I did it!
I got back on the ice!
I drove my ass to Missoula and laced up the Vapors and, while it felt kind of weird for the first half-hour, things slowly started to come back to me.
I’m not sure why I started out in the Vapors versus the WIFAs…. I might have been better in my figure skates initially but I’m slowly getting my on-ice groove back.
It has been freeing for me. I need this in my life right now. To feel the wind on my face as my hair blows back behind me while feeling comfortable enough to move my body to the music surrounded by a few strangers is an amazing sensation- probably one that only performance artists/athletes can relate to. And I’m not doing any jumps or spins yet… just skating, with edge control, body control and some fun arm moves and footwork.
The Coach in me has already seeped out, too. On my first day I watched a hockey coach working with 2 high school hockey players on mohawks. It was kind of painful but I ignored it until after 45 minutes I stopped and asked, “may I?” (#hockeyboysnextgen)
Since then, Jennifer gets regular tips as a new adult figure skater on Mondays and I met Sarah last Monday, too. Carly asks about coaching power and figure skating whenever I see her and Greg is just about the most flattering fan when he tells me how much joy he feels watching me skate.
Coaching is my first language and I have needed this right now.
This is one reason I need to hear my edges rip into the frozen medium beneath them.
Alistair almost killed himself on March 30th in Bismarck, just a couple of miles from home as he headed into work on his own frozen ground.
Arnold, our 3/4 ton, was (clearly) totaled. Air bags and the seatbelt saved Alistair and its just a damned good thing nobody was in the passenger seat.
6 broken ribs, a small subdural hematoma and a lower limb laceration later, the man is alive and back in Montana.
I was anticipating big changes before the wreck because Alistair had planned to go on long-term disability April 1st.
3 bouts (if not more) of Covid and its long-hauler symptoms on top of chronic spine and rib pain (before he busted 6 of them) and a worsening intention tremor have made work in the Walk-In clinic close to impossible. It was already absolutely the right time for him to take a break from the front lines where he has been beaten-up mentally and physically for years now. He’s not that far off from retirement and I fully support him taking this time off.
It doesn’t mean I’m not worried about myself, though.
(Full disclosure: this is ridiculously selfish but its my blog and I’ll whine if I want to.)
I’ve never been a very good room-mate and I know this about myself.
I’m a teensy bit OCD, I don’t like clutter, and mouth noises annoy me.
I also like quiet time to myself, sipping wine late at night watching old Anthony Bourdain or Stanley Tucci shows, loud music and writing in my journal- telling it all the feels I’m feeling. I developed this type of self care when I was living with other families growing up as a teenager and also when I lived in Japan. The music evolved from REM and Suzanne Vega to Imagine Dragons and Ed Sheeran now and it was Kahlua and cream overseas (which *may* have contributed to some extra pounds back then) versus yummy merlots but the journal entries are as honest as ever.
We have spent most of our marriage as a part-time couple and I’ve adapted my world over the years to make that work.
And it works really well!
It has allowed me to #beallthethings at the high level I expect of myself and I appreciate that a lot of readers will be saying, “what a bitch!” right now. (These concerns were there before the dreaded wreck… those who were with me at the vet clinic the day of the accident know how extremely messed-up I was that day and the days after that…)
I’m okay with people thinking I’m horrible to be sharing this.
I’m still a good wife/partner and I never said I’m not going to try hard to be a better room mate.
I still have so many things going on that are big enough distractions right now that maybe this won’t be a concern.
Like last week… I skated on Monday in Missoula and was the veterinarian in Deer Lodge on Tuesday.
I stayed late to work on potential pill-ingesting patients but I still left for home before Dr.Chelsea scrubbed out of the cow surgery and into the dog’s abdomen.
Wednesday it was real estate work in the morning and the local elementary school in the afternoon for those super-fun talks that got postponed from the end of March.
The 5th/6th grade talk!
I had soooo much fun sharing my writing dreams, the writing process, the books themselves and all-things-Tanya with the students and teachers.
The kids had great questions about everything from cat care and ferret husbandry to which of my books’ characters are my favorites and why.
These days were preceded by 3 super fun days in Bozeman for my real estate company’s annual “Revival”. I’m working so much real estate right now that it felt completely right for me to remove myself from the other careers and hang with my Clearwater Montana Properties and FATCO peeps!
I reconnected with a lot of friends (Rachelle, Jeanette, Mark, Ty, Wayne, John, Nick) and got to know some amazing new friends (Ludo, Jim, Tina, Raleigh, Sharon, Richard, Jamie and more.)
I reminded myself that while I strive to #beallthethings, there are things I don’t focus on.
I was even TRYING to bowl and I wasn’t drinking! I’ve talked about the horrors of my bowling game with Adrian, another professional figure skater who I lived with for years. Apparently she suffers from Gutter-Queen status as well.
There. I’ve said it and I’m glad.
I have a couple of wonky teeth and I suck at bowling.
I also sucked at Poker at the final night banquet when they lowered the lights but I’m willing to work on that one (I’m willing to work on bowling because I did laugh my ass off but where do I find the time?)
Revival provided continuing education (great key note speaker), some interesting break-out sessions (interesting title info on cannibis… although there weren’t any hand-outs as many of us were hoping for), lots of bevvies, a black eye, great food, team bonding, handshakes and hugs and encouragement and support to and from so many of us moving millions of dollars right now.
(There was also a wife having a baby in Missoula which necessitated Kyle skipping Saturday night’s banquet).
And there was Alistair.
Returning to Montana for the banquet and awards ceremony.
Sore after driving 8 hours with 6 broken ribs? You bet.
Frustrated that he brought the wrong pants and had to stick with jeans that night? Absolutely.
Happy to be back with straight-haired wifey in a cute sparkly dress? Most definitely.
Blogging is another coping mechanism of mine where I can ‘write it out’. I can admit that I know I sound pissy and whiny and self-centered.
Especially when I know there are people facing much, much bigger things in their lives.
Like my young friend in Deer Lodge who has to be very brave in a court house tomorrow to tell a tale about a very bad man who has said and done very bad things to her. I was a part of triggering this very bad man but that is a story for only my journal.
Or my other friends who are facing cancer and dealing with all of the questions and uncertainties involved with that while working hard and living their lives.
My woes don’t compare.
And my woes are going to be fine because I’m me and, well, skating and one-eyed kittens and fat barn cats and visits with ferrets and clinic puppies and happy real estate clients… (I got Glacier Creek under contract since I last wrote! Woot woot!)
I’ll figure this path out one day at a time and one step at a time.
Hope its okay if I bring you along for the ride!