Adult figure skating – I learn to jump, and I break my tailbone.

The Picky Eater took up ice skating late in life. Very late in life. She picks up here where she left off last year, talking about her adventures in advancing up the figure skating ladder. You can find the beginning here, or learn about her attempts at learning to spin here.

Excitement Level: No excitement, just terror
Rink Temperature: It gets colder the longer I lie on the ice
Number of Falls: It’s not the quantity, it’s the quality

My coach announces that our class is going to start learning jumps. Apparently it is not enough to slide around a sheet of ice on two thin blades of metal. Someone, and I’d like to know who, came up with the idea that you should build up speed and launch yourself into the air. Over ice.


Why stop at jumping? Why not pole vault on the ice too?

I always assumed that any jumping would be done at much higher levels, and I’m only a level 7/8. I am barely qualified to STAY on the ice, let alone try to leave it by jumping. But my coach is taking no excuses. Did I also mention that my coach is a big fan of “learn by doing”?

I watch as my coach goes down the line, picking up children and lifting them through the jump. As subtly as possible, I keep moving to the end of the line. Eventually though, I find my coach and I standing face to face, having a bit of a wild west-type showdown. We both know she can’t lift me through the jump. We both know that I am just going to have to go for it on my own. And we both know that I am looking to run away, but can’t run on skates.

I’d give you the details of where it all went wrong, but all I remember is kicking hard and then a lot of pain. According to spectators, I looked exactly like a cartoon character dramatically slipping on a banana.banana_slip

I don’t know about you, but when I fall down spectacularly and publicly, I would pretty much like to get up and act like nothing ever happened. And I’d really appreciate it if everyone could go along with me on that. But instead, the ice is suddenly swarming with coaches, students, hockey players, people from the front office, and people I’ve never seen before, and apparently they all brought friends.

“I’m fine,” I tell everyone. This is my standard answer. I could be missing half my skull and I would still tell everyone that I was fine. “It looked really bad,” people helpfully tell me.

I both heard and felt my tailbone break when I landed, but I choose to believe that words are powerful, and that if I keep repeating how fine I am, the words will somehow heal the broken nub at end of my spine.

Another mob of people greet me as I hobble off the ice. (Geez, how many people does this building hold?) They want me to know two things: that I’ll be okay, and that it looked really bad.

I won’t let fear get the best of me. I’ll be back on the ice again, trying it again. But not for the next two weeks. I get to spend that time sitting on an inflatable donut, telling co-workers how fine I am.

Leave a comment


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  2. Aw, this was a very nice post. Finding thee tie and actual effort tto create a very good article… but wyat can I say… I hesitate a lot and don’t seem tto
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  3. Kenny

     /  May 9, 2014

    For some reason, I envisioned you losing a skate in mid kick. Let’s be honest, a devastating fall earns way more street cred if your shoes (or skates) fly violently off your body. So next time, untie your skates ahead of time. The fall can’t get much worse, why not go for 100% shock factor.

    Hope you’re healing like a champ!


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