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Thread: Advice for an older adult beginning skater...

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    On the Ice tietzd83's Avatar
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    Advice for an older adult beginning skater...

    Okay, I am only one, soon to be two lessons into this skating thing. I became interested because of the need to lose some weight and wanted to find a couple of exercise related things I would enjoy doing. I have decided to go with swimming and begin skating. I am even more excited to skate after learning the possibilities of competing as an adult and how that will continue to motivate me to learn- a measurable goal.
    I had my first lesson last Tuesday and was introduced to the basics. I had no problem staying vertical and gliding but need to work on Swizzles and snow plowing (the left foot works great but the right doesn’t want to work at all). Anyway, I am taking private lessons about 40 minutes away from my house because the local club doesn’t appear to have adult training opportunities-although I heard a rumor they may run an adult class this fall. On a side note, I have left numerous emails with the local club for information but haven’t heard a peep!!??
    I decided to go to the local rink for a little practice time and felt like a complete idiot. This 45 year old guy with his hands out, attempting to get the feel for bending at the knees while trying to do swizzles and rocking horse surrounded by a half dozen elementary aged girls. I noticed a pair of girls watching me very intently, making me very self-conscious. This got me wondering if perhaps this skating thing is not the best idea at this point in my life.


    Update: I just had a conversation another local club and it sounds like i just may have a home with adult coaching and access to practice ice. Hopefully this will help curb my hesitation to continue learning to skate!!

    Dave
    Last edited by tietzd83; 07-30-2012 at 06:22 AM.

  2. #2
    Trixie Schuba's biggest fan! blue dog's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by tietzd83 View Post
    Okay, I am only one, soon to be two lessons into this skating thing. I became interested because of the need to lose some weight and wanted to find a couple of exercise related things I would enjoy doing. I have decided to go with swimming and begin skating. I am even more excited to skate after learning the possibilities of competing as an adult and how that will continue to motivate me to learn- a measurable goal.
    I had my first lesson last Tuesday and was introduced to the basics. I had no problem staying vertical and gliding but need to work on Swizzles and snow plowing (the left foot works great but the right doesn’t want to work at all). Anyway, I am taking private lessons about 40 minutes away from my house because the local club doesn’t appear to have adult training opportunities-although I heard a rumor they may run an adult class this fall. On a side note, I have left numerous emails with the local club for information but haven’t heard a peep!!??
    I decided to go to the local rink for a little practice time and felt like a complete idiot. This 45 year old guy with his hands out, attempting to get the feel for bending at the knees while trying to do swizzles and rocking horse surrounded by a half dozen elementary aged girls. I noticed a pair of girls watching me very intently, making me very self-conscious. This got me wondering if perhaps this skating thing is not the best idea at this point in my life.


    Update: I just had a conversation another local club and it sounds like i just may have a home with adult coaching and access to practice ice. Hopefully this will help curb my hesitation to continue learning to skate!!

    Dave
    Best of luck, Dave!!! I'm an adult skater, as well.

  3. #3
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    Hi Dave,

    I'm in Wisconsin too. I'm both an adult skater & a coach. If you have any questions feel free to pm me & I'll see if I can help. Depending on where in the state you are, there are lots of opportunities for adults.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tietzd83 View Post
    This 45 year old guy with his hands out, attempting to get the feel for bending at the knees while trying to do swizzles and rocking horse surrounded by a half dozen elementary aged girls. I noticed a pair of girls watching me very intently, making me very self-conscious.
    I have to say that this is one of the things you simply get used to.. it doesn't ever really STOP happening, but over time it will bother you less.

  5. #5
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    I don't get that feeling from the girls. They actually enjoy having me around. The ones I have problems with are the "elite" teenagers. They are the worst to deal with.

  6. #6
    On the Ice tietzd83's Avatar
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    Yeah, things have improved greatly now that I've become a regular at the rink. Now the problem is the two girls that always want to talk to me when I'm trying to work!! (;

    Thanks Backspin... I live in Beaver Dam, but am driving to the Oshkosh YMCA for lesssons
    Last edited by tietzd83; 08-05-2012 at 09:42 PM.

  7. #7
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    Welcome to the world of skating!

    Regarding the feeling of self consciousness, it may be bad being an adult beginner, but what may be worse is being an adult who has not skated in years and so skates like a frightened beginner, after having been an instructor in the past. It makes me feel embarrassed and frustrated not being able to just poof, be up in axels and flying sitspins instead of struggling with forward crossovers.

    Are you thinking of doing ISI competitions or USFS competitions? IMO the ISI program is much more laid back and adult friendly than USFS.

  8. #8
    On the Ice tietzd83's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by treesprite View Post
    Are you thinking of doing ISI competitions or USFS competitions? IMO the ISI program is much more laid back and adult friendly than USFS.
    I can somewhat relate when it comes to running... I used to run cross country years ago and remember running 8 to 10 miles without much of a thought. Now, going more than a block or two is pure torture!!

    Yes, I would like to... I think having these as goals helps keep motivation. I had not heard of the ISI so I am off to Google it now... Thanks!

  9. #9
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by treesprite View Post
    Are you thinking of doing ISI competitions or USFS competitions? IMO the ISI program is much more laid back and adult friendly than USFS.
    I kind of agree that ISI is more laid back but I don't agree with your comment that USFS is not adult friendly. The community is very tightly knit, and USFS LOVES their adults because they provide a lot of volunteer hours and do the "heavy lifting"

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    Quote Originally Posted by mskater93 View Post
    I don't agree with your comment that USFS is not adult friendly. The community is very tightly knit, and USFS LOVES their adults because they provide a lot of volunteer hours and do the "heavy lifting"
    What about for skaters that are not yet at the level of testing MITF and FS? There's little point to joining a club until you are at the level where you'll be testing, and depending on the club, they may or may not welcome non-members into volunteer roles for those skaters who aren't quite "there" yet.

  11. #11
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    I think it depends on the club.

    Some small clubs have only young girls as skating members and parents as organizers. They might not know how to relate to an adult either as a skating member or a volunteer.

    Other clubs already have many adult skaters at various levels, some of whom started skating as adults and may still be untested or remember when they were, and some of whom are already active volunteers and part of club governance. So there will already be models for how to incorporate adults into their activities. The more advanced adult skaters might be busy practicing when they're on the ice and not interested in socializing, but you can probably strike up a conversation before or after while changing skates.

    I think most clubs would welcome anyone to volunteer at club functions and pay membership dues. If you join the club and get to know the members who are most active in running club activities, chances are you'd be welcome -- depending on the personalities in that particular club.

    Does your local club hold a competition or have a test session coming up any time soon? If you volunteered to monitor, play music, provide hospitality for the officials, etc., you would probably be more than welcome. It would also give you a sense of what to expect when you're ready to test or compete yourself.

    If you don't feel ready to commit to paying dues and putting in volunteer hours, and there isn't club ice time at all or that's appropriate for you to skate on, then you wouldn't choose to join and you wouldn't have the interactions to get to know the members.

    But if they don't already have adult skaters in the club, they might not anticipate or care about issues that affect adult skaters and not kids. And it might be lonely for an adult skater with no peers to commiserate with.

  12. #12
    At the rink. Again. mskater93's Avatar
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    Agreed with much of what you wrote about joining a club, gkelly. In addition, if the OP is in the Fox Valley (which is what it sounds like if they are skating in Osh Kosh) there are several adults in clubs in that area including Valley FSC, Green Bay FSC, and Madison FSC (which is about an hour drive) who are definitely competitive. Green Bay FSC is hosting Upper Great Lakes Regionals (standard track...) this year, it would be a good opportunity to see what it's like and how much work and effort go into competition.

  13. #13
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    There's also a test session in Beaver Dam in Oct, which you might enjoy watching to get an idea of how testing is done.

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    On the Ice tietzd83's Avatar
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    Oh, that's right.. I will make sure to be there!! Thanks...

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    USFSA I find is adult friendly. Before you get to the MIF you have adult basic 1-4. I worked my way from basic 2 to pre-bronze. I was 2 weeks away from testing and then my "accident" happened. Accident = broken ankle while starting my competition program for the season. I got 8 counts into the program and down I went. I'm now 6 weeks post accident. I won't be standing on the ice for at least another 6 months.
    Sorry didn't mean to go off track and hijack your thread.

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