Its been 36 years since I first put skates on my feet. There’s been ups and down, like in life, but mostly its been great. Skating has literally been my whole life; I’ve based my education decisions on skating, and my career moves, even my girlfriends sometimes (which has on occasion mad me very sad). But now it’s over. Maybe it’s time to put my non-skating life in focus now?
I’ve fought for 6 years against my body. My back injury, although now much better than last year, is not going to allow me to get in to the necessary basic position, and will not support a powerful stroke. Ironically, this epiphany came to me while skating on the road-circuit in Geisingen while there was a break in my coaching duties. I struggled to skate a 4km warm-up without pain in my back, and any gentle acceleration was demanding and felt weak in all the functional chains that go through my core.
I’ve been to 17 phyio’s, 3 specialist physio’s, 4 specialist doctors, 3 MRI scans, 5 X-rays, 2 osteopaths, and much much more… The re-hab treatment that worked the best was 4 x-ray guided steroid injections deep in my spine to reduce swelling, followed by 7 months heavy strength training with Michael Mhyre at Performance Centre Copenhagen.
This got me from “not being able to walk properly, and having pain every day” to “No daily pain, and I can skate a little with minimal pain”. I can even rid a bike now, which I could not do for 3 years! This is a massive improvement for life-quality, but not enough to be any good on skates even at Masters level.
It’s a stark realisation, and provokes many many thoughts, late in to the night.
So what now?
Career-wise, my new coaching job with RTC Midden Inline will take priority, along with Sk8skool ONline personal coaching. Both are extremely motivating to me. I’m especially enjoying coaching these young kids (16 - 23 years) and helping them learn the nuances of skating, racing, training and mental strength that is needed for our beloved sport. It’s exhilarating to watch them soak up knowledge and learn new skills. I love it.
But now I say goodbye to competitive skating, on any level. … Damn, it’s hard to write that.
I wish good luck to all my masters friends who will compete in L’Aquila on May 28th for that special T’shirt, especially Brett, Krystine, Klaus, Michele, Maria.
Thank you to all the people who have supported me, encouraged me and helped me over the year, they are too numerous to thank individually here. You know who you are. I am sincerely grateful.
Over and out.
... now, where did I put my bike 😂