No, I'm not talking about football...
"You're fighting the edge, Tom." It's something I've heard from our speed skating coach from about the moment I put on inline speed skates. It's something drills and other instruction failed to correct.
True to form, it was the first thing that was pointed out in a drill during our second workout of the new season. I'm stepping flat, fighting the edge, losing power. As we discussed it, I pointed out that I could try moving my frame further in. That simple comment led to an instant and significant change.
Looking at my setup, the coach was concerned that my left (inside) frame was almost entirely under my big toe. "Try moving it to the other side, under your pinky toe," was his suggestion. That led to several minutes of me pointing out how counterintuitive that is. I already feel like I'm going to fall over, and I couldn't imagine moving the frame IN. But if there is one thing I try to do, it's set a good example for the younger skaters.
That means listening to the coach. So I pulled the wheels and shifted my frame from under my big to under my smallest toe. A total move of perhaps an inch. Certain it was going to make things much worse, I headed back onto the floor to try out the new setup.
The lesson? Keep on listening to the coach. There's a reason he's a national champion and I'm an entry level skater. In a matter of minutes, a years long struggle was resolved. A one inch shift in the frame and I was no longer fighting the edge. Suddenly, my skates went right to the proper edge with ease. Yeah, there was the "Man, am I stupid" feeling, too.
We're early in the season, and I'm early in the process of rehabbing on skates. I'm very interested in seeing how big an impact this simple one inch move has on that process. Something tells me that getting this issue out of the way will be huge.
Time trials, here I come...
Just who is this Iron Pol?
A former out of shape sailor, who became a marathoner, then a triathlete, Ironman, and ultramarathoner. Now, life has pushed me into short track speed skating. More important than the titles is the lifestyle, and sharing it with others.