September 16, 2010
Yes it's happened: I've been grounded from the ice! :-( I'm SOOOOO SAD!!! That bad case of shin splints that I mentioned 2 weeks ago turned out to be a little more than just shin splints. About a week and a half ago (it was on a Sunday) I started having pain in my calf even when I was walking. I waited over Labor Day to see if it would go away but it only got worse. So that Tuesday I called a sports medicine orthopedist that a friend had recommended and made an appointment for the following afternoon. Tuesday morning I was still able to practice but I started noticing that I was having trouble getting into a flip from a 3 turn and I had already stopped doing Salchows and toe loops because they were quite painful. Wednesday morning I was supposed to have a lesson before my appointment that afternoon. I went out to warm up about 30 minutes before my lesson as I hate going into a lesson cold, but by the time my coach came out onto the ice I was in tears, not from the pain, but simply because I couldn't do anything without it hurting! I knew I was going to have to take some time off of the ice and that realization was heartbreaking! It only took a few pokes and prods on my shin for the doctor to suspect what the X-rays confirmed: a stress fracture. Even worse than I thought! As a nursing student, I had done my homework before going in and thought that it was a tendon problem. I figured a week at most off of the ice, a little physical therapy and I'd be good as new. Not so much. Between a soft tissue (such as ligaments and tendons), actual fracture and a stress fracture, having a stress fracture is probably the worst of the three. This is because of two main reasons: first, once you get a stress fracture, you're at risk for having future ones. Secondly, and more importantly, unlike a true fracture that heals in 6 weeks, there is no guarantee that a stress fracture will heal and if it does, there is no guarantee that it won't come back again to haunt you. Naturally, this diagnosis produced a few more tears. And I haven't even mentioned the other factors that were upsetting such as we had just finished choreographing my program 4 days before and I had a competition in 7 weeks (now 6) or the fact that, well let's face it, I'm addicted to the ice and to go from skating 6 days a week to NOTHING was impossible to imagine. So now I'm on a diet extraordinarily heavy in calcium. I eat 2-3 Tums a day, drink a minimum of 16 oz of milk, eat 1 cup of yogurt and 2 cheese sticks. I try to grab a bite or two of ice cream or some extra milk as well but it just depends on the day. It's probably my own fault now that I think about it because not only do I pound the life out of my joints and bones every day, but I started really watching what I was eating back in early July and since school has been in session for the last month, if it doesn't pack in a backpack, then I probably am not eating it. I live on peanut butter sandwiches, apples and granola bars. So yes I know that I inadvertently set myself up for this one but that doesn't make it any easier. Here's the crux of the matter, and this is hard for me to admit: what I've accomplished in the last 5 months is amazing and awesome, not to mention highly unusual. But it's the fact that I'm definitely not a typical skater that drives me forward even more to continue to surpass any and all expectations that anyone has for me, including my own. If I can't compete at the end of October, I'll be disappointed but it won't be the end of the world. What has me willing to kill to get back out there is that I'm really afraid of loosing some of what I had before. I started getting a consistent camel-sit just a couple of days before I was ordered off of the ice. My sit spin was getting much lower and tighter. My spirals were looking better, and I had a great catch foot towards the end of my program. I'm really afraid that I will have to go back and somewhat re-learn what I already have. And then there is sectionals. Okay, I guess I'll admit my secret. I know that the only thing I'm going to have to push hard for is the flying spins to skate in the silver division. The Axel won't be a problem for me. So, I was super secretly hoping that I would actually be able to do gold and not just silver. Because I'm fairly sure I could have had the double Salchow and toe loop. But now that I've lost ground I don't know if I'll be able to have even the flying spins by the end of December, which is when I'd have to test into silver if I was going to skate gold. Because you have to be tested into the level you're competing in (well you can skate one up but that's it) NOT by the time of the competition but by the time of the registration. So let me just point out that the registration for both sectionals and nationals is the first week of January. And sectionals are the last week of February, and nationals are the second week of April. Okay just so we're clear that's two and three 1/2 months respectively between registering and competing. Anyone else see the problem with this? I can accomplish.....well let me think a second here.....I think I had every single jump except Lutz and of course Axel by the 3 month mark. Just saying...So anyways, the only ice I'm seeing right now is teaching learn to skate. Hopefully by next week I can do some general stroking and moves just so that I can stay on my blades and maybe the week after I can really get back to what I do well....I think as long as I can be back on the ice at 100% by 3 weeks out from the competition, I can pull it off if I do 2 a day practices. We will see....more to come soon! I may be off the ice for a couple of weeks but I'm flooring it full force as soon as they'll let me get back on!