Wednesday, April 20, 2011

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?

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