It sucks being the worst in the class. And I’m not saying that so there’ll be some sort of “Oh Sharon, you’re at least out there trying” pity party. It’s a fact. I suck ass at speed skating.
And I’m okay with it.
The thing is, I get out there and I see where everyone else is at and I want to be there too. And yes, I realize some of them have been doing it for years. In fact the minimum that anyone in my class has been doing it is a year.
Before lacing up my speed skates I had skated three times in my adult life – once when I first started dating my hockey playing husband and twice at Winterlude in Ottawa. I have now officially skated more in the past three weeks than I have in the past twelve years.
Part of me is unable to see the accomplishment of that – I’m so focused on what I want to attain, I’m unable to see what I’ve gained.
And that’s not such a bad thing, is it? It has me working harder because I want to be as good as the other speed skaters. I want to be able to skate around the rink and not make any noise. The really good skaters make it look like a silent ballet, gliding around the rink with no effort. In reality, it’s the hardest I’ve ever worked my body.
We did relays on Thursday – teams of four. If you’ve never seen a speed skating relay, it is well organized chaos going 70 km an hour. I suck ass at relays too. It freaks me out having that many people on the ice who are whipping around faster than me. I can’t do crossovers yet so any momentum I gain while skating around the inner circle is lost on the corners. Then there’s the whole having to time my entrance onto the track, get down into a squatting position and be pushed by my incoming relay partner so I’m going into the first turn faster than I normally do. We did two laps at a time and were to keep it up for fifteen minutes.
About ten minutes in, I wanted to vomit. But I couldn’t stop in the middle of the relay because there were three other people depending on me. So I kept at it. I’m not going to say it felt good - me wanting to vomit pretty much sums it up.
In order to up my endurance, or lack thereof, I started running again this week. When I last dropped my Couch to 5 k program, I was on week two. Run 90 seconds, walk 120 seconds for a total of 25 minutes. It pretty much kicked my ass.
Sunday I got on the treadmill. Run 90, walk 120. 30 minutes in, I was full out running, faster than I had ever run previously.
Five speed skating lessons in and my cardio has already improved immensely.
It’s an amazing thing when you can see what you’ve gained.