Five Potential Points of Conflict

Getting closer and closer to the day I step onto the ice for the first time. I still need to make another trip to Sportcheck to pick up a few more items to add some protection.

Right now what’s going through my mind are potential problems I’ll face on the ice. Some are issues specifically related to my situation and some are general issues everyone faces when learning to skate.

Here are five potential points of conflict:

Prosthetic Side 

There are a slew of things I’ll need to pay close attention to that are only related to my prosthetic.

  • I don’t have a great deal of knee bend on my prosthetic side. Definitely not as much as some of the other amputees I’ve seen. So the limited flexibility will be a concern.
  • “Stepping off” in the skate isn’t possible with the prosthetic side, so I will need to drive myself forward relying solely on pushing off in the “socket” of the prosthetic.
  • When I get fatigued, I sometimes fail to bend my knee to the fullest, which usually results in a slight trip-up when alternating steps. If that happens on the ice, I’m definitely going for a tumble!

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The middle section is where my foot goes inside the socket. All foot related movements will have to be done there as opposed to inside the skate.

Skating Partner 

I’m going to need someone who knows how to skate well and understands my situation to teach me. Right now, that person can be one of my brothers. However, my plans are to skate frequently, ideally every other day, and I just can’t expect that same commitment from my brothers who are busy with their jobs.

One of my closest friends’ is set to return from school on Saturday for winter break. I’m thinking about doing  most of the skating with him, since he should be able to allocate the type of time commitment I need.

Falling Properly 

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Falling is an essential part of learning to skate. Or so I have been told.

Therefore, doing your best to fall properly is crucial to protecting yourself from injury. If you have some control when you slip or trip, you can go down in a manner where most of the fall is absorbed by a part of your body less vulnerable to injure.

Getting up off the Ground 

Probably a problem every new skater is faced with.  While getting up off the ground, the skates will run underneath. The only way to combat it is what I assume is gaining better control over the skate and placing it in a sturdy position.

However, for me getting off the ground from any surface is extra challenging due to the fact I can’t bend my leg enough on the prosthetic side. The way I get up right now is only on my actual leg side with support from both hands on the ground.

The way I get up off the ice will be…to be determined.

It’s Not Cold Enough Outside 

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Um, last I checked, I live in Toronto.

You know, a place where it snows and stuff and is cold?  However, we’re nearing Christmas and the temperature has been consistently in the positives.

With the weather avoiding minus fronts, it’s hard for the ice in outdoor rinks to be anything but slushy. For someone learning for the first time, you’d want the ice conditions in your favour.

Just two days ago it was 14 degrees! Crazy.

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