Wednesday, April 20, 2011

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.

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