.

I must have put my right hand down to break the fall, which explains the jarring pain which radiated up my arm from the palm of my hand.  When I felt the slap of pain, I quickly brought my hands up to prevent further damage.  I kept my head up…thankfully!  After my glorious slide, I lay there, taking a mental check to make sure that nothing was broken.  Nope nothing broken…but my pride.  I got up, dusted myself off and started lessons.  4 straight hours of teaching, skating and talking.  Sigh.  It’s bliss!

It wasn’t until 4 hours later after I sat down to watch a solo routine that I realized my shoulders were sore.  Huh. Why were they sore?  I shrugged it off and stretched a little.

It wasn’t until I was driving into my garage (I live about 1/2 an hour away from the rink) that I remembered to tell my husband about my glorious slide.  And then it all came back to me.  (Cue-Celine Dion)  My slip, my fall, my slide.  MY PAIN!!!!

Falling when you are 8, 10, 13, 16…not such a big deal.  Yeah, you get bruised, but then you get a war story to talk about.  Falling when you are thirty-something.  Oh LORD!  Where’s my cane?!?!?!

The half hour drive is what killed me.  I sat still for too long and stiffened up.  I could barely get out of my vehicle.  I hobbled into my house and my husband was looking at me weird.  Are you okay? He asks.  Um…no.  I fell. I tell him.  Ahh…he says, looking at me knowingly.  Then I repeat my glorious slide story.  He tries to not laugh.  I take three ibuprofen and still no relief.  My back is in pain, my shoulders, my butt…my whole right side.  I assume I fell more on my right side than my left.

I drink a glass of yummy wine.  Still no relief.  Okay…3 ibuprofen and a glass of wine and still I am in pain???  Not good.  So then I ask my husband to rub some Bio-Freeze on my back, which he does.  He lets it dry and then places a heat pad on my back.  Oh my Lord, the horror!  It’s like having burning cold shoot tiny little lasers through every single pore in my back.  I am on FIRE!  So after the 10 minutes of torture…my back is feeling better.  More loose.  I can move now without too much pain.  I am more limber.

We watch a little TV and forgo our nightly tea because we are both exhausted.

I climb into bed and scoot on my right hip.  HOLY HELL!  The pain is excruciating.  I scoot back out of bed and try unsuccessfully to see the bruise that obviously has to be there.  Nope, no bruise.  But I am sure if you were to peel back the layers of skin and fat that there would be bruise there.  It still hurts.  Two days later.  I cannot sleep on my hip because it hurts that bad.  UGH!

Anyway…I will heal.  But I am sore.  And out of wine.  But that’s okay.  Because it’s a GREAT story! 😉  Especially the way I tell it.

Blessings be on you today gentle reader.  You are amazing!

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Stuck Between God and Hard Place

So…God truly honored me by giving me the gift to skate again.  After being off the ice for more than 15 years…He gave it back to me.  And not only to skate, but to coach…which is beyond my wildest dreams.

figure skate abstract
figure skate abstract

I have loved every minute of teaching.  Okay, to be totally honest, I have probably loved like 80% of teaching.  The other 20% I could have done without, but that is the nature of the beast.  Those days when you have students who don’t want to listen, who want to argue with you, who think they know better than you.

There have been personalities that I have had to ignore.  People whom I would love to tell off, but that small still voice urges me not to.  Sigh, sometimes that small still voice speaks too much!

I have really struggled these last few months.  Trying to honor God while still trying to keep some semblance of calm.  There are so many things that I have told others that has been ignored…until it happens to them.  And then, all of a sudden, it’s an issue.  There are things that I have seen that I am not happy about, and yet still it happens and no one does a thing about it.  What do I know, right?  I am just the coach.

One of the biggest challenges is working with a group of folks who have no idea what it is like to be out on the ice.  To have skated.  And to have skated well.

When I was skating, I was skating close to 4 days a week or more if I could.  When I wasn’t at the rink, I was dreaming up ways I could get to the rink.  I loved it.  It was where I could express myself, where I was graceful and powerful…not an insignificant speck in the world.  I may not have been as good as some of the smaller girls…and we can go into a whole body image issue, but we will leave that for another time…but I had power and grace.  I was intense out there.  It was important to me.

I started out like many of my skaters…taking basic skills lessons.  I quickly advanced through that.  I know that was because I had gymnastics and ballet behind me.  I ended up telling my mom I wanted a private coach.  My mom agreed and I selected a private coach.  Her name was Corey and she was not the typical coach.  She was older, meaner, stricter.  In a lot of ways, she reminded me of my mom.  But she was also very sweet.  I got to know her when we would drive home from practice at least once a week.  Corey and I would have a lot of conversations.  When I moved, she even asked my mom if I could live with her so she could train me.  That’s how much potential she saw in me.  Of course, my mom said no.  But I always wonder…what if?

Then my second coach was Russian.  Complete with accent and all.  He was also strict.  But we had a problem.  He was also a Lothario and had fallen in love with my mother.  Very creepy.  Seriously.  He started stalking my mom.  So…along with that and some other issues, I quit skating.  I did not want to but at the time it seemed prudent.

So, after my digression (sorry about that gentle reader) I think I have had some experience with skating.  I think I know what I am talking about.  I have not had the typical skating experience.  But…according to the folks I am working with, I might as well be just some bone-head who has no clue.  It’s very frustrating.  And irritating.  And I want to quit.  Oh my Lord have I wanted to quit.  I am not allowed to speak with the skaters or their parents without going through the skating board first.  And yes, I have that in an email.  No one wants to communicate with anyone…because everyone has a personal vendetta against the other for some reason or another.  Seriously…this is what happens when small town minds get together.  People are rude.  Disrespectful.  And they talk behind your back and undo all the hard work you have put in building up rapport with a group of skaters just because they don’t like the  way things are going.  Yeah.  It’s been real hard to see the gift that I have been given.

And so I question…am I supposed to confront these people?  Or, am I supposed to the turn the other cheek?  Should I voice how I really feel about the way they run things or am I supposed to just smile and hold my breath until I turn blue?  I have to realize that this run is only temporary and I need to thank God for the opportunity to make a difference.

But there’s that still small voice.  Honor God.  He brought your dreams to life.  He heard your heartfelt prayer and He gave it to you.  Be thankful.  Be grateful.  Alas, dear reader; sometimes it is so hard to see the BIG GOD sized picture when I can only see the junk that is in front of me.

Needless to say…I will keep plugging along.  I don’t have much more to go.  Praise the Lord, for that!  And then I am done.  I don’t know if I will have my daughter’s and son in skating again.  I might just teach them on my own now that I have the resources to do so.

So I wait.  For God to give me direction.  For Wisdom.  For Knowledge.  For Revelation.  For a dream of where I need to be next.  Here I am, Lord.  It is I, Lord.  Thank You for loving me, as perfectly imperfect as I am.