Saturday, April 23, 2011

December 1, 2006

7:03a oops
I just realized I never posted about skating group lessons this tuesday and I said I always would.

Here's the run down-
Mazurkas are hard.
Spins didn't work.
7 step (8?) mohawk pattern went well on the CW side, and if I do it on a tiny circle well on the CCW size. I don't know if I have to use the hockey circle to test it. If I do, I can't do the mohawk- my hips don't open that way.

My blades are also needing to be sharpened AGAIN. I don't get this at all, it seems way to soon, but I nearly busted my ass on a crossover, from a slip on the edge, and the instructor said it appeared a couple of my spins were slipped out of.

Seems like "good" (as compared to the ones from LL Bean) blades should last a little longer.

November 22, 2006

5:06p Of spinning and picking a coach.
Skating last night was wonderful. I had an 8:00 lesson, and was so exhausted at 6:00, I went to sleep and told my husband to wake me up at 6:30 so I could get to the session by 7:00- I ended up leaving the house at like 6:40 because I figured I would go to target before hoping on the rink. But, I was wondering if it would be better just to stay home and sleep. This did not look good.

I got to the rink at about 6:45, and there were a good number of people, mostly freestyle skaters- not public, on the ice. Was there a session that took the place of LTS? Turns out they just started Family Skate half an hour early since LTS was canceled. Bummer... I missed 20 minutes of ice. Anyhow, i get my skates on and am on the ice by 6:50. I start with just some laps stroking, trying real hard to glide as long as I can (4 strokes per long axis. hah) and to do crossovers at the end holding my edges for as long as I can. I did a few circles of forward crossovers in each direction. (Since I learned backwards ones my forward crossovers have suffered.) Then I decide to spin. The hockey glide into the spin is working really well. I just want to give Lisa a hug. With that "entrance" I can get 4-8 revolutions consistently. I did quite a few of these because they made me so happy. A few times I spun on my toepick- something I hadn't done before and not a habit I want to pick up! When I first started attempting spins I could barely get into them- "frick" being the word of the night when they didn't work out. Gleeful squealing when they did. The people around me must have thought I was nuts.

After about 30 minutes I took a break to take my skates off and massage my feet. Stupid skates. After 5 minutes I got back on the ice. Worked on mohawks (i hate mohawks), worked on all 4 of my 3 turns, did some edges on the line. Forward are okay, backward I get really turned around about which foot strokes and which arm should go where.

After about 30 minutes my feet were hurting again, so I took another skate off break. By now it was almost time for my lesson, so I didn't want to go into that with my feet killing me.

At 8:00 I joined B. for my lesson. We started by spending 10 minutes at the board, where he explained his coaching style very quickly, told me I had to bring a notebook to each lesson and would be fined a quarter if I forgot it, and then started drawing some diagrams and explaining terms. Long axis, short axis, diagonal axis (why is this not actually the diagonal of the rink?). Then we talked about the position of the body, open, closed, and square positions. He demonstrated and had me do each position. Very hands on about getting me exactly where I was supposed to be. From a ballet background this is something I'm used to and like. It's a good thing.

Then he changed the stereo from the peppy pop music he had put on to some nice soft classicalish music. Apparently, from experience he has seen that during public sessions crowds are much more rowdy when the music is peppy. He was right. The ice instantly became a much slower going, easier to get around place! Interesting. The one who controls the music really mind controls the crowd.

I don't remember the exact order of the lesson or really everything we did. Instead of half an hour, we ended up doing a full hour with the zamboni kicking us off at the end of the session. When we finished we started talking about the last thing we were working on and it seemed as though he wasn't going to ask me to pay for the extended lesson. (Afterall, he didn't stop teaching) but I said "I think I owe you for an extra half hour of your time" and he told me he appreciated that. Paying people for services is just good karma.

Anyhow the lesson was overall good. We started with turns because he told me he had seen me practice them and noticed I was going CW. Have I tried CCW? That's the normal direction. I assured him I have, at this point it will not happen, and if it absolutely needs to happen for him to coach me, I'll give it a try, but maybe that's not the right coach for me. He told me a few coaches at the rink will not let their students skate CCW, but he's a judge, and the manual says skaters can go either way, and as long as I've tried "normal" then we can go with CW if it is really better. He asked to see my spin, and I told him that the only successful entrance I can do is with a hockey glide into it. So I did that. He told me that I can definitely spin around, so now that I have that I have to start doing the correct entrance, and adding an exit to it! The exit I've got down... the entrance.... UGH. So we did the same T entrance I had done with the other coach but instead of the emphasis on a deep edge, there was more emphasis on the kicking of my leg. I did a few with him actually holding my hands and helping to whip me around, and kicking was still difficult, which leads me to believe that strength is part of the issue. I just can't yet pick that skate boot up high enough to go into the spin. The other problem is that I suck. He taught me an easy exercise to do at the wall to help work on spins and "kicking" into them. I'll work on that. I really want to be able to spin.

We also worked on edges, like in delta. My forward edges are not bad, but still need work. I don't have a ton of control over them, which is very apparent when going slowly. We worked a lot on exact body position, which is good. My backward edges are not terrible if I can do them. I get very confused over which foot should be doing the stroking and which arm should be where. But the actual edges are not horrible. The backward outside edges are better than the inside ones.

We worked on mohawk on a circle, forward and backward, inside and outside. Mohawks are hard. And i get really confused when doing all the different kinds in combinations. My feet just don't know where to go. I don't like mohawks.

We also worked on 3 turns. They didn't go as well as I normally think, partly because the size of the lobes was predetermined by a marker, and I actually had to stay on it. My 3 turns are usually quite small, so this was a good thing- but hard. We only did forward ones... thank goodness.

Lastly we worked on arabesque (which is apparently and attitude) and then eventually to spiral. My spiral on the wall is better than my spiral moving on the ice. (duh... it's because I'm not worried about falling flat on my face) My leg height suffers if I am trying to keep my weight on my heel. Due to the fact that I don't want to fall flat on my face, the leg height is just going to suffer. I was told if I can't see my foot over the top of my head in the mirror than it is unacceptable. Considering my leg is just above hip height on both legs right now, and slightly higher on the right side, I think it's somewhat acceptable. We'll work on it. He also had me do a backwards spiral (flat thank goodness) while holding onto his hands. I've never done a backwards spiral, but other than OMG going too fast! my main thought was this was an excellent exercise in not looking down. Looking down while being held onto puts your eyes in a spot that you don't want them for someone you've just met. We ended with forward spirals on edges, which I've also never done. Then the zamboni chased us off the ice. It was a great lesson.

Starting in January I am no longer going to do the LTS classes, just because the age of the kids and the group atmosphere isn't working as well for me. I feel like a lot is glossed over in interest of having things passable instead of good. I haven't had a bad instructor yet, so that's not the issue, just the nature of group lessons. I talked with B. and he is giving me a reduced rate if I can commit to a once a week lesson. It's only about 30% more expensive than the group lessons, but I'll have to start paying for ice time- which is a bummer. If I can pass out of Basic 8, I might ask the skate director if I can interview for a group lesson teaching position. I think I'm a good enough skater that I can teach snowplow sam or basic 1-4ish. Having ice time paid for would be wonderful.

It only gets more difficult from here, But I'm real excited about the prospective of having an actual "coach"

November 14, 2006

Tuesday, November 14th, 2006

Time Event
8:05p Ice Skating- with clothes on.
(I skate with my clothes on. But if it interests you google "japanese ice skating nude" and you can find a lovely video. Topic of discussion on skatingforums today)

Today in group lessons we only did 3 things. Ballet jumps, mohawks and one foot spins.

Ballet jumps went fine. Mine don't go high, my free leg doesn't do much- but it is straight and I am technically jumping up.

My right to left mohawks are pathetic and nonexistant. My left to right are okay at slow speeds. We started working on the Basic 8 mohawk combination and its on my good side, and bad on my bad side. The problem is with 2 crossovers I'm already going a lot faster than my standard from stopping mohawk. Lisa suggested I do it from one crossover just so I don't have as much speed.

Then we did one footed spins. First from a 2 footed spin, then from a hockey glide. Overall they weren't good, but the best I've ever done. I got 4 revolutions on one and at least 2 on most! Afterwards I asked Lisa if I could hug her, like an excited 10 year old. It has never clicked before. This is the second thing she has done for me that has manged to get me over a block.

November 12, 2006

1:41p Private Lesson
Today I had a private lesson from 12:30-1:00. I got there and saw that 3 birthday parties were scheduled at 1:00. Good call on the early time, Jessi.

I got to the rink at 12:00 to warm up a few laps around the rink, and there were only 2 people on the ice. So I skated 2 fast laps, did some 3 turns, a few toe loops and waltz jumps, some backwards crossovers and two footed spins. I also worked on my edges on a straight line concentrating on even size lobes. This was all in the span of 20 minutes, so no real intense work on anything. Then I got off the ice for about 5 minutes to take my right boot off before my lesson. Stupid boot still only lets me skate comfortably for about 40 minutes at a time, but if I take it off for five it "resets" the time.

By now the ice had a good number of people on it, but no birthday parties yet.

So at 12:30 we start my lesson. I had told her I wanted to review the basic skills, since I skipped around in so many programs. We start with edges, which I told her I am very comfortable with, so rather than do forward ones, we did backwards- which I've never done at all except to hold landing edges and for a few seconds in three turns.

HOLY MOLY those suckers are hard. First off, I am throughoughly confused about where my hands go. Then, since we were doing half lobes on a straight line I got very confused about how to push off/backwards stroke into the edge. (Glad I did learn backwards stroking) anyway my outside edges weren't too bad and my inside ones were laughable, but got to not horrible. That will definetly be something to practice when the ice is near empty.

Then she looked at my forward three turns. All of them behaved well and I was told that the only problem was I wasn't using my knee bend but otherwise they were as they should be. So we decided to try backward ones. I have never ever done a backwards three turn. This statement still holds true after about 5-10 minutes of work on them. But at least now I have the idea and can practice them. I once again didn't use my knees and I either popped my hip too soon or didn't follow with it. My outside ones were not bad for a "i've never done this before", inside horrible. none of them had the 2nd lobe on them, I'm just remarking on the ability to turn!

Then we did stops since the only stop I've ever learned is a snowplow. T-stop I can do well with my right foot, I always put it down on the inside edge on the left foot. Snowplow stop I understand but can't imagine wanting to do while moving quickly. My tango stop is bumping and I didn't try it with my left foot. I need to sit into it more. Overall, I'll practice all these but stick with snowplow- which isn't even that reliable now that I've switched skates.

Then we moved onto spins. From a two footed spin if I really think about it and switch my weight before I pick my foot up I can get one revolution of a one footed spin. She told me to keep working on that and we moved to going into the spin from a T position. I really need to think about holding my right arm rigid and getting a really deep edge, and then lifting my hip up. Of course with these my 3 turns were beautiful! Which meant I rode the edge into a lovely lobe, rather than staying right after the turn part and spinning. I really don't understand what I'm supposed to be doing. But I was told that now that I'm watching my hip I'm starting on a really loopy spin rather than just holding a long edge. Um sure. I'll keep working on it, but it's so frustrating. I'm going to focus more on getting revolutions from the 2 footed spin. And in a 2 footed spin- I'm still only at about 4 revolutions.

Then the lesson was over.

I stayed on the ice for about 15 more minutes, but by then it was packed with kids and there wasn't much point, so now I'm home again :)

November 8, 2006

4:10p of pivots and waltz jumps
Skating last night was fine. There is one girl in my class who is driving me mad. She skates way to close to me. I'm not sure if she skates way to close to everyone or just me. Another girl also kind of "clings" to me, and always comes to me to either show off or because "I can't do it!"(both girls do this) but when we actually skate she keeps her space. Usually, it doesn't bother me, but last night we were doing a lot of backwards stuff and pivots. When someone moves in closer than leg distance to you, while you are doing pivots it either results in a real quick abort (often resulting in me falling) or kicking her. I was tempted to "not see her" but of course, each time I did. Finally when I was working on ballet jumps in place (the teacher drew us each a box- I was clearly in my box) and she ran into me saying "watch out" I said to her "I am very careful to watch where you are skating, but YOU need to not skate so close to me." She gave me a dirty look, but I think she must have forgotten, because later she was just as clingy telling me why she hated pivots.

Anyway, the skating. We worked on holding the landing position in a circle. This is tough because we essentially use an extended goal line circle- which is very small and there are 6 of us, including one very tiny, young girl, who doesn't move fast. My legs are much longer and I seem to move faster, so I am often aborting what I am doing so as to not run into or hit someone. I also skate CW and everyone else is CCW. I practiced the landing edges CCW on the circle, and then just moved aside and ran through it a few times CW- where it is, thankfully, much stronger.

Then we worked on waltz jumps. A few of the girls said they could "do" them- and everyone one who could did it opposite the rotational direction they should have. I think that's interesting. Anyway, I of course do go the opposite way, which I think confuses the kids, so I try not to point it out. (For example, when we walk through it, I either try to stand behind everyone else, or if for some reason I can't I walk through it "wrong" because the girls will often try to follow my arms, since it is "harder" to mirror the instructor. But of course, my arms- if I am doing them "right" are opposite everyone else's) Luckily, so far, I have had no issue with just switching the direction- and for jumps and spins, if the instructor says right, I do left, and vice versus. My waltz jumps were complimented, although they are not worthy of it. They are slowly leaving the ice more than a step. But I wouldn't yet call it a jump. While doing independent practice I threw in a few toe-loops too, but I noticed today i more toe-waltzed them. This jump is easier to make leave the ice.

We also spent a lot of time working on pivots. My backwards pivots with the right foot in the ice are awesome, if I do say so. I got heaps of praise for them, which made me feel good. My forward pivots with my left foot in the ice are generally good, with the right foot in the ice are okay, and backwards with the left foot in the ice, not so good. I like doing pivots. I've also noticed that if I go around more than 3 or 4 times I am starting to dig a hole into the ice with my toepick. It used to barely leave a mark. I'm not sure if this is good or bad, but it might have something to do with why I can get around so many times on one push now.

Then we worked on mohawks. My left foot to right foot mohawk isn't horrible. She wants me to extend the right leg instead of tucking it, which makes it more difficult. My right foot to left foot mohawk is pretty awful. I have so much problem with remembering which direction to go, I have to take off from the line as if doing consecutive edges to make sure I am going the right way. My edges are good, so I don't understand this at all. Never the less, I did one or two, which is better than normal.

It was not a good boot night. I thought after last week my boot troubles were over, at least for half hour skating- but last night my feet hurt pretty badly. I am starting to lace tighter since I am jumping, so that might be part of it.

Overall, I'm not sure I want to continue group lessons. I probably will, at least one more session- but I'm not really feeling like they are the best setting for me. Of course with public ice going up 75 cents a session if they don't raise the price of group lessons again (they shouldn't since they just did) maybe it is worth it.

November 3, 2006

4:20p WHAT?
The ballet jump has half a revolution?

Totally not what they are teaching us (2 different instructors now have done it the same way). They are just teaching jumping from the pick up into the air with the free leg extended and then stepping and gliding off.

It's even scarier with a revolution.

Do I ever actually NEED to do this? Or can I just continue with my toe loop and be on my merry ballet jump-less way?

October 31, 2006

8:30p Great skating on halloween
Today I wore a costume to skating. I decided to be an ice skater for Halloween. I love skating in a skirt I think it makes me a better skater.

Anyhow. Being halloween, I was the only one in my group who showed up and got a private lesson. Sue told me Burton would be teaching me, but it ended being another girl whose name I did not get. I was hoping it would be Burton because I am considering him for private lessons, although at this point I think his price is too high for me. (As it should be, he's one of the best 'adult' skaters in the world). Anyhow the girl who taught me was hesitant at first and because a better coach towards the end of the half hour. She apparently has just started coaching in January and does not enjoy the fact that she generally teaches Basic 1.

We started by working on moving 3 turns on a circle. Didn't go so well, but I have stuff to practice now. Then we moved to waltz jumps. I have the idea, and can "do" it- I just need to work on my posture, bringing my arms in, not looking at the ice, and traveling. So in short, the jump.

I am very hesitant in most of the things I do when I skate, unfortunately, I also look down way too much.

Then we moved to backwards crossovers and they rock on one side and suck on the other. I got good tips about pushing with more power and was told my upper body posture was "perfect" but I need to bend my knees.

We then spun. My two footed spin is getting good. I also managed, from a two footed spin to do 2 revolutions on one foot. I am more inclined to doing a backspin, but neither spin can be called "good" or even "acceptable"

Then we moved on to something else, and it turned out since the coach "didn't like 3 turns" that she wanted to teach me another jump. Another jump? Um my waltz jump is questionable at best. But we did a toe loop from a LFO 3-turn. Once I got the idea of not over rotating on my 3 turn and getting my pick deep into the ice it went well. I got told that this was much better than my waltz jump, though neither can probably be classified as good, even for a beginner.

Afterwards I debated staying to practice at the near empty rink, but there is work to do. Too bad. My lacing strategy (I took the laces out of the 2nd to bottom hole) has worked on my left foot, and the boot now fits nicely, but only lessened the pain on the right- still not perfect fit. The instructor I worked with was impressed with my skates, which I thought was funny.

I have a trial lesson with Brianna on Nov. 12. I'm a bit nervous about working with her, since I kind of have prior knowledge of her through Courtney. I'm weird about people. We'll see how it goes. If I like her, I don't know if I should also have a trial with Burton to see if that fit is better.

All I know is I will definetly progress better with private lessons. Tonight was much more productive than any other lesson I've had.

October 24, 2006

7:07p A way better lesson than Saturday
Tonight's lesson was with Lisa and she was wonderful.

We started with pivots and I can do forward inside pivots on both sides. I got my 1.5 revolutions easily. We started doing CCW, and I was switching between the sides -because I like to try everything both ways- and Lisa asked me if I was left handed because it was better on that side. Nope, my CW turning is just ruining my ability to synchro skate. I can do 2 good pivots counterclockwise and 3 clockwise on one push. Just goofing off I did some back ones. Going counterclockwise is bust, but going clockwise I can do 3 with one push.

Then we practiced out landing positions. I need to look up. My leg doesn't like to stay up, but the edge is good. Then we did a mohawk out of the landing position into a waltz jump. No ones jump is great yet, but mine is more a waltz -that was a jump?- although both blades do leave the ice. :) And I land on the right edge.

We also did ballet jumps. We started just by bending and then rising onto the toe pick. Not bad. Then we tried jumping. BAD. Then we tried jumping, stepping and gliding- not bad. I think I got one okay beginner ballet jump in there.

Lisa was really great.

October 21, 2006

5:03p Worst Lesson Yet
I had my make up lesson today. It started bad, even before the boots were on. I had forgotten my knee highs. (Well, I had 1.) So I had to wear socks, which were luckily in my bag, since I went to the mall barefoot. So the result was I lost feeling in my feet after 15 minutes instead of 30. I need to call a shoe repair place and see if they can stretch them. I've gotten a bit lazy about calling though since it used to be no feeling after 2 minutes, and now I'm up to 30.

So, today the regular teacher (who is different from my tuesday teacher) wasn't there and we got a sub. It ended up being Brianna, which was great. She has a very analytical approach and I like that. The problem is, I'm not entirely sure if she's done USFSA because she seemed a little unsure of how to specifically teach the skills. She skipped one, but the rest she taught, and taught well, just very differently from the three different USFSA rinks I've been at- which were all suprisingly the same.

We worked on our back landing position, mohawks- which we much easier because instead of back of blade to back of blade we did them at the middle of the foot, then we did ballet jump and that's where it really went downhill.

I had a panic attack. After trying about 4 on the ice, I told her I was going to go be friends with the wall. By the time I got to the wall my legs were shaking so bad, and my body was so hot, I wasn't sure if I'd even be able to do them there. The wall didn't really help at all, and I still couldn't really do them. I was just so scared.

And that's what I don't understand. I like bunny hops. On both feet. I've done a piddly, covers 2 inches, less than 1 inch high, but still off the ice, rotated waltz jump. I've done the equivalent of this "ballet jump" in ballet- and on pointe shoes. It should be much scarier on pointe shoes! But landing back on my toe pick, or really even jumping off of it when not moving, was the most frightening thing I could think of at the moment.

Then we moved to one footed spins from a T-position. My spins suck. I wanted to be a good spinner. I've always been a good turner- even when I was an okay dancer, that was what I was good at. I don't ever imagine I will be a good jumper. I sucked jumping in dance, and pretty much expect the same here. But I wanted to be able to spin. If I can't do either- why bother skate?

I also naturally have a "stronger" (meaning 3/4 rotation instead of 1/4 rotation) backspin than regular spin. Honestly if my core would hold I think I could actually get a whole rotation. I certainly get on my "sweet spot" better on that foot.

We also worked on outside edge pivots- the kind the man does going into a death spiral. Man it's weird to pivot that way. Kind of a fun thing to have in the repetoire though. I'll have to work on that one.

I guess the only good thing is that Brianna says she has time for a once a month private lesson. I really want my basic skills to be good. I almost feel I've moved up too quickly. And she's pretty inexpensive as skating lessons go.

October 17, 2006

7:06p No lesson tonight
I got to my group lessons, Basic 7-8 (YAY were doing USFSA now!) and it was mostly the same girls, with 2 new ones- one who looked about 6- the rest are probably 9ish.

S., our instructor from last session comes over and tells us she is teaching our class because our instructor is at an open house. She then tells me that she is 3 instructors down tonight. She goes over to another coach, combines a class. Then she comes back, gets us started on a landing position glide and says she's not sure what she's going to do with the last class- a single, beginning adult. I told her- insurance won't like it, but if she really is a complete beginner, I could teach her tonight.

So that's what I ended up doing. The girl had never skated before, but was actually moving really well. She had her feet very leaned toward the inside edges, so we talked a little about being "flat". Then we practiced falling- and I told her to make sure to curl her hands into fists so fingers can't get cut over- something I remember from my very first lesson when I was like 8- but am not sure if that's "official" teaching. Then we did forward marching, concentrating on keeping our hands on our "table top" and bending our knees. Since she could already skate okay, we didn't march for long, just long enough to talk about "middle to back of the blade" for her weight distribution. Then we did a little forward stroking- trying to keep her off her toepicks, and pushing to the sides, introduced a snowplow stop. All of this and there were still 10 minutes left!! These lessons go so fast when you are taking them. So we did a lap around the rink, and I asked her if she wanted to practice this more or learn somethin new- which of course she did, so we did fwd swizzles, which she did pretty well, and then put them into a combo- 3 swizzles, 3 strokes, 2 footed glide to the blue line.

Hopefully she thought her lesson good. Afterwards Sue told me to let her know if I ran out of patch coupons, but of course I barely use the ice I'm given for lack of time. She was so grateful... it was kind of nice, but really no big deal (except maybe if something happened, and then I'm not a teacher... S. told me it was officially "her" lesson, so I guess that's the semantics that gets around that.)

I get to take a make up lesson Saturday morning.

I also really need to talk to someone about getting my boots punched out, but I'm so intimidated by Sergei and I think he might be the only one who knows anything about that... but I can only go 30 minutes in them before my toes hurt like crazy.

October 10th, 2006

7:43p I passed Delta with a note to work on my inside 3 turns.

Onto Basic 7/8 :)

October 3, 2006

7:00p Oops, that goes in the skating, not personal journal.
Another lesson today. It was fine.

I need to decide if I want to sign up for group lessons. They are $90 for 8 30 minute lessons (and 8 public session admissions- but my schedule is such that I usually only get 30 minutes practice on Sunday). I find the lessons with kids to be much less productive than with adults, so I don't know how much it is worth it.

I think it might be my only choice, because I don't think I can afford privates right now, and they wouldn't be cost effective based on what I'm working on.

I have to get my blades sharpened this week, or my LFO edge won't pass. Problem is, I'll have to test on haven't been skated on yet blades. Luckily there are no stops on the test, but that still makes me worry a bit about the 3 turns and such.

October 1, 2006

1:34p another quick skate
Well I meant to skate for an hour today. I finished up the copy-edit assignment and have moved on to another one, so I still have no free time, but kevin needed the computer to write a paper so I was going to skate during that time. After 30 minutes a bus load of kids in hockey skates (an actual busload) most of whom had no control of themselves on the ice (or really, off the ice) invaded the rink. So off I went. I don't mind the skating time being cut short, because really I had to go home and clean, but because there were about 20 people still in line at the world's slowest register I wasn't able to leave my skates to be sharpened.

Anyhow the 30 minutes was pretty good. I pretty much ran through everything I can do. My 3 turns pretty much suck, I always drop my foot. But they are improving from when I got the new skates (not at old skate level yet, but I didn't have inside ones at all yet then). I worked a lot on entering a one footed spin from backwards crossovers and exiting with a backward outside edge. That went really well, but the spin didn't. I also praticed the entrance/exit using a 2 footed spin. My two footed spins are slowly becoming awesome for a beginner. I'm quite excited.

I worked a lot on forward and backward crossovers. I still need to work on stroking. My lunges look like lunges and my bunny hops like bunny hops :)

I think that at the end of this session I will probably be placed in Basic 7. I really want to look into a once a month private lesson because while I have been introduced to all the Basic 5 and 6 skills I'm not sure I am happy with the level of mastery, though a lax coach would probably pass me. I don't really want to be in a lower level becaues I think the higher up I go the less likely the kids will be goofing off, because they might actually care, but I also think it's important no to skip the basics.

Gotta go work.

September 26, 2006

8:04p :( Kevin
Well todays lesson was good. I think I will pass delta. I have my edges (except that outside one I'm falling off of, but I used to have it) I have an okay lunge. I can do the three turns okay, just not great.

I also have back outside edges fairly well. And I can spin! On two feet. My one foot spin has a revolution though. We practiced stepping out of them and gliding on the back outside edge. I got the glide part- all the other girls could spin but not glide.

I can do bunny hops on both sides now :)

Kevin met me at the rink to go to dinner afterwards. He was there for half my lesson. I asked what he thought. He said "I didn't really watch. I was too tired to look up" Instead he read my basic skills book. :(

I need to work on crossovers. My forward ones aren't that good anymore, and my backward CCWs are terrible! Backward CW are good

September 24, 2006

1:32p short ice skating
I am so busy today, like last weekend, so I barely had time to skate. I probably wouldn't have gone at all, but Kevin needed the computer. I skated for about 30 minutes.

My two foot spins are getting really good. My "backspin" happened, and my "scratch spin" didn't at all. The one footed spins are not good, when they do happen.

PRacticed all kinds of 3 turns, which ranged from good to eh, worked on backward and forward crossovers. Worked on backward and forward edges. The LFO edge is completely gone- I need to get the skates sharpened, but they won't be ready by tuesday so I will have to have another lesson without an edge.

Bunny hops are good on the right side and tenative on the left side.
If the standard isn't too high I think my lunge is passable.

Gotta get back to work

September 19, 2006

7:06p OH MY GOSH, no time
So a real quick update.

Outside edges are gone- will need to get skates sharpened, which is annoying, because they just got sharpned, I guess Sergei didn't do a good job? That's bad because he's the recommended guy at the rink.

I can do a backspin. Sue called it gorgeous. She must have been lying- because I have a feeling it looked like crap. But I got six good revolutions on my two footed spins and 2 revolutions on my backspin. I cannot spin regularly (what's a not backspin called?) at all. My weigh just doesn't sit right. And I am definetly a CW spinner.

My left bunny hop wasn't as disaterous as I thought it would be, my right one is actually somewhat good.

gotta go work.

September 12, 2006

7:11p well, it was bound to happen.
Today I caught my toepick while working on edges. I think I skidded about 3 feet on the ice. Great fun.

It turns out that Sue will be our permanent instructor. This makes me very very happy. She is great. Today we started with stroking, and man, I'm slow. I do think I'm using the blade correctly though. Then we went to three turns and my inside ones are better than my outside ones. Which is weird. I used to be able to do outside ones. Repeating "forward on the middle of the blade, backward on the front of the blade" greatly increases my chance of actually turning. I think I am scrapping the very front of the toe pick on the ice though, which isn't good.

My backward edges are sort of coming along, which is nice. My backward crossovers need work, A LOT of work going CCW.

My lunge is apparently not horrible, but my shoot the duck is. Which is okay, since STD (heh) is optional. I don't want a STD anyway. Of course when I get to a sit spin (HAHAHA!) maybe I will.

My bunny hops were looking really good until I realized there was a problem. I was jumping with the right foot picking into the ice. Because I spin CW, my left foot needs to go in the ice. Now the bunny hops are really really bad. I knew this would happen. I am very right dominant. I have no idea how I am going to make my left side work. I really wish I could spin CCW, but I really tried to learn to, and it didn't work.

My forward edges were good and my arms more fluid.

We didn't get a chance to work on spins, which was a little disappointing.

I might have to give up my practice time- so I will just have the 30 minute lesson once a week. A great work opportunity presented itself, and I might be working 60+ hour weeks until November. But hopefully it will be worth it, because at least then I can afford ice.

My entire left side (which took the brunt of the fall) hurts. Especially my hip and lower arm.

September 10th, 2006

2:28p Ice skating pratice
Well, today I made it to 40 minutes of practice time, but this 40 minutes was much different from last weeks 30 in that I actually enjoyed myself.

I still can't stop. But I don't think my blades were sharpened right because I am falling off (slipping?) off my left outside edge on the same part of my blade each time.

Today the public session was the most crowded Sunday I've seen, and seeing as how there are no rules at our sessions, it was madness. One boy aborted every jump attempt he went for for almost 20 minutes. When I left I saw him get one in. Another girl took out a hockey skater while praticing backward crossovers. Although she wasn't looking (bad), he pretty much skated into her on purpose.

So I forward praticed edges inside=good, outside=eh. Backward one foot glides (the right one always goes onto an inside edge), backward left outside edges are kind of working. Didn't try any other backwards edges.

I worked on 2 footed spins. They are totally workng clockwise. I even tried one footed, but I couldn't figure out if there was a specific foot I should be on, because both didn't go for a full rotation even. Eh, I'll work on it.

I pratcied backward crossovers, the bad side is still very bad- and with all the crazy hockey players (I guess the season starts tonight?) it was tough to go backwards.

I worked on forward stroking and felt like an idiot because I tried to hold my arms up. What's the point if I don't have good posture when praticing?

But most of all I worked on lunges. I'm not sure if they are anything like what lunges are supposed to be, but I feel like it's looking better, and my boot is sure looking worse.

September 6th, 2006

6:30a Ice Skating Lesson
Lessons always seem to go better than practice. Maybe it's because I am comparing myself to a bunch of 8 year olds who can do one footed spins, but can't hold an edge, rather than to myself.

Anyway, last nights class was taught by Sue, the program director, instead of our regular teacher. I think her years of experiene really added to the control of the class. The girls still goofed off quite a bit, but they didn't talk as much, so it didn't really bother me.

We started off working on the arms you hold for semi-circle edges. We had the option of doing the semi-circles on two feet, but I went ahead and practiced edges. They aren't terrible, but aren't deep- and the outsides need a lot of work. My arms lack any flow. The idea was to be changing the arm as you rounded the end of each semi circle. You'd think with dance that wouldn't be tough, but man am I stiff on the ice.

Then we worked on actual edges and I was complimented on mine. I think it was a compliment because I was the only one who had noticeable edges, not because they were good though.

Then we worked on 3 turns. I don't know if ISI teaches them different, or if I just didn't understand them, but they seem so much different. It might just be because I don't hold the backwards edge long enough to see a 3, but in my USFSA classes we made a very short, distinct 3, and here we make a curve as long as our bodies (I think it should be in proportion to your blade length, not your height. I've got tiny feet!) and then turn, and then I guess the idea is to keep that, but no one in my level does. Anyhow I worked on inside and outside, and oddly enough did better on the outside ones. Then we did consecutive 3 turns, not twizzles, but step do it again ones in a circle, and that got me good and dizzy.

I don't know if my lunge looks and better, but I feel like it's better. I need someone to take a picture, I'm sure I'm not close to the ice, but I've figured out how to get the back foot to drag, as well as how to rise and dip with my body straight. I can't get my back knee to the ground, but I was told that was optional.

We worked on bunny hops again and I think they are so much fun. I might not be doing them right though. I know I don't start with my picking foot behind me, so that "swing" is wrong. Logic tells me that swinging my legs around on the ice is a bad idea. Go away logic, go away.

Then we did this exercise where we swizzled in a circle and held out back outside landing edge, as if we had jumped- to show us how important jumps were. My outside edge always turned to an inside edge. Then I realized something. If I turn CW, I have to jump CW, and we were basing this on being CCW. So I asked her if I should be going the other way, and after the shock of me not being a lefty, just being incapable of going CCW, she told me yes. And guess what. Not only are my backcrossover stronger going that way, but I can hold the "landing edge" on that side too. Guess I am a CW skater. This is bad news for synchro, and I WILL have to learn the other edge, but I'm excited to at least know I'm balanced on the one side.

Anyhow- lesson=good, practice=bad. I kind of hope Sue teaches us again.

September 2, 2006

2:01p I should have never bought new skates
I really just wasted my money. The only thing they've done for me is make me hate skating. All of the coaches I worked with recommended these ones, and I even tried them on before I bought them. They were definetly the "right" ones. But I really hate them. I can't skate anymore. I have better ankle support and a better blade than I did, but what's the point if I can't even do a stupid snowplow stop? I might as well start over.

I went to the rink today. I really just felt like crying. I only stayed for half an hour (normally when i practice on my own I only stay for an hour) and half way through just felt like crying. I left because it just wasn't fun. I know that once you get the basics you start picking things up slower, but I don't even have the basics anymore. The only thing I can do on these skates are crappy two footed spins (where before I had no two footed spins) even my forward stroking sucks now. I worked on edges and back and forward crossovers. They all look like crap.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

August 29, 2006

Skating Lesson deux
So the first thing I find out is that the rink will soon be switching to USFSA. I'm happy about this. But now that I've wasted a whole session in Delta, I'll be starting probably basic 5. (Maybe I can get to Basic 6) but if I don't get to basic 6, I'm considering this a waste, since I passed Basic 4 quite awhile ago, and passed Adult 2, which covers a lot of 5.

Anyhow, the classes with kids thing is not to my liking. It worked really well for ballet. I don't like it for ice skating. I have been kicked multiple times. Run into multiple times. It's annoying. They don't pay attention to what they are doing. They spend half the class saying "I can't believe your 24" and ignoring the teacher.

Anyhow, I love/hate my new skates. Love them because I can finally spin. I got about 6 revolutions (including a bit of a bending/recovering oopsie) on a 2 footed spin. Bad news is that it was going clockwise. I just cannot go counter clockwise. Hate them because I no longer have 3 turns.

My edges were better. Inside edges are great. Outside edges are there, but I keep slipping on the top of the curve on the right outside, the instructor said my blades are probably dull, but they have less than an hour of skate time since they were sharpened. And Sergei was the one I was recommended to have them sharpened by.

The lesson was okay. We started out with shoot the duck. My dip isn't good. You can image what my shoot the duck looks like. Besides the fact that I'm not close to the ice, I think I have too much forward lean, but I am gliding with my foot in front of me. That counts? No, it doesn't? Aww, you're no fun.

Then we did spirals. I can't do these as well as in my old skates. I miss my old skates.

Then we did outside edges, and I got a "great job" but I think it was just a great job in comparision with the straight lines the other girls were skating. I think learning these on a circle, rather than making half circles might be a big factor.

Then we did outside edges. Another great job. But these were pretty good.

Then we did bunny hops. I think I did this better here than I did in Troy. I think it's because I have a toe pick now :) I still don't have much attack, but it went okay.

Then came 2 footed spins. YAY. I like spinning. One of the girls told me "you spin fast even though you look like a robot" hehe.

The instructor had to leave 5 minutes early (are you kidding? That's 1/6 of the lesson) so we had practice time. I practiced backwards crossovers- even the bad side. The good side is getting back to good. The bad side, I can't hold the edge of the "still" foot. It just won't go there. I also practiced forward crossovers. On the new skates, those aren't too great. Kind of weird.

One of the moms was not pleased about the instructor leaving early, so I think the director is going to cover the last 5 minutes. Good idea, seeing as how I was the only one practicing still. The other girls were just goofing off. But they are 8, that's what they do.

My feet were completely numb when I finished, and in a lot of pain when I took the boots off, but they don't hurt while I skate. So I can get about 30 minutes now. I really hope that number goes up.

Well, 6 more to go.

August 22, 2006

First skating lesson in Iowa
YAY! Skating lessons. I am a Delta- which I was kind of nervous about- the new skates have rendered me PreAlpha :) I was also nervous everyone would be four years old. I was close. The closest to my age is 9. Well that's not true. She's 22- our instructor.

I'm okay with an instructor younger than me, because she's been skating 10 years longer than me. That's the number that matters.

First my skates- they still aren't great. I didn't get to skate again before today, so it's only my 3rd skate in them (4th?). They are still quite tight, and I have a few pressure points, but they aren't painful. By the end of the half hour, I couldn't feel my right foot, but it never went through a "holy moly pain" stage. I still can't stop on them, but am slowly getting things back. My 3 turns are rudimentary, my backwards crossovers those of someone who has learned them but can't do them. So neither is where it was, but I am confident it will get there.

I'm not sure how much I will get from the lessons, but I am sure I will be able to pull something. I forgot how much of lessons with kids is run before we walk. We did some 3 turns and she saw that the kids had no control of their edges at all. So we practiced edges (YAY me- except the RFO which was a little wonky, I still have all my forward edges)- during which all the kids would do 1 footed turns on the tip of their semicircle. Impressive, but almost none of them could hold the edge.

Then we did a combo- 4 fwd strokes, lunge, spiral. For the most part the rest of the class did, push off from the wall, really good lunge, eh spiral. I've never done a lunge before, so I didn't get that- but I got the fwd stroking. In my opinion a perfect lunge isn't going to get you anywhere if you can't stroke and push off your toepicks.

The other reason I'm not sure how much I will get is because, as an adult, I listen when the instructor is speaking or demonstrating. Most of the girls just either goof off, or practice what she is demonstrating, without really listening. So I am skating signifigantly less during that 30 minutes. But I think it will be more beneficial to listen, so I know what to practice on my own time.

This is going to be very different from my very analytical adult lessons- but we'll see how it goes :)
I definetly am glad I did not join the adult class. Stephanie told me last session they could barely get them off the walls. This class will take patience to go to, but it is at my level.

The best part is, even though they raised the price, 8 30 minute lessons, 8 public skate session admissions (usually $5.25), and 3 (probably go unused) guest passes are all only $90. That's a pretty good price to me.

August 15, 2006

I hate my new skates
No, it's not because they hurt. They aren't too bad anymore. I skated for 75 minutes and relaced twice.

I hate my skates because I cannot do anything. Nothing. You'd think I'd never taken a lesson before. I am horrible. Forward stroking- gone. 3-turns-gone. Forward crossovers- not on the right edges. Backwards stroking- gone. Backwards swizzles- can't get the edge. Outside edges- barely a full length of my height. Inside edges- a little bit longer.

I can't stop. I blame the new sharpening on that. Everything else I blame on my skates.

The only positive. I can "feel" where it is I am supposed to be turning on. But I can't turn.

I signed up for Delta lessons. I think they start next week. I think instead I need to be starting in pre alpha.

August 8, 2006

Skated again
The skates weren't nearly as painful, but I noticed that my right foot is almost tilting towards the inside. I don't know if thats because my skates are completely unsharpened, or if it's because my laces aren't long enough to go all the way up to the top hook.

I paid to have them sharpened, but wanted to leave them for Sergei because I've been told to do that or take them to Cedar Rapids. The guy at the counter said he would take them, but didn't ask for my name, or anything like that. It kind of made me nervous, and I asked him if he had like a ticket or something I got to show I left my skates, and he looked at me like I was crazy. The guy said "do you think someone is going to take them" when I asked. And no, I really don't, but I'd hate to leave $300 skates and then have someone take them and me have no way of proving I left them. SO Kevin is going to take them tomorrow. I'm okay with leaving them for the day, but overnight without any sort of 'check' makes me very nervous. I probably am crazy.

Anyhow skating was okay. I switched to my old skates, which while much roomier in the toe box, I see why they suck now. I also fell really bad because Kevin scared me while I was doing bad side back crossovers, and landed right on my knees and slid across the ice on my forearms. I have beautiful red scratches down my arms now.

August 6, 2006

skates are still too tight
You'd think living 2 minutes from a rink I could skate more, but alas I have not skated once since the tight skate experience.

I WILL skate on Tuesday. But once again on dull blades because I haven't been able to take them to get sharpened yet. Urgh. Dull blades suck. I can't even stop.

I will also bring my old skates so when I can no longer stand the pain I can do some real skating.

I heat molded with my heat gun tonight, but I don't think it did too much. The fit is actually really good except the width in the metatarsal. We tried stuffing Kevin's shoe holder thingies in, but they were too big, so we couldn't use them to stretch because they wouldn't go in at all.

Lessons start on the 22nd. I am very upset that we decided I can't afford to do synchro this year. Next year, I hope- but in the meantime I can just get better at skating.

July 27. 2006

OH MY GOD the pain and lack of pain...
People often complain and say that pointe shoes are the most painful shoes to break in. Those people are wrong. They have clearly never ice skated.

I can wear the skates at home for about 15 minutes before my feet go numb. I went skating today (on dull factory edges, I could barely do forward stroking... need to fix that) at first I could only make it 4 minutes before I couldn't feel my feet, and not only needed relacing, but had to take the skates off. By the end of the 1 hour period I skated in, I was up to 8 minutes at a time. My feet are bright red. What's nice is they only hurt for a few seconds, right at the "were about to go numb" stage, and then I just loose feeling in my feet.

Either way, these are going to be hell to break in.

I would think they are just too small, but my toes are barely touching the front, and when I skate they go closer to the front and my heel slips just barely. Any bigger and my heel would be able to lift up. I need to get a split width toe/heel, which is too expensive at this stage in the game. So my poor wide toes/metatarsal are just going to have to suffer.

I really hope this is normal. Maybe if I run the toe box over with a car, like some girls do with pointe shoes, it will soften up. (Just kidding.)

July 18, 2006

Ice Skating in Iowa
Well, I went ice skating today. It took me under 2 minutes to get to the rink- not bad.

And the rink apparently has no rules. No "skate in a counter clockwise direction", no "stay out of the center if you aren't a figure skater", just "don't kill anyone else".

So that's good. I can practice on public ice until I am good enough to bother affording freestyle sessions. It's also bad. A small, chubby boy in rental skates was practicing "spirals" meaning in between walking on his toe picks to "skate" he would kick is back leg up as high as he could- kind of creepy.

There were good skaters too, and very bad ones, and a few kids in hockey skates who who lay out in the center of the ice while better skaters were having lessons- I don't know how they managed.

Enough about others. My skating was kind of crappy today. My tendonitis was killing me. I am ready to get my new skates (Jackson Competitors are on their way). My FO3 turns were existant, but not good. I did an inside one a few times too. My left to right mohawk worked, and I started trying it from movement, instead of from a stop. My right to left doesn't work. I KNOW I'm not supposed to put my foot behind me but thats where it always goes. My 2 foot spin is getting better, but still sucks. My edges are getting stronger. My backwards glides were actually pretty good. My backwards crossovers aren't bad but are very uneven between the sides.

Best part of the night was meeting Courtenay from skating forums. She was really really nice. We talked for a few minutes when the session started and then she had a lesson. After her lesson we just did forward stroking around the ice (at a faster pace then I am used to! It was hard to keep up when I was on the outside of the corners) and chatted. I'm hoping she and I become friends. It would be nice to have a friend in this state. She also showed me the circle sequence the synchro team is working on. It seems doable. I hope I'm good enough to join them- It will be fun and a good way to meet people. I'm going to drive ALL the way to the rink tomorrow and watch them practice, just to get an idea of what they do.

Only bad news- lessons won't start until mid-august. Maybe I can get a few privates in (I need a job first) so I don't completely stink by then.

July 6, 2006

July 3 lesson recap
Not sure if I ever wrote a report of the last lesson I had at Troy.
Well first, we earned the patches for Adult 2 (earned them the first lesson) and they actually gave us the patch! I feel like such a dork but I wish I had gotten them from Kettering instead of the certificate. I wonder if there is anyway to just get the patches I’ve passed (I’ve officially passed Basic 3 and 4. I’ve unofficially –in a private lesson real quick- passed Basic 1 and 2, and kind of Adult 1 also). But the patch is really pretty... I wonder if I’ll get ISI patches. I still need to figure out which level I will be, I have a huge mix of skills for what they teach.

So anyhow- lesson. We started off getting on the ice 15 minutes early because they didn’t cut new ice. That gave me time to practice stroking around the rink, do 3 turns, a couple mohawks, some spirals. It was all great fun. The best part is that I wore a skating skirt. Skating in a tiny little skirt, beige tights and white skates really makes you feel like a skater. It was amazing. I probably looked stupid but I am sold on skating skirts.

Anyhow our coach was 10 minutes late so by the time he got in we had been skating for 25 minutes. Then he asked us to start a quick warm up. What have we been doing for the past 25 minutes? Anyhow the warm up was straight skating with crossovers on the corners for the half rink. I decided to actually do proper stroking and it’s amazing the kind of speed you get. A few other people did that too, but it amazed me that the majority of the class just kind of skated around. We are in lessons, and it’s been covered that this is the “right” way to skate forward- why would you continue to push off your toepicks like a public session skater? Anyhow while we were skating the instructor came up to me and went “oooh she’s in a skating skirt” which really annoyed me. He was a great coach, but didn’t strike me as a very nice person. I was probably just being too touchy because I couldn’t seem to do anything good enough to get a compliment the entire session.

So then we worked on all the things we had done before, waltz jumps, stroking, backwards snowplows, pivots, two foot spins. Everything is getting stronger- nothing is good yet. We also learned t-stops which was different than I expected. I thought you set your foot down and stopped- no skid. I had so so so much trouble being on my outside edge. I only even tried the right side and eventually did it once or twice.

Then we moved on to mohawks. My left to right is consistent and occasionally actually pretty. My right to left is just not good. That was actually the first thing I was complimented on the whole session, which is crazy because it’s BAD. I place my foot behind me and worst of all, if I’m not doing it from a standstill I get confused which way I’m supposed to be going. We did these for about 15 minutes, and I alternated them with FO3s because that many mohawks in a row when they are either working well, or just not working gets old. But I was successful on my bad side a few times.

I talked to one of the instructors about arranging a private lesson to go over the ISI skills in Beta that I don’t know so I can start in Gamma, but summer ice is expensive so it would be way too much plus the time off work and the drive. I don’t have my new skates yet, so I decided it wasn’t going to be worth it. I called Rainbo and the skates got there last Thursday, but they still hadn’t processed the exchange yesterday. If they haven’t been shipped by tomorrow evening I’m going to call and ask them to hold them until I move. I cannot believe I am moving in less than a week- or that I have the good fortune of being walking distance to a rink.

July 3, 2006

I'm skating in a skirt tonight :)
Never done this before- we'll see how it goes.

I love the idea of skating in a skirt, but I feel huge. I'm wearing it around the house now, so I can get used to it.

Weird how I was okay in a leotard and tights, but now I'm not sure, and technically wearing much more

July 1, 2006

Just a little public skate
Kevin and I went up to Hobart for the public skate last night. We skated about 90 minutes. It was great to be on the ice, but I found myself feeling that if I was being watched by a coach I would be killed. No bent knees, pushing from a straight skate instead of stroking properly. But in that sort of environment it's hard to skate properly.

I showed Kevin 3-turns. Both of my forward inside ones were awesome. I was so impressed I could do them while he was watching. I showed him my bunny hop (at the wall) and it was wussier than I remember it being. I couldn't get the guts to do it without the wall with so many people around. I also showed him a pathetic spiral, but I was scared to glide for too long because my free leg is about head height of the kids who were skating back and forth through the center (where is a rink guard!!!) and I know it's my fault if they skate straight into my blade.

I couldn't do my back crossovers to save my life. Some of it might have been the environment I was in (no one yields to anyone) but when I finally got them going, I lost my balance, and made myself fall forward before I fell backwards. My hips/thighs are apparently not as padded as much as they look like they are.

Overall it wasn't a great public session- Kettering is run much better. The center is kept coned off and enforced. This rink had the general figure skaters in the middle and circlers on the sides (which I would have been doing for the most part) but four kids (maybe 7?) were playing tag straight across the center! Three girls were practicing jumps and spins and were knocked down more than once. I couldn't believe the audacity of these little boys to just run into someone spinning.

The rink also rents hockey skates unless you request figure skates, which I really think builds the skate anywhere doing whatever mentality. Really.

June 26, 2006

I wonder
If I will ever get past the point where I wait all day to get to go skating and I sit here wanting to leave, but not letting myself because it's 2 hours early and only a 40 minute drive.

I mailed the skates back to rainbo. A different person is helping me now- I think the woman might have thought I was a bit nuts. Maybe my posts on skating forums were- but for me this is a lot of money and I know nothing... I needed opinions.

I am exchanging for regular width Jackson Competitors. I included tracings though, so they might suggest something else.

I don't know why I decided on the competitor instead of the freestyle because it is $100 more- but if you're gonna do it- do it right. The boot is good for my level and it's a better blade. The freestyle probably would have worked though.
Skating lesson...
Well this week didn't leave me with the same oomph as last week. The lesson went just as well but this coach has a way of not making me feel that good about myself.

I brought the camera planning to tape my 3 turns, backwards crossovers, and spiral- but then we didn't have any extra time at the end of the lesson. I'm not going to tape it next week- unless Kevin comes to watch. (He just said he would) But I'm wearing a skirt next week to celebrate backwards crossovers- so if I look really bad in it, you won't get to see the videos or pictures.

So the good- backwards crossovers, even the left side is getting better. 3 turns I praticed on my own and they are improving.
The bad- 2 footed spins. I just can't do them. Knee bed- it doesn't exist.
The eh- backward snowplow stops. Apparently I stop too quickly. He tried to show me how to skid, but it wasn't working.

The new- Mohawks- right to left is BAD, left to right I can fake it. Waltz jump- A JUMP! I JUMPED! Okay, after that excitement, I will say I use jump in the smallest sense of the word. Maybe a centimeter. But both of my blades are off the ice at the same time and I am rotating a half turn. Maybe a fourth turn. Kathleen said I look graceful, but I feel like a fool. But still A JUMP!

Instructor said I need better skates than told me it was silly to get them from Chicago instead of Cincinnati- but Cincinnati didn't have blades small enough for the boots I wanted and were going to "make these ones fit" with ones 1/8" longer than the boot I was buying. Um, I'll take my chances with Chicago. problem is, since mailed the return today, I probably won't get my skates by next Monday, so I will have to make 2 seperate trips to drop off and then pick up them after permanent mounting.

But yeah- overall the lesson was good, it was great to be skating but I don't feel good about it. During crossovers I was told "but you're an old pro" because he told me I didn't have to pick my foot up but could cut it over. I only started them last week- don't dismiss me as if I've been doing it forever. The only thing useful I've been told is to bend my knees.

I need to call the woman about a private lesson- but first I need to find out if I am moving in 2 weeks.
waltz jumps
so- I was practicing my waltz jumps in the hallway- with actual airtime and distance- rather than the 1 cm jump I do on the ice.

After a beautiful one I smacked the bathroom doorframe with the back of my left heel.


You'd think it would be tougher to do these on the ice than in the hallway, but so far that's been more difficult.

June 23, 2006

New Skates
Yep- too big. At least I think they are. It's hard for me to tell. When I wear them and sit flat, my feet don't quite reach the toe and I can move my foot, and I can wiggle my toes around a bit- and pick up my heel.

When I stand I can pick up my heel, but my toes touch the front of the skate.

And man- these things are STIFF.
So i still don't know if the skates fit or not.

I feel like an idiot not being able to tell if boots fit.

My left toes touch the front of the boot- I don't know if I could get smaller. My right toes are pretty durn close, but not touching. But there is a lot of room around my toes for me to move them, and on my right foot I can actually scrunch my toes under my foot (if that makes sense). That seems like a lot of movement.

The main thing I amm woried about is I can easily pick up both heels. I think the heels should be staying still. I wonder if that is because the boot is too big, or too wide.

The blades on these are longer than my old blades, so the guards are about 1/4" too short. I'll have to get new guards. That's kind of annoying.

What's really weird is how different they feel on my legs. The left one is very very stiff around my ankle, and the right isn't- but it pinches my ankle bones.

And WOW I can bend my knees so much better in these boots than my old ones.

Only problem is I can only wear them for about 30 minutes before my feet go numb. I wonder what that is about.

So all you boot wearing people- do these things fit?

June 20, 2006

I can crossover- backwards!
I have never ever had such an awesome time skating. It started off looking not so good. There is a pee-wee hockey class, and then a hockey power class on the rink before the learn to skate session, and the ice was torn up big time- but for some reason, unlike last week, they didn’t cut new ice. EEK! We did, however, get to be on the ice 20 minutes early. So I spent those 20 minutes doing some stroking, a couple pivots and working on 3 turns. Then a woman called us together, explained that our instructor from last week was not there and she would be teaching. She was very soft spoken and hard to hear. She lined us at the wall and had us stroke the width of the rink, so she could see where we are at. It’s tough to stroke the width of the rink and have good extension. I got maybe 4 strokes in before I was at the end. After doing that, we worked on the circle- all 8 of us on one circle- my goodness it was a HUGE traffic jam. The class is pretty mixed level so I felt like I couldn’t move at all. We did forward crossovers, which I can do well on my right side and okay on my left side, but I still need to practice, and then did forward pumps. The pumps were especially hard because they get me moving fast, but the people in front of me weren’t moving fast. Oh well, got to share the space.

Then we moved onto backwards things. We started by trying to hold back edges. Eek. We set up by doing 3 swizzles, a 2 foot glide and then hold the outside edge, then we repeated for inside. Back outside edges appear to be easier than back inside edges, and the opposite true for forward. I wonder if that’s true for other people. While I can generally hold my forward edges for a long time, I had trouble holding these for more than a few seconds at a time, I certainly couldn’t hold them consistently enough to glide around the circle.

Then we went to the wall and talked about how to be on the proper edges for backwards crossovers, and got paired into partners. Our partners held our arm while we did back crossovers to steady us. I was scrapping my toe pick a bit, and really watching the ice (and watching for blades on the ice behind me to some extent, but I wasn’t looking over my shoulder- oops) but I picked these up pretty quickly. Then I helped my partner.

I loved doing backwards crossovers. They almost immediately came together for me. The left side was not as smooth as the right but I had anticipated so much trouble with these because of the trouble I had adjusting to swizzling to my toe instead of my heel- but apparently that prep worked.

With just 10 minutes left in the class the instructor wanted to teach us something fun. She had a young adult skater demonstrate a spiral and then told us we could do this, first by just lifting our foot to calf height behind us and getting used to gliding on one foot. Then she etched out the ‘banana’ position with her foot on the ice and told us a bit about how our body should be and left us to practice. Psssh. I’ve glided on one foot before. So since she set us to practice on our own I went ahead to a waist high arabesque, gliding on a flat- obviously. I’m proud to say my (flat) spiral on ice is as good as my arabesque in ballet. Unfortunately that doesn’t say much. But the instructor did give me a little clap and say “you must have done this before” Nope- and I’m surprised I didn’t fall on my butt. So I did more of these, and now because a spiral is so much fun I’m really going to have to work on my flexibility. I tried to practice a few times gliding on my left foot, but I can’t get my leg as high on that side so it’s not as much fun, but my left foot is my weaker skating foot, so I need to make sure to give it equal practice time.

Then we had 20 more minutes to practice on our own. I tried forward pivots (closer to doing one than last week), more spirals (weeee!), forward crossovers, forward outside 3 turns (these are still very small but I rarely put my foot down anymore) and more crossovers. We had another instructor ask us if we had any questions and I asked her if I was doing the crossovers correctly before I kept practicing wrong. She looked at them, corrected my arm and shoulder position (so now I physically can’t look at the ice if my shoulders are correct) and told me I looked great. Then she helped other people while I practice (having them step one foot over the other at the wall) when they moved back to the circle, I moved to the outside of the circle so I wouldn’t hit anyone- problem with crossovers is I get going really fast- and my only backwards stop is a snowplow which I can’t do very efficiently at speed, so once I get going really fast I wobble and then I have to figure out how to stop. The instructor came back over to me and said I was ready to learn the next part of crossovers, so she explained to me how the second foot pushed (we had just been pushing with the first foot) and how to pull the blade of the other foot. So I did that, and wow adding that push some how makes you center your feet correctly so you don’t drag your toe pick.

Anyway I left the rink feeling like a star. I’m so so so proud of myself.
Nervous about new skates
Well, I ordered skates and now I am having second thoughts:

First off, I ordered size 3W Riedell 300 Gold Medallion skates with a Club 2000 blade (stock blade). It cost $250, plus $20 shipping and they threw the sharpening in for me.
That’s what I planned to spend on the Competitor but the blade it came with is a slightly better stock blade.

So now my issues that are making me worry I made the wrong choice (and something to refute them, because I am probably worrying needlessly):
-I didn’t try them on ahead of time. (There is no where in southern Ohio that seems to stock my size anyway, so I would have had to guess at a store too)
-None of the Reidells I tried on in the store were comfortable. (They weren’t the right size, of course they weren’t comfortable)
-I really wanted the Jackson Competitor because it was a better deal. (But the price was the same. Get over it. Reidell is a great brand)
-The people at sports plus didn’t think I was a wide. (The people at sports plus generally proved to be idiots)
-I might have measured my foot wrong so the woman at rainbo might be wrong about me being a wide (uh....)

Now the reason I didn’t get the Jackson Competitor is that the 3.5 wide is not in stock at Rainbo or the Jackson warehouse in Canada. But I’m not really sure I needed the wide. The 3.5 I tried on in Cincinnati fit well, but maybe I just thought it did? Is it possible to be wrong about things fitting well? It’s hard to tell if skates fit well because they are supposed to fit tight. Because if I could have gotten that skate, I’m going to cry. It was $250 for the boot and a protégé blade. The blade normally sells for $150 and the boot for $200. That was a great deal. Why didn’t I buy the freaking skate. I didn’t buy it because I thought I should wear the 3. But rainbo sports suggested the 3.5. So if I was right about the 3, then the boot I just bought is also going to be too big.

So now I’m worried the skate I just spent a ton of money on (but not compared to quad figure skates) is going to be too wide, too stiff, or too big.

If the boot doesn’t fit, I can always return it- but that costs $20 shipping both ways. Maybe if I exchange it I don’t have to pay postage to get it back again. Still, double shipping though.

Why is this so stressful?

June 15, 2006

So good to be on the ice again
I started lessons at Hobart Arena in Troy this Monday. My instructor is Glen (I think) and he is quite a character. Very fun, and seems like a very good skater and teacher.

The session is just Adult LTS. They divided us into 3 groups: Never skated before, Learning to Skate, and Good Skater. I was in the middle group. We would be working on Adult 2, and he read a list of skills and asked if anyone had done them before. I raised my hand and told him I had passed everything but the chasses (which actually aren’t adult 2) and he asked me if I wanted to move up, and as the class above me took off into beautiful sit spins I told him that I’d be alright with a refresher to improve my basics.

There were 8 people in the class. One a former child skater who had been off the ice for years. She was surprisingly uncoordinated- but had new skates. I’ll assume that was why. There were two girls in denim skirts, tights, and the flimsyist skates I have ever seen. There was no structure to the leather and they had their laces tied around their ankles. I’m surprised the instructor didn’t have them retie- the skirts were an interesting choice for a sport where people often fall. Kathleen from Kettering lessons was there as well and it was great to see her, and some other people

We started with forward stroking. I still feel stupid holding my arms out because it seems like no one else does it. But maybe no one else wants to be a good skater? Or maybe they just don’t care. Either way, I feel stupid. My stroking goes well, and from the edge. I’m not twisting my torso, but I probably am bobbing up and down. I have terrible knee bend.

As we are stroking the Never Skated class took the ice. One man in hockey skates could barely go 2 feet without falling, getting up, falling. I felt badly for him. The instructor retied his skates and he was able to go a bit further- he said he had truly never been on ice before. By the end of the evening he was going across the width of the ice on his own.

After stroking we moved to backwards glides on one foot. I am SO happy with this one. I was able to glide well on both of my feet. I am still taking a bit of an edge on my left foot when I’ve glided for awhile, but not as badly as before. Glen had us hold our foot to our knee while gliding instead of to our heel. Maybe the ballet like position helped me keep my balance? During these I also practice back snowplow stops and did very well on the right side, and okay on the left side (which is interesting since I can’t do a left snowplow stop at all). Those are on the Adult 2 curriculum but as a class we never did them.

We then moved to the circles for forward crossovers. Before we went to the circles Glen had us walk sideways placing our foot over the other and then moving them back together. The exercise went well on my right side and a bit bumpy on the left. Then he showed us how to do a crossover- and then showed us how we would be doing them in the perfect imitation of someone learning crossovers and jolting between each step. My right crossovers are good, and my left ones are getting better. I still don’t have a deep cross. During the crossovers I was told I really need to work on my kneebend.

“You are too good of a skater to not bend your knees.” Oops.

That comment made me wonder how long he thought I had been skating. I have about 10 hours.

Then we worked on forward pivots. Those were miserable. I can do backwards ones for a few revolutions, but can’t get around forward at all. I just don’t get it. I have my pick into the ice, my hip turned out, then I swizzle my foot and STOP. I have got to work on these.

Then we went to 2 footed turns on a circle. He took the goal half-circle and drew an arrow for us to turn on. My counter clockwise one was good, but my feet weren’t perfectly together (are they supposed to be?) and I didn’t glide out of it as well as I would have liked. My clockwise one was probably the best I’ve done. Good kneebend, quick turn at speed, and then kept gliding exactly on the circle. Coaches response “Yeah, whatever” Everyone else had a lot of trouble with these, although most people did end up turned around someway or another.

We then went to backward ½ swizzle pumps on a circle. No problems here except I go too fast to share a circle with people just learning them. And it’s probably a bad thing, but I really am not too sure of how to make them much slower. I feel like writing this it sounds like I think I am some incredible skater who is better than everyone else, but really I don’t. I do, however, think that this particular class was review for me, and I was the best one in the class. I don’t think I was doing anything extremely well (especially not bending my knees).

Forward edges on a circle were great. I can hold all 4 edges for at least ½ of a rotation and can hold the clockwise edges ¾ of one!

The last thing we did was forward chasses. If anyone is still reading this entry and knows about dance, are chasses really just a stroke with one foot and then pick the other foot up? That seems way to simple. Anyway- those went without a hitch.

At the end of the class he told us we would be starting Adult 3 next week (yay, new stuff) and that all of us had passed Adult 2 because we all performed the required skills. This was my only qualm. Clearly no one in the class had perfected EVERYTHING. (Um, my pivot?) There were some people who struggled with everything we did. But now we are moving on. I’m sure he will review, but why call it passed? How about just- we are going to add new skills? But I guess that’s how LTS is.

I am ordering skates from Rainbo Sports soon, and Glen is the guy Troy SC recommends to mount and sharpen blades, so I’m glad he’s my instructor. I’m also going to try to get 1, maybe 2 private lessons in July so I can get backward crossovers and a bunny hop before moving.

I’m so glad to be on the ice again.

May 29, 2006

Did you think I forgot about skating?
Well the problem is, there is no ice.

But that's not a horrible thing because I have really hurt my knee. Next round of classes (only 4 for 1 hour each on Mondays) starts June 12- so it better be better by then. I'm starting Basic 5- backwards edges on a circle, backwards crossovers, 1 foot spins, hockey stops and bunny hops. 4 hours doesn't seem like enough time to learn all that.

We went out to Iowa to see the new home and I live less than 2 minutes (10 if I walked) from the Ice Rink.

May 4, 2006

May 4.
Skating last night was the first class that I didn’t come home feeling great. Granted, I went feeling awful. My shoulders have been bothering me since Saturday (and I got to hear “relax your shoulders” - my most frequent correction- even more often than normal). I guess I figured skating (heh- figure skating) would make me feel better because I enjoy it- like Pilates did the night before. I was horrible, and hard, but when I went home I felt good. However, I think my dull blades prevented me from getting the “feel good” aspect of skating. It seems like it is toon soon for dull blades- about 9 hours of skating- but I don’t always wear my blade guards. So I left my skates at the rink to be sharpened. All you blade-care advocates, stop your shouting. These skates, with the blades attached cost about $70 in 1994. I don’t think the blade is worth much more than a rink sharpening, and at my level it doesn’t really matter. But I really cannot wait to get new skates.

Anyhow I couldn’t hold my edges for more than a 1/2 circle and I was slipping like crazy on forward 1/2 swizzles so there was definitely a blade problem, but it still made me feel like crap during the lesson. Nothing went horribly, and I was still one of the best of my very mixed level class but I was not skating up to my standards

I also started a new skill which threw me off. Usually I fly around the circle with back 1/2 swizzles but that comfort move was taken away and instead of swizzling to the heel I am to start swizzling to the toe in preparation for cross cuts. Wow did that throw me off! I almost fell a few times but didn’t.
(A small tangent- I still haven’t fallen. I’m so scared too now.) I really need to get my “first fall” out of the way. I should have known it was going to be a bad lesson when I caught my toepick and stumbled on our warm up stroking. My toepicks aren’t even that big. We also only ever do warm-up stroking CCW. I wish we would do it CW too so I can work on my forward crossovers at speed on both sides.

So the highlights (or this week on skating forums “Bank Holiday” which amuses me): Right back snowplow stops actually work. Not at a real speed, but at a non-snail pace. My back stroking is actually coming along too. My instructor complimented me, but I’m not sure if it was a “your doing a good job” or a “I have to tell someone they are doing a good job, and that’s the best I got.” But I feel better about my stroking so let’s pretend she meant it.

I still feeling ridiculous skating with my arms out and with a deep knee bend because no one else does, but I know I have to learn it now so I can skate well later. I am also concentrating on pointing my toe and extending my leg and that was complimented during my fwd crossovers! I need to learn to flex my foot and set it right down on next to my supporting side, rather than swinging it over- but they are getting better.

The bad- I did a few three turns on both sides! Yes, even my left side- that was new! So why is this in the bad? I cannot figure out which way to go and have to abort most of my attempts because I try to turn the wrong way, and get befuddled before I even turn. (So is what I’m trying to do an inside 3-turn, when I’m meaning to do an outside one?) I also tried a few 2 footed spins and neither direction went well. I couldn’t keep my balance. Guess I got to keep doing Pilates and work up some core muscles :)

No move by move analysis this week, so some stuff got left out. I am going skating on Friday, we have our last class next week and then the rink closes. I am hoping to take lessons in Troy this summer.

May 13, 2006

I never wrote about my last skating lesson. The main thing is I passed both Basic 3 and 4 and got a little certificate to "prove" it. I also got a usfsa tracking book, patch and year patch. They didn't give us level patches though- I kind of wanted one of those. We also didn't get the usfsa membership cards, which bummed me out because if I had that I didn't have to pay the $5 registration fee in Troy on Monday to register for summer classes.

On sharpened skates the class went well. Three turns and 2 footed spins still need work but they happen more frequently than they used to. The 30 minutes made my ankle hurt and tendonitis flare up. And while attempting to do backwards crossovers I managed to both click my blades (eek! didn't fall though, almost did) and swipe my blade over the toe removing a chunk of boot. Those crossovers are going to be tough to learn. Especially in just 4 1 hour lessons I get in Basic 5. I guess that means I won't be passing through the level. The skills listed are hard! Backward edges on a circle- my back glides don't last very long (although it's because I'm usually on an edge, so maybe that will work to my advantage) and I think there's a hop in Basic 5- I like my blades firmly planted on the ice...

Anyhow now I'm going to go get fitted for skates. Strangely enough the ones I want are on but only if I wear a size 5 or larger, and since 5 is my normal shoe size I bet I wear smaller. Anyway I don't think the $50 or so (w/o shipping) discount is worth not having a store who can heat mold them. I'm so nervous about not getting a pair that are good for me (I've heard Reidell's run narrow, and my little fat feet are hoping the Jackson Freestyle's will fit) that I had bad dreams about it last night. The storewas recommended by a few people at the rink, but someone on skatingforums said to NOT go there. I figured at my level if I got a boot too soft it would just break down too quickly- I wouldn't break an ankle or something since I'm not jumping, so the only danger is getting one way to hard- and then break an ankle just skating. But it's soo much money I want to get a good pair.
Skate story
So Kathleen and I drove to Cinncinnati to get Ice Skates. I called ahead of time to make sure they carried Jackson Freestyles in stock- they do.

I get sized and am told I will fit in a 4 for Reidell or a 3.5 for Jacksons. Then we look for skates.

There were no Jackson Freestyles in my size, and they didn't carry Reidell Bronze Medallions, so we go about trying to find either a Jackson Competitior or a Reidell Silver Medallion- I am a bit worried the boot will be too stiff for me, not to mention out of my price range since I have to buy them seperately.

The Reidells were too big as a 4 and they didn't have anything smaller. The Competitor felt good as a 3.5 and a little tight as a 3. The guy got a protege blade that he was going to throw in with the boot for $250 (the boots are marked $209... i don't know the seperate price for the blade). I didn't really want to get a blade lower than the coronation ace if I was buying it sepearatly, but at that price (like $40) it was WAY better than what came on the Freestyle- and I was getting a nicer boot.

So the figure skate fitter has to leave to go to a wedding and tells the hockey guys to throw the boots into the oven. When they do that the 3.5s fit like tennis shoes- very comfy, nice and roomy. For never being skated in- that was too big. The hockey fitter told me "you want your skates to be comfortable, I can't get my thumb behind your heel" Luckily the first guy knew better than that, and I knew better than that so I ask them to throw the 3s in the oven. Heated, those fit great- still snug so they can break in, but good in the length and the width. I'm ready to buy them (Jackson Competitiors and the Protege blade for $250) so he starts telling me about how the mounting works, a provisional mount for my coach to look at and then come back to have them mounted permanently. As we are doing this he notices the blade was an 8 3/4 sized to fit the 3.5. So he goes in the back and there isn't a smaller blade. Stupid hockey guy says "we'll make it fit" when anyone looking at it can see the blade is almost longer than the boot, and will not work.

So I didn't get anything. I didn't order a new blade either, because if they couldn't take it from stock, they couldn't discount it. I didn't order the Freestyle because they have a "if we order it, it's yours" policy and I want to get my foot in them before paying.

I'm very disappointed. But at the same time, I think it might have been God's way of telling me that while $250 was a great deal for what I was getting, I can't spend that much on skates.

So now I need to decide if I should order the Freestyles online from someone who allows returns, or if I should wait until we move and take a 7 hour (round trip) road trip to the nearest fitter.

I want the skates so I'm leaning towards the first option, but fit is soooo important so maybe I should do the second.

My foot is SO small, but you'd think since skating is a "little girls" sport they would have things that fit me in stock. (Then again the pro-shop at my rink doesn't keep anything in stock- they measure and order. But at least they don't make you buy it if it doesn't fit.)

May 7, 2006

Skating on Friday
I just realized i never posted about skating on Friday. I told myself I would post everytime I skated- because I wanted a true journal of how it was going. (at least until I skated more than once or twice a week)

First off, dull blades was the problem. I picked up my skates an WOW were they a dream to skate on. This by rink sharpeners. I can't imagine what it will be like when I have a "real" sharpening on real blades.

I skated for an hour and a half and my ankle hurt a bit after it. The 6-weeks of rest aren't up yet, and I guess I need to stick to that. Nothing like it did before, but still, hurt.

Overall the session was not good. The Silver Skate is coming up next weekend and so the ice was filled (well 5) with high level freestyle skaters. I know that adult sessions are not treated as open sessions and you can skate however you want, but when there is more than 1 or 2 people jumping and spinning like mad, it makes it very difficult for the rest of us to fit anything in. The low level freestyle skaters I saw (who weren't jumping, but running through different program components) seemed to be able to fit things in okay, but the basic skaters I talked to all said they were very frustrated and that's how I felt.

There were also about 2 new skaters who were clinging helplessly to the wall who looked terrified and about an hour through the session the seniors came to rink circle- which just made it impossible to do anything.
Couldn't use the center, or stay near the wall.

I got a bit of practice on three turns in. I am consistently trying to turn the right direction, but never actually did one. At one point I was prepping for one- from a stop- as is required in basic 4, and a couple dancing cut right in front of me so I had to wait to push off. As I was about to get started one of the high level girls comes flying by me and yells "stand by the walls" That really made me mad. I wasn't standing, I was in a t-stance waiting to push off and not hit the pair, and I was only about 2 feet from the wall. I wasn't in a lutz corner, and she was just practicing stroking (although really fast). There is no reason I would have been in her way. If it was a freestyle session, then I shouldn't even be on the ice with my lowly three turns, but it wasn't. It was an adult session and we all had the same right to the ice. I spent most of the session making sure I was out of the way of people a million times better than me.

The good part of the session was the man who offered to teach me dance holds before I hurt my ankle taught me them this time. (he said he thought he had scared me off because I never showed up again) I learned a Killian hold, a Reverse Killian hold, a Foxtrot hold, and a Waltz hold.

So we worked on basic stroking around the rink in each of the holds. I realized how unsure I am on my left foot. When I do stroking I hold my left foot out for a long time, but rush through when my right foot is up. With counts I couldn't do that.

Then he taught me how to do swing rolls. My edges aren't good enough to hold them for long, but he kind of held me on the edges and we did laps of swing rolls in the Killian hold. Then we tried them in the Waltz hold, but because he was facing backwards he couldn't hold me on my edge and it was just to difficult for me at this point.

My main "correction" was to stop looking down. That's tough to do when you are worried about slicing through a semi-strangers leg.

Dance might be something I look into- it seems fun.