Harnessing the Power of Menopause to Skate Better

Bill has selected Ruby Thomas as his 2006 “Jamma of the Year” for her dedication, determination and her overall positive spirit and aura.  She has been a student of The Technique since late 2005 and will be part of the “For the Love of Skating” Jammin’ weekend in Denver, May 25-27, 2007 as a performer and also a workshop presenter.  In her “skateformational” workshop, she will share more about the topic of this testimonial which will be beneficial to women as well as any men who would like to attend.  Stay tuned to the event e-flier for workshop date, location and time.

I started skating late in life, around 16 years ago at the age of 41, and have continued well into middle menopause.  It has been determined that pre-menopause begins during your thirties with assorted symptoms:  hormonal swings and female health problems that begin to proliferate.  What’s the up side?  The power surges that come with those raging hormones!

There is a feeling that though you are a wife, daughter, mother or grandmother, you are an individual with needs to address.  My need was to find an exercise I could live and mature with.  Skating filled the bill. I could do it without waiting for someone and pick up and leave when I got ready.  I could zoom around working up a good sweat or keep time with the music as I pleased.  It made me feel so good.  (I later found out that the body forms pleasure hormones called endorphins during exercise).  Remember now, I was no longer in my prime but was staying fit due to my regularity in skating and my willingness to put sweat equity into my hormone regulator.  After thirty ladies, let’s face it, we have to work at what we once took for granted.

At fifty years old, menopause came out with big guns blazing leaving me with hot flashes day and night like I had just run marathon races; I was drenched in sweat, irritated and depressed.  The body mourns the loss of the childbearing hormones leaving depression in its wake.  I found what beats depression is determination and I would not stop skating.

I found out that childhood lung problems were impairing my ability to breathe and I was losing stamina.  The doctor told me I had asthma along with sleep apnea (a sleep disorder that blocks breathing).  I started to bump into furniture like an adolescent child.  What was happening to my reflexes?  Menopause causes balance and reflex problems due to the softening of every ligament of your body.  Missteps, slipping and falling become real dangers.  The fire of the body metabolism starts to go out.  I felt like my body was starting to fall apart but was I going to give up skating?

Fortunately the Jammin Technique** as taught by Bill Butler was available to me at just the right time.  It has helped me to beat back the symptoms of menopause to a great extent.  In what areas you may ask?  I have been taught how to stop to avoid accidents by using cutting skills, various stops and plows.  With the use of body contortions, The  Technique has strengthened my reflex reactions to skating conditions on the floor and my balance has been normalized.  My metabolism has accelerated, burning calories again and I was taught breathing techniques while skating and the correct use of exhalation.  This has subdued my asthma symptoms and has expanded my lung capacity.  Oxygen is what fires up metabolism and increases stamina and I’ve seen steady increases, therefore, more burn time.

I’m also seeing increased overall muscle tone from The Technique.  It has taken me to another level in my ability to skate to the music; to dance-skate single, pairs, trios etc., and to communicate with my skate partners through my hand, commanding my own space.  I am fighting menopause with skating and The Technique has given me the tools!

– Genuine Ruby –
A True Skater

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