Sunday, June 19, 2011


The end of synchro?
I really love skating on the synchro team. I miss dancing with a group a lot, and it's a good replacement for that. I am good at picking up the routine and remembering it. I actually do a good job of skating in pinwheels (where I am almost always on the end) and my power (especially in backward crossovers!) has improved so much since I joined the team.

BUT- going that fast I cannot turn CCW. I thought I'd be able to pick it up, but I'm getting nowhere. I can't even do a two foot turn that fast- and belive me I'm trying. It would be less noticable cheat. But I obviously cheat and do them all 2 footed CW. That's 1 mohawk, and 2 seperate three-turns that I'm doing the wrong in this program. Then I also can't do the backward lunge. And I have a hard time catching my line in 2 places. I feel like I'm doing more things wrong then right.

For the christmas show, I feel like it's not a big deal. But I can't compete skating like this- and in 4-5 months I have had no improvement on the turns or lunge. I won't have it by the competition. It will hurt the team and it will waste my money to go. Since synchro is part of LTS, the $90 every 8-weeks isn't too much, but it adds up. Add in the second costume we'll have to buy, plus transportation, and that's a lot of money for me to go and insure my team a low score because I can't do the program.

I hate the idea of quitting something I like, and I hate even more thinking that it might cause problems to remove me from the program. But I am not adding value to the team at all. I come home from about half the practices wanting to cry because I feel like I'm making things worse for the team. Last week I came home really happy, feeling like we made good progress- but the progress we made as a group was on things I wasn't necessarily having trouble on as an individual, just as part of the group. My individual problems are not getting better and I don't know how to address them.

But I think my synchro days might be over.


I just bought a used pair of skates for $50. They are Jackson Competitors size 3D. I currently have Jackson Competitors size 3B. The width is definetly better, but the length of the right one actually feels too short. I asked Burton to bring the stretcher thingy next week.

BUT I decided to take a gamble on them. They have freaking GOLD SEAL blades.

I felt guilty buying them for $50, but Burton says that's really what they wanted to sell them for, he told them what the blades were worth, and they still thought $50 was good. Well, so do I!!!

First stepping onto the ice in them, I could barely skate. It was SO different. After about 10 minutes I did a few 2 foot spins, and a waltz jump. I think I'm going to have to relearn everything. But for $50- that was a gamble I had to take!

HOLY CRAP! I'm SO excited. What an upgrade!


Group lesson with andy
Yesterday wasn't really a great day for me skating.

I'll start at the end of it. We did about 5 minutes of scratch spins at the end of the group lesson. I centered- ONE-. (It did make it easier to count the revolutions though when the spins traveled 5 feet. I'm getting up to 10 on a regular basis now, 15 is my highest. But what the heck happened to my centered spins!). But spinning was making me really really dizzy. REALLY dizzy. So I didn't stay to practice, I got off the ice and sat down, and it took about 20 minutes of sitting before the vertigo got manageable enough that I was able to drive home. So I went home, still dizzy, and spinning, but now with a horrible headache. I got in bed at 7:45, where I laid- spinning in my head- until 9:15 when I finally fell asleep. I better have an ear infection or something, because if this is the norm, I'm not amused.

The start of the group lesson was good. We started with moves in the field, which was insane. There were more people on the ice for LTS than on most public sessions, and because of the nature of LTS they were in clumps, rather than moving around. SO- we started with back crossovers to back outside edges. Andy had me demonstrate, and then after everyone went I went again, he gave me a correction on my posture (which Burton tells me every lesson- I swear I'm trying!) and complimented me on the move. I'm pretty sure the compliment was in comparision to the class, rather than quality of the move, but I'll take it. I'm really enjoying working on moves.

Then he asked me if I knew the preliminary spiral pattern, and I said yes, but I can't do it well. So he had me demonstrate that as well, and then we did the outside spirals one at a time. This was a long time of "no outside" "OUTSIDE- that's your inside", "You should know your edges by now. No, that's still inside". So I also got a compliment on this move, and that I did a good job of coming back to the axis each time, and I got a compliment on my leg position- which always feels much higher than it looks in the glass. We didn't do inside spirals, which are much weaker, but I like that my outsides are getting higher (and really like that I don't have to worry about these on moves tests!)

Then he decided to really challenge us, and this suprised me based on the utter lack of understanding of edges demonstrated during the moves, we tried change edge spirals. With one of the best demonstrations ever. Andy built up a lot of speed from the other side of the rink, did an inside spiral, then switched to an outside spiral- at which point he realized he was going to run straight into the wall, and swung his leg very quickly to get on a deeper edge. Since this was a demonstration on how swinging our leg controls the edge - it was a great way to do it. (Afterwards he stopped next to me and said "wow, I almost hit the wall there" and asked him if he was going to make us do it that way "sink or swim" style.)

So- the change edge spiral- I was able to actually change from inside to outside, but not outside to inside. Long glides with a change are so different from edge pulls. I never did it in a spiral position, more an ugly airplane, but it will be a good thing to work on.


Group Lesson
Group lesson last night was frustrating. We spent the 30 minutes doing salchows and toe loops and both of them were awful.

I was taught a very swingy salchow- I think that's just how Burton introduces it, and with Burton I've been working on not swinging so much, but I must not have made the right connections with what he's telling me to not swing. According to Andy, I have a "roller skaters" salchow. Which means I have a really short check on my three turn and then I swing my leg to get me into the air. So I spent the time working on holding the check to my 3 turn, and then NOT swinging but bring my leg to an "h" position. By the end of that part of the lesson, I was holding my 3 turn much better- but the very end of it had way too much time that I was dragging my toe pick. BUT I could barely get the jump off the ice. However, I felt like I was making progress to correcting it.

Then we moved onto toe loops. My toe loop has always been prerotated- but all the coaches at the rink say that single jumps should take off with only a half of the jump remaining. HOWEVER, even with half the rotation done on the ice- I'm toe waltzing. Apparently what makes my jump cheated wrong is that I'm picking far away and then jumping off my pick, instead of pulling the other edge in in an outside pivot kind of move while prerotating. So Andy had me work on that using my tracing, then he did a huge jump to make a "good" tracing for me. It's pretty amazing how far apart my toe pick and my free foot edge are. I've worked for a long time with Burton to pick further away- AND (to his credit) he's been telling me this exact same thing about pulling in, but I guess I also didn't connect that I haven't made the change at all. So my toe loop is now about non-existant. If I try to pull in with that outside pivot sort of move, I can't jump at all, I lean too far to the left, or something like that. I wanted to cry by the end of the lesson. I didn't get a single toe loop off the ice once Andy made that correction. I understand it, and I see how it works in his jump, but I cannot apply it.

Tonight with Burton I might work on jumps, but I'm really hoping he'll teach me the 5 step mohawk. Especially if he wants me to test in February! I really like moves so much better. I feel like I make progress with them. I very clearly could not do back 3 turns 3 months ago, and now I can. I know 3 months ago I had no concept of a rocker or counter, and now I do. But a year ago I was introduced to salchows and toe loops, and I've made apparently zero progress on them. I think I'm a moves girl.

Tonight I hope to learn the 5 step mohawk, but I don't know if I will have a lesson. I just got a call asking if I could switch to last lesson tonight, but said no. I try to be flexible, but switching to last lesson moves me from freestyle to club ice- and I don't have $6 this week for club ice. Not to mention it doesn't give me a break before synchro which makes for a long, painful foot night. I told Burton that if he only has 15 minutes, we can do a short lesson, or just make up next week. We'll see, I guess.


Power Class
The power class kicked my butt today. We are working on our christmas show routine (ugg..) and it's going pretty well. I think this class, plus working on Bronze moves and doing synchro is really helping my power. I'm at the back of all the lines because I'm "slow" but also because I lead off a few moves, so it has to be someone who remembers the routine. I am now have to TRY not to pass a few of the kids- so apparently I'm not as slow as I was.

At the very end of the class we did 8 full rink figure 8 crossovers and I passed 5 of the kids. Either I'm doing better, or they aren't trying. (I'm thinking they aren't trying- but I am like 4 levels ahead of a few of the kids so I SHOULD be faster than them.)

Now that I can do stroking and crossovers fast, I need to figure out how to do footwork without freaking myself out. Especially turns that go CCW. I can't even do a 2 ft CCW turn at speed.


I love MITF so much more than freestyle
Andy introduced counters and rockers today. After about 5-10 minutes I was able to do both on my right foot. I am super impressed with myself.

So now I can "do" all of the turns. Mohawks are still my least favorite.

Bronze moves are going better. I hate hate hate the alternating 3 turn pattern. I love the alternating backward crossover pattern- the feel of whipping fast around the rink is fantastic.

Doing pretty good on the silver moves backward 3 pattern- even my back inside edges are coming along, and i'm finally figuring out what to do with my free leg on the back outside edges.


Okay- lesson/practice report tomorrow. But this couldn't wait.

I SO wish I had a camera at the rink today. The ice was beautiful and smooth- perfect to see tracings in. And there is on tracing I wish I could have taken a picture of. So imagine it in your head. (Gliding on my right foot starting forward- turning over the right shoulder, then gliding backward for just a second, almost instantly turning over the left shoulder- so whatever edge name variation that is.)


yes! REALLY! FIVE brackets in a row. A perfect, beautiful line on the ice. I have no idea what my body position was, my free leg was probably a mess, but the tracings do not lie- I did consecutive brackets! I've only ever been able to do one before, never getting the backward one back to forward.

EEEEEEEEEE!! Brackets! I can do brackets!*

*right side that way only. I assume like everything else they go both ways. The left foot still has an inconsistent one- usually I fall half way.

** I did 3 in a row the first time I manged more than one, I worked my way up to five. I nearly cracked my head open four times. But it was totally worth it for FIVE brackets.

*** Burton saw me do them, then some of the synchro team saw me do four of them. I'm not making this up!

I need to add these to the practice schedule. This is only like the fourth time I've ever tried them. I could probably get good at these if I keep practicing.


Skating quote of the night
"You're right, it's a crock of sh*t, the ice is hard" -group skating instructor, after telling me there was no need to fear falling, you just get right back up. And I told him that I tell that to all my students "the ice isn't scary", "the ice will catch you", "it doesn't hurt, you just get right back up"- but I don't believe it at all. He played the "oh, falling isn't bad" card for one more second, then whispered agreement once the kid closest to me skated away.

That made me smile.

(His lesson, however, didn't make me smile. I feel like I'm getting nowhere on backspins. Though the footwork work was kind of fun)


I'll post later...
But here are some videos from last night.

Some 3 turns, a spin, and a lunge.

You don't get to see my waltz jump, toe loop, sit spin, or attitude spin- because the videos made me really really sad.
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I'm going to do the lazy thing where I just copy from skatingforums
Does anyone here not read skating forums? Oh, well this is just for my notes anyhow.

Skating felt pretty good. There are now 5 of us in the freestyle class- 2 in FS1, 1 in FS2, and then 2 adults who will probably be in FS3 for the rest of our lives While the younger kids worked on edges, the adults did the lobe pattern with a back 3 turn on one side, and then a forward 3 turn on the other side. My back outsides are so much better than my back inside, but both were actually turning! To get it at the top of the lobe though, I rarely make it back to the line without having to swing my foot a bit, or touch down. It's a super fun pattern, but not quite a move yet.

In between I have my own LTS classes now! I guess I've graduated from helper. I have a SS1 and a SS2/3, both classes have 3 kids- in SS1 I have one who can barely stand, and two moving pretty well, and in SS2 I have 2 doing pretty well, and one with zero attention span. It's going to be a challenge.

OMG the loop is so hard. I am not getting the entrance right so I end up jumping from back to front. The "flag" at the end of the entrance edge is impossible for me. I really need to strengthen my edges, and work on closed 3 turns. If I do it from a forward 3 turn, I can kind of pretend I can do a loop, but from the back edge entrance, no way. Once I get stronger edges, I'm also going to need to get some leg strength, because the jump is going nowhere.

Kevin came and taped me skating. It made me so sad. I really feel like I've made a lot of progress on my jumps, spins, and basic skating. But watching I looked horrible. My scratch spins aren't nearly as fast as they feel- though I'm getting a lot more rotations, and centered half of them. My layback has a nice arch in my back, but a disgusting leg position, and I don't really know how to correct it. I won't even start on my sit spin. My jumps just weren't good. I guess they were better than last time I taped, but while I feel like I have more height, I really don't think there is anymore. And I'm skating faster into the jumps, but I still look like I have zero confidence. I guess my basic skating has gotten better, or at least more complex- because the moves I'm doing look shaky, but are more difficult than previous ones. The videos were just really really sad.

Started on Bronze moves. Learned the forward alternating crossovers, back crossovers to back outside edges, and power three turn patterns. Was told "well that didn't suck nearly as bad as I thought it would". hehe I guess I'm picking up a bit of the "basic skating skills" even if I'm getting nowhere with the tricks.

I am really enjoying synchro but I'm becoming very stressed about the problem moves. What i can do is fine for the christmas show, but I'm worried that I'll have to pull out for competition. I've made no progress on the hard side mohawk, or the back lunge, and now we've added a bad side front to back lunge. And even the things I can do okay like the half flip, and the mazurka to toe-tap, don't work at speed. I have a "remedial" lesson next saturday. It's just so upsetting, because I'm not improving on these elements. On a bright side- Courtenay joined us on the ice and was FANTASTIC.

Leg pain was slightly better today- but I didn't jump at all. It still hurts though :(


Just a small little thing that made me smile yesterday:
After group lessons I skated for about 15 minutes on public ice with a girl who did a make up freestyle lesson, and is in my edge class. We did a "follow the leader" sort of show and tell. I'd do a move, then she'd do it. Then she'd do one and I would. It was really fun to play this game with her. (Especially when she was impressed with my spin- as we are technically the same level.) After we did this for a 15 minutes or so I told her I needed to work on backward lunges- and she told me she had never done one. I said, me neither- but I need to for synchro. Then she was impressed I did synchro- and I said "yes, I'm on the adult synchro team." At which point she looks at me and said "But you're not an adult. Can teenagers not be on the kid's team." I told her I was 25. "You don't skate like an adult, you skate like a kid." That made me laugh. Although they have had teenagers on the adult team in the past, I am firmly into the age of "adult". I hope she'll still feel comfortable skating with me now that she "knows."

LTS was a bit crazy- two of the instructors were missing due to regionals. Burton and I combined classes, and I helped him while he played games with our classes. Then I taught parent/tot- which was so nerve wracking but I got a great compliment from a parent afterwards, she said I was great with the kids and it was a fun class. The regular teacher is amazing, so it was a tough spot to fill- and the added nerve of having the parents right there to watch what you are doing! Then my group lesson Andy was gone, so Burton taught. He told me I'd improved my speed going into jumps, which is a plus. We jumped the entire class, my wrong side half flip is getting better, which is good. I need it for synchro. My left leg really hurt after all that jumping.

Just skated another 20 minutes. Ran through scratch spins (not at all centered, but all crossed), attitude spins (I want a tape of this, I'm worried it looks really ugly- but I'm spinning still after changing positions, so that's a plus), and sit spins (also want a tape). Hmmmm... I seemed to have skipped camels. LOL.

Then I did about 10 backward lunges, until my leg couldn't take it anymore. I never actually got down. This is going to be HARD. I did about two minutes of moonwalking (getting better, but slow) and left the ice.
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I switched my lesson from club ice to freestyle, because club has been so crowded- plus I don't have to pay for freestyle.

This was NOT the week to do that!

Club and Freestyle had about the same number of people at them, but freestyle was SCARY. Our "regular" kids have doubles- but they are small, and two or three of the kids move FAST FAST, but most are just sort of fast, and it's not really that threatening. Well, regionals is in Cedar Rapids. Coralville is only 30 minutes from there- and our only 3-people there last week freestyle turned into a practice session. I talked to three girls who were juniors, two intermediate, one pre-juv, and then there were quite a few more who were there practicing for regionals. Everyone had BIG FAST cover the ice doubles. There were LOTS of triples. One girl was doing triple triples. Backward spirals that covered the entire ice, camels that spun faster than I've scene, double axels. Lots of double lutzes, which are the hardest to get out of the way of for me. Needless to say it was difficult to do my lesson. I practiced after my lesson for about 10 minutes on spins- but my spins were so bad it didn't make sense to keep trying them. I wasn't going to try to jump in that circus. (See locked entry)

My leg is still hurting today. Based on where I said it was, Burton was wondering if it's from my boot hitting my leg, rather than being a hairline fracture. I went and got some makeup pads and put it so the diameter was at the edge of my boot, half the pad below, half above. I don't remember the pain being horrible during synchro, but it doesn hurt now. But I don't jump too much in synchro, and when I was doing half flips, it was hurting. So hopefully this will help, if I do it from the get-go, rather than skating 40 minutes to get it to hurt, then padding it.

Synchro went okay. We had lots of girls not there again, and I think it's starting to frustrate the coach. I can moonwalk now, but the footwork goes so fast, I can't then. (And moonwalking KILLS my feet. It's like all the movement comes from under the arch, which then DIES) I still can't do the mohawk at speed, and don't come close to the backwards lunge. Most everything else I can do, but I'm definetly the weakest or closest to the weakest link. It's a bit frustrating, and I wonder if the team is too far ahead of me, for me to really belong on it, but then I remember if the other girls keep not showing up, then we barely have enough for a team- so I guess it's okay that I'm there.


In which artistry is great, spins are good, and moonwalking is hard.
First off- the outside of my left leg from about midcalf to ankle is in a TON of pain. It doesn't hurt when I walk, but any pressure on it, either from sitting cross legged or from outside edges in my skates is horrible. I'm worried I have a stress fracture or something. However, I'm choosing to ignore it, until it makes skating impossible rather than just painful.

Let's start with today. "Power"/edge class. Still no emphasis on power. We started holding edge just skating in a circle. Just forward outside edges. My right forward outside isn't very strong at high speeds. That kind of suprises me, but does explain why my right over left crossovers are so much better than my left over right crossovers.

Then we moved to "cinnamon" buns, which is where you start with a deep, but slow edge and gradually swirl out to a fast shallow edge. I think most of the class, myself included, wasn't able to do what we were being asked.

Then we did alternating crossovers, which I think is a Bronze pattern. These are fine, but I need to ask for a private lesson to focus on placement. I never seem to make the entire rink. On backwards crossovers, I'm not sure where exactly on the lobe my feet should cross.

Last we worked on artistry. He had us do arms with out crossovers. I got "10 points" because I followed my arms with my head. So then he had everyone move their head along with their arms. Guess years of dance training is worth something :). We closed the class by practicing presenting ourselves before our program as if we were at the olympics. I got more "bonus points" because I was smiling. Heck, if I'm at the olympics I'm gonna be smiling! (The points thing is funny. He buzzes us if we get something wrong and goes "ding" when we do something right. At the beginning of the class one girl got a "ding" and "10 points". Then later a boy got a "ding" but he didn't give out points. So the boy asked, and of course then got some. Apparently imaginary points are a great motivator.)

Wednesday lesson:
Got complimented on my scratch spin. I'm hoping to have Kevin video it tomorrow, but it is a HUGE difference from the beginning of the year. Crossed and most of the time centered. Then we spent a lot of time working on a loop. Burton wants me to cheat it at the beginning, because right now I'm cheating at the end, and a beginning cheat is easier to fix. I think if I have to work on getting the right CHEAT, I might not be ready for this jump yet :) My lesson also got moved back to freestyle because club ice is crazy crowded lately, and freestyle has been like 4 people. Plus I don't pay for freestyle, so it will be a bonus.

Really need to work on that backwards lunge. I fell on two of them that I got my foot down, but skating fast and hooked up I can barely even get my foot down. My moonwalking on wednesday was awful, but I was able to do it today after edge class, still doing it at speed I'm worried it won't be recognizable. (Not just me, the team). It's REALLY fast in the routine, and the moonwalk is generally kind of slow. It's really hard, so hopefully the effect is not lost. About half the time I did a toe loop instead of a half flip. I really need to get used to wrong way rotation.


Hey passed Freestyle 1 today! Oh wait, I'm in Freestyle 4 classes... LOL. He tested us all at Freestyle 1 because that's what the youngest girl is in. I wasn't ready to test freestyle 4 so it doesn't matter anyway.

When he had us do our back outside 3 turns he had us do what I guess is apreliminary move pattern- back outside edge lobe with 3 turn at top, to forward inside edge lobe with 3 turn at top, repeat till end of rink, and then come back on other foot. That was a really fun pattern to do and something to add to my practice list.

I also had some excellent scratch spins today with my foot nicely crossed. That is something I mastered this session- so YAY ME!

Sit spins stink. Andy then had us show him our shoot the ducks, which Karen and I both laughed at, and told him we'd never really done them. He was really suprised, so we worked on them a bit before returning to sit spins. I think Andy was working under the delusion that I have some sort of muscle in my upper leg- because he kept telling me to engage the muscle to get a deeper sit. HAHAHAH. But I did figure out how to keep off my toepick, so the lousy sit I have I can hold longer. They are improving though.

Worked on backspins. Actually was able to get centered on quite a few, but not in any sort of position (unless ugly stork is a position).

No skating after lessons, as we were stuck in the locker rooms for 45 minutes due to tornados in the area.

I really hope Andy teaches freestyle next session. He has been so awesome.


Week in Review
This week was a great skate week.

Tuesday we had a modified schedule for LTS because in between the first two classes was an exhibition- the Freeskate class wasn't cut short though, which is nice since we missed last week. The exhibition was really great. From a little girl in Basic 1 who was just adorable, to the little 4 year old at our rink who is better than I am, to a fantastic pairs routine at the end- everyone did really well.

Freestyle class went well. We spent first 10 minutes of class working on proper arm position for crossovers. Two days later my back between my shoulder blades STILL hurts. Apparently I haven't been using those muscles correctly! The hardest part is "relaxing" my shoulders- because holding my shoulders down requires all of my back muscles- there is nothing relaxing about it.

Next we worked on outside spirals. I think I might set a record for world's slowest spiral. But I'm holding the edge a little bit better, and the spiral isn't too pitiful- especially when I remember to hold my arms in an open position. My outside is definitely better than my inside, but both I have a tendency to hold my leg to the side of me instead of behind me. I think I've lost flexibility since last year though, because I don't seem to have the height on the leg I used to have.

Then we moved on to scratch spins. I did quite a few where I was able to completely cross my legs. If I could get a better fan position I think it would really help, because the best way I was able to cross was to start with my foot touching my shin and then slide it down, rather than trying to cross over at my ankles. I centered quite a few of them, but the uncentered ones weren't just bad, they were REALLY REALLY bad- like I traveled almost my entire height. OOPS. Also did a couple "good for me" backspins. I need to hold the edge before 3-turning a little bit longer.

Wednesday night skating also went really well. My half- hour practice went well. I wasn't centering my spins very well, but I was getting a good leg position. My jumps felt like I was actually jumping- especially my waltz jump which is really getting some height and travel- like a real jump. I'm sure it doesn't look impressive though. I worked on backward edges and mohawks for a bit. I'm still having boot issues. My heels are starting to slip- but if I tie my skates any tighter, I lose feeling in my feet completely, so I can barely stand up, much less skate. But now that my jumps are actually leaving the ice, loose heels makes me feel insecure on my landings. I haven't had as much problems with my laces loosening now that I started lacing them opposite way on the hooks- but it is harder to get them tight enough.

Then it was time to start my lesson. I still can't believe that I managed to schedule my lesson on the only hour of ice I have to pay for :( Oh well. Lesson went well. We spent 20 minutes on attitude spins, and a few laybacks. Apparently I was tilting my hips to the side, because Burton made me do the spin with a hula hoop- and keep the hula hoop up while spinning. This was a) very fun, and b)somewhat helpful because I figured out how to not tip my hips (otherwise the hoop falls and trips you). Then he made me use the hoop to lift my arms over my head to show how I need to stay in the center of the hoop regardless of where my hands are. I'm betting other people on the ice thought I was crazy. I did an okay job of keeping spinning while changing position- but I have a feeling my leg position looked HORRIBLE. Then we worked on waltz jumps. He says they are getting a lot better on the waltz jump, and that my strong check on the salchow is the only reason I'm not falling everytime- oops. So we worked on "placing" the landing of the jump before take off, which I think will end up helping my salchow quite a bit. Then we got chased off the ice by the zamboni.

Syncrho went well- we learned the straightline footwork sequence, which seems VERY fast. There is yet another mohawk, but luckily on the side I can do- and a backward lunge, which I cannot yet do. Add that to the list of things to work on. Then we spent about 10-15 minutes learning how to moon walk on the ice. I'm not doing very well with it, because I want to replicate the off ice moonwalk which has you picking in front of your foot, but to get the push on the ice, you have to dig your toepick in BEHIND your foot. It does seem like the people who got it could do it really well in just a few minutes, and then the couple of us who couldn't do it were totally lost. But then in the footwork, it seems like we are moving so fast that it completely gets lost in it. Hopefully as it cleans up you can tell what it is. At the end of the straightline footwork is a half-flip, which is also going much faster than I normally like jumping, but also has the added confusion of rotating the wrong way. So I go into it thinking "don't do a toe loop!", I turned the wrong way twice, but usually got it okay. I'm more concerned about the lunge and the moonwalking- and the mohawk from the beginning of the program.

We got our places further worked out, and I'm back on the lunge side of the lunge/spiral pass through (two weeks ago I was spiral side). I like this because a) my lunge is better than my weak side spiral and b) I'd rather get smacked in the face with a blade than be responsible for hitting someone else.

Synchro is going well though. I need to really pick up some power though. I'm on the end of a few pinwheels, and lead a line up the ice before our hinge passthrough- and right now I'm not making that! (The pinwheels are a bit easier to fake, it's more a matter of control)

Today edge class (it's called power edge but there is no emphasis on power, so i'll call it edge class) went well. We did some footwork exercises- alternating mohawks down the rink, then "flying" (not sure why they are called that, no jump) 3-turns down the rink, which is basically 3 turn step 3 turn with the turn all on the same foot as fast as you can. Then we worked on alternating crossovers (which is great since it's a bronze move), and basic edges. I really still need to work on my back inside edges. It amazes me though the youngsters who are in freestyle 3 or what not and can't remember which edge is inside and which is outside, and can't hold them barely at all. I may not be able to jump or spin like they can, but I have alright edges, and they are continually getting better :) I shouldn't compare myself to others though :(

Passed PB Freeskate 9-22-2007

No skating on tuesday this week- did I post that? THere was a hockey game.

Wednesday practice went well- had some really good spins in there, felt really sick though. Didn't skate during synchro but did off ice.

Today edge class went well. We did alternating crossovers- I'm good on forward, not on backward. And spirals on edges- eck. I went back at noon and skated for about 20 minutes to go through the test- I'm without a doubt ready.

However, now I feel like I am going to puke and my legs are shaking like crazy.
I also woke up with an eye infection and will have to test in my glasses since I can't wear contacts. The world is clearly against me.

After this test, it is unlikely I will ever test again. The stress isn't worth it- and I don't need the tests for anything, really, oh well adult nationals, I don't think I'm making it to bronze. I hope I pass today, but it won't suprise me if I don't based on nerves alone. I know I am good enough to do the required moves.
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I'm a PB skater now!
I passed PB Freeskate! No videos this time. It's just not an interesting enough test to bother taping.

For some reason they had 3 judges judge it- and that was kind of strange- when I got off everyone said they saw that and were really confused. They were running pre-pre test 3 at one time. Still, I was glad I got the ice to myself, although it did mean you could hear my scratches.

Overall the test was pretty representative of how I skate. My scratch spin wasn't a scratch spin, just a one foot at ankle spin, but I figured it would be better to do a low level spin well, then ruin a higher spin. Spiral was REALLY slow, but when I did my show program I caught a toe pick and almost fell, and that's how I hurt myself last month, so I figured safe was better than falling on my face. The pre-nerves were apparently a good thing. I felt like I was going to throw up all week. When I got on the ice I was mostly fine, just slightly nervous. My husband said I looked really angry (oops), but that I wasn't looking down the whole time (good).

Judges comments were pretty brief-
Two different jumps:
Judge 1: waltz jump- equal flow in and out, toe loop- not quite fully rotated.
Judge 2: waltz jump- okay, toe loop-okay
Judge 3: T-careful

One Foot Upright Spin
Judge 1: 6 revs- controlled
Judge 2: okay
Judge 3: 6 r on toe (eek! I didn't think it was)

Two Foot Upright Sprin
Judge 1: 6 revs
Judge 2: okay
Judge 3: 4 r (wonder how I got 2 revs less here?)

Forward Crossovers
Judge 1: controlled
Judge 2: okay
Judge 3: okay

Backward Crossovers
Judge 1: steady flow
Judge 2: a bit stiff and scratchy
Judge 3: tenative

Lunge or Spiral
Judge 1: spiral at hip height and steady
Judge 2: okay
Judge 3: 4 seconds- ok position, lacked speed (sure did!)


Wednesday Night Skating
Started with my private lesson at 7:10 (early this week, he had a cancelation). We started with scratch spins, and let me tell you- right off the bat it was PERFECT. Perfectly centered, leg crossed, many rotations. I asked if we could just stop before I ruined it, but no- I ruined it. I did some okay spins, but none were as good as that first one.

Moved to two foot spins. I'm going to do it from a wind up like a scratch spin on the test and then just set my free foot down. The glide wasn't working, and he won't let me just stand still and twist into it. Those were fine, some better than others.

Then we did spirals. Ever since the fall I've lost my confidence on these. They are okay.

Onto jumps- waltz jumps I really need to look up, salchow I need to straighten my free leg and stop granny legging it, half flip I need to jump higher and push harder out of the landing, toe loop I need to stay on the axis. I don't know which jumps I'll be testing yet, probably waltz and toe.

Back to spins- sit spin. I got the "good for an adult" compliment. At this point, I'll take it. I've only been doing these things for two days- so actually, I'll take it as a great compliment. If I'm already "good for an adult" maybe someday I'll be good.

Backspin- I figured out my problem. My left leg is WEAK. I can actually do these BETTER on my right leg- and forward spins, spinning that direction makes me want to throw up. But my right leg can bend while hooking the spin, so it works. I need strength!

Then we moved the last 5 minutes of the lesson off ice, where he gave me stretchs and exercises. Sit spins, I'm supposed to practice right in front of the bench. If I lose my balance- I fall onto it, not the ground. Perfect for me who is scared of falling when I don't have to. The next exercise involved me stepping up and down off the bench raising my knees each time. I look like a lunatic. Third exercise involves waltz jumping onto the bench, and last exercise involves me toe-looping OFF of the bench, to practice steady landing.

Went well, we learned more of the program and our pass throughs. Nothing was added that I really can't do (still can't do that mohawk) but there are things I can't do well, back spiral on my bad leg. I am in the lunge line in the lunge/spiral passthrough, so that's a good thing. I'm definetly the weakest skater, but they all assure me I'm weak on things that they worked really hard to learn last year. If only I had started skating, and moved a year or two earlier :)


Tuesday Night Skating
Skating tonight went really well. My group lesson is the highlight of the week.

Tonight we started by doing backward outside edges, to prepare for back outside 3-turns. My turns weren't bad, but Andy said I was really throwing my weigh forward. I wasn't aware that I was doing this at all, but apparently it's because I'm not bending after the turn. So now I need to practice bending my knees more.

Then we worked on back inside three turns, which are not nearly as easy or fun as outside ones. My first few were not good at all, then I got a few. BUT it's more of a back inside three-stop. Cause in a turn, I think you are supposed to keep gliding! But I was able to get the foot turned around more often than not, so that's an improvement, and I did a couple okay ones.

Then we worked on spins. Andy spins REALLY well- so this is always fun to work on with him. Instead of doing scratch spins, we started on sit spins. Um, not so good. First off- I'm not even close to low enough, but that's not my main worry. I have such a hard time getting my knees together. Andy had us put our arm on our turning leg to help hold the weight better, but I also had a hard time with that "cheat". I did a few spins that felt really good, but they probably weren't. He told me I need to be more willing to fall, but I'm just really not there.

Then we worked on camels. HAHAHAHAHA. Saying they were horrid would be generous. I don't lean my upper body down enough, or pick my skating leg up enough. The position is just WRONG. I also can't 'hook' into the turn. The biggest problem I have is I can't practice these. I'm just not comfortable doing them on public sessions. SO I did a lot of them during the lesson.

Then I skated for 30 minutes, concentrating on mohawks for synchro. I also did 5 of each element on my test, waltz jump, toe loop, two foot spin, scratch spin, spiral. I guess I left out the crossovers... I also did a bunch of half flips, and now that these are getting better, I'm wondering if I should do it instead of the toe loop, which is usually okay but I blow it sometimes.

Then I did more sit spins, and fell backwards on it. It wasn't a hard spin, but it shook me up, so I came home. This is why I don't like to fall!


What is wrong with my skates?
The laces fell of the hooks of my left skate AGAIN today- double knot, still tied tightly. I'm lacing exactly the same way I have since I got them- I don't understand.

Edge/Power class was alright. My back inside edge just stinks- I have no control over it. I can stay on it, but it goes where it wants.

I have no speed in crossovers, backwards or forwards. I'm really quite pathetic.

Ice today was TERRIBLE. It was FREEZING on the rink, the ice was brittle, extremely cut up (no flood after freestyle for LT, I don't think they ever actually scrape)- it was like skating on the ice cubes in my freezer.

Went to curves afterward, had a great workout.

Gave the dress I got off ebay to Burton to give to someone in the club. It was such a cute dress, I'm really annoyed it wasn't an adult medium (it was a child's size. The tag just said medium, so I guess she assumed adult- since children usually say children) The seller gave me a refund, and told me to donate it to another skater. Hopefully Burton will give it to someone- I don't know anyone that size. (When I bought a leotard that was too small in dance, I knew a lot of the girls really well and I just said "anyone want a size small leo?" first girl to say "me" got it and I told her if it didn't fit her to pass it on again)

Oh- not loving the look of the black tights- but my goodness for $1 a pair- I'm so glad I got them, they fit great.


wednesday night recap, then I gotta go shower and to bed.
Okay skating tonight, working backwards from last to beginning-

First off-wow, my boots are starting to smell really really bad- I need to figure out some sort of odor eaters or something to throw into them.

Syncrho- was fantastic tonight. We learned some of the thrilled program and I can do everything except the right to left mohawk, which is of course, at a high speed (the left to right mohawk, which I CAN do is much slower... urgh). I am between strong skaters which really helps. On the traveling circle, I know that I'm one of the weakest links, I don't cut off enough on the short end. On the three spoke pinwheel I'm an outside, and so far it's going okay- sometimes it's REALLY fast, then we rotate each spoke, and I have to turn myself around as we transition into a 2 line pinwheel. I'm the only one who turns, and Brianna looked suprised I was able to do it. yay me? But this weekend I'll really have to practice that mohawk- it is really fast, and that one is really bad.

Lesson- went okay. We started essentially 15 minutes late, so it was a 15 minute lesson :( I had bad salchows, and have GOT to LOOK UP in my waltz jumps. Half flip is getting better, half lutz a little wimpy. My scratch spins are really starting to turn into something, my backspins are still stagnant and yucky.

Club ice- for 30 minutes, plus and extra bit waiting for burton to be ready. Took a while to find out who to pay. The rink is NOT supposed to take money, but they do- so then I had to get it back, and pay the club (will know this for next time). Session is crowded but it's easier to determine where figure skaters are going than insane public skaters- I'm glad I switched. Did all my jumps, salchows were no good, waltz seems to be going somewhere, half flip, half loop are getting bigger, toe loops is okay. Worked on two foot spin. I'm doing it from a wind up on my test, not a glide. I don't care. This is how the spin is better, and that's what I need to do- a good spin. Did some spirals- my leg was LOW. Need to work on that. Worked on brackets- am not entirely sure how they are different from a three turn.


Loving the group lessons
I LOVE group lessons with Andy. They are my favorite part of the week.

Today went really well- we started with crossovers- I have got to bend my knees more. He was working with the other gals and started to skate towards me, so I bent further down, and then he skated away. Yeah- if I know the correction, I just gotta do it!

Then we did consecutive edges, including back edges. He has us bend the entire edge- very different from Burton, but I had a lot more control of the back inside (my weak edge). I think it's good to try another way, but I'll have to keep practicing both. I wish I could do the way that works better for me, but for the most part Burton prefers his ways- so I just use the other ways to help guide me in getting Burton's way (like Jessi's backspin tip- Burton was not a big fan, even though I think I prefer it)

Then we worked on spins. I'm not centering well, but definetly crossng my leg better. I need to hold the 3-turn longer, but I can't seem to NOT turn. I always scare myself though because when I get my leg crossed tight I feel like I'm going SO fast.

We worked on waltz jumps again- I have GOT to look UP! But the pulling the arms back for the prep and the knee up is going better.

Then we worked on half-loops. I was able to do them in both directions and only got told "good" so I guess they are okay for now. My half jumps are all so tenative. They are such stupid jumps until you start making them into leaps.

Then we did half lutz- I also do these both ways, so they just confuse the heck out of me of which way I'm supposed to go. Of the half toe jumps, this one is my worst. I just don't get of the ground. It's more of a step than a jump.

Then we did half flips. I worked on half flips in stag leap position and in an open position. They aren't as good as they sound- but this is the half jump that I get the most height on, but only since my last lesson with Burton. I want to work on this from a mohawk, as I only do it from a 3 turn or backwards crossovers right now. I haven't done mohawks in a long time- they are hard and I don't like them.

I didn't skate tonight. The session was infested with incredible numbers of hockey skaters who were just going way to fast and in unpredicatable patterns and figure skaters who were trying really hard to practice in between them- I had one little girl run straight into me going backwards doing power crossovers without even attempting to look- neither of us fell, thankfully, and she just seemed very startled and apologetic.

I need to work on 2 foot spins- as that's my weakest element for the test- I just never do them, so now that I am, I'm traveling like crazy (if I skate into them). I really wish Burton would let me just do it from a wind up.

Tomorrows lesson however is going to focus on learning things for synchro- tango stop, backward chasses, and reviewing brackets (though Brianna says it's just one to change direction, not footwork to change and then come back- which is what I have trouble with).


First Power and Edges class
Today was the first power class- man I should have taken one of these before my test- would have been a good view of how I react to stress when skating. I was shaking as badly as when I tested and couldn't bend my knees.

Any how, for completely illogical reasons I was extremely scared and nervous about taking this class. I really shouldn't have been. I'm a perfect level for the kids in the class, definetly not near the bottom.

We focused more on edge quality than power- doing consecutive lobes, and 3 turns for most of the class. I need work on power, but my edge quality is lacking- and there is no sense having power if your positions are bad. This class should be good for me, and really- how is extra time on the ice ever bad?

The only negative- this class just totally embodies the reason I don't usually like group lessons- WAY too much time standing still. But since I'm trading work for class admission, it's worth the price :)

Saturday, June 18, 2011

August 27, 2007

Fall Schedule
This is going to be a busy skating fall!
I had planned on taking a lesson Tuesday, Synchro Wednesday and group lessons Saturday- but Sue just called and that's not what's going to happen- so now I am trying to get in touch with Burton to change my lesson slot, I doubt he's going to be too pleased, as I know he likes having his schedule set.

So on Tuesday I am helping with Basic 1, co-teaching Snowplow Sam (Sue said the instructor has never done SS before- so she knows I've done the level a few times and "am so great with the kids") and then will be taking a Freestyle class (apparently with Andy Seitz, who is a really good skater). Sue asked me to move to Tuesday freestyle because Saturday has 12 freestyle kids and Tuesday has 1 adult and 1 kid- so I'd much rather be 1)with the adult and 2) in the class 1/6 of the size. BUT as of right now my lesson is scheduled for Tuesday about 15 minutes after the group lesson- it's really not the most beneficial to have both lessons on the same day- so I am hoping it move it to saturday or wednesday. There is 1 hour of practice ice after lessons, so I'll skate that too

Wednesday I might have a lesson on (scary and expensive) freestyle ice, and I will hopefully have synchro after that. This week is the "come try out synchro"- so if they aren't mean and scary I'm definetly doing that.

Saturday is power class, which is taught by my primary coach- which is definetly a plus. That's at 9:15, I might also come back at about noon to practice, but usually not.

Sunday there is the possibility of practice ice at noon.

YAY! lots of skating time! Here's hoping the tuesday private can be moved.

August 22, 2007

Today was a great lesson.

The bad: WEATHER. It was horrible. Forboding clouds, green tinted sunset, POURING rain (we had to put buckets out on the ice because the roof leaks).

The good:
I felt super cute :) I wore a dress with a t-shirt over it and stirrup tights. I think I'm going to try to sell some of my shorter skirts and hope to be able to buy a few longer ones. I need my big bottom covered.

The lesson:
We went over the PB freeskate. I'm doing a waltz jump and probably a toe-loop, but we are also preparing a salchow, and i'll (burton) will decide that week. We started by working on one foot spins, and Burton wants me to show a full wind up and all 3 positions of the spin- leg fanned out, leg pulling in, and leg in. He's not requiring me to cross my leg- so if I keep practicing I'm good. Then we did two foot spins, which I'm doing from a 2 footed edge glide. Mine are a little scratchy on the toe picks but usually at least 6-8 rotations, so i'm good. Then we did spirals- and Burton wants me to do two- which i'm a bit unsure about, but whatever. My first one was a bit granny legged, and I got called on it, and typical me tried to make excuses- but apparently possibly breaking a rib less than a month ago was valid, so he talked about "emergency" stops for shaky spirals. HAHAHA- by the time you realize you've gone over the toe pick, you're already on the ground. I've only caught a toe pick once on a regular spiral- and the bad fall was completely my fault- I totally shifted my weight, so after a few tries, I was back to regular spirals.

We did lots of waltz 3s- and those are fun, but very dizzy going CCW.

Jumps went well. I need to stop looking down. We also worked on half lutzes in both directions, and half flips/split jumps. I'm actually starting to feel a bit like a skater as I've moving going into jumps :)

August 19, 2007 - Pre Bronze MITF!

Test day today. We plan to leave at about 10:30- which should put us in Des Moines at about 12:30, and my test isn't until 2:00 but I wanted to leave early enough that if there is any sort of accidents or construction on the highway, I'll still be there by 2:00. It's raining today so that might slow us down.

I sewed up the holes in my tights last night, and sewed the "ears" at the foot of the OTB tights to the elastic so they don't stick out as much. Also got the hook and eyes on. I plan on wearing the OTBS, and the footless are there for back up.

I have my dress packed, and a spare dress packed. I have extra blister pads, a needle and thread, my ankle gel pads, and my blade guards packed. Kevin checked to make sure the bag contained TWO ice skates. (I've gone to the mall before with only 1, imagine driving all the way across the state with 1!) I actually had to go search out the blade guards, as I never use them when I teach, but imagine stepping on a penny or bobby pin on a test day! Blade guards will be on.

I'm more nervous than I thought i would be. I wasn't nervous about the show. There were LOTS of people there watching. Other than the judge- I doubt anyone will be watching me. But I guess there were no stakes if I did poorly at the show, and here there are some stakes. I mean, it doesn't REALLY matter if I don't pass- but I will be out $45- so that's something.

I still haven't decided if I want to practice on the other ice pad while I am waiting to test. I don't want to because I'm nervous if I skate poorly it will REALLY make me nervous on the test and affect my performance. I'm also nervous I'll rip my tights, or skate over something that will ruin my blades (it's known to happen on public sessions). But I think it might be a good idea because if I skate WELL- well that's a good thing.

But since I often only skate 30 minutes at a time, well the 5 minute warm up will let me know if I'm skating well- and that will give me confidence, and if I'm skating badly, I won't have time to freak about it. Burton hasn't talked to me about what to do for warm up. If he doesn't I plan to stroke around the rink (hopefully in the more difficult direction, it will depend on "traffic") then do backwards inside edges. Then some forward right inside 3 turns. That's enough to let me know I'm ready for the test. If time allows, I'll add some crossovers.

I KNOW I can pass this test. I just have to manage to hold the contents of my stomach in until the end of it! (I didn't sleep well, and am feeling quite sick)
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PB Test Notes
Well, I'm back from Des Moines. It was good and bad. The good is I passed. The bad is I have never skated so badly in my life.

I touched my foot down during my backward OUTSIDE edges (which are usually pretty good). My backward Inside edges were shaky. I touched my foot down on a 3-turn during pattern 5. I FORGOT COMPLETELY to do the last lobe of the crossover pattern. (I could have sworn I did four, but nope.) My waltz 8 was okay, and my stroking was good. I really did not think I was going to pass. My body has always reacted badly to stress (I was on beta blockers for anxiety when I danced in high school) and even though I had convinced myself that this test didn't matter, clearly my nerves did no get the message. My legs were shaking, I'm suprised I was able to stand up. The ice was also horrible. I've never skated on a rink with the "ice bumps" before, so I spent a part of the warm up trying to figure out where they all were on the ice. I really think Burton thought I'd fail. I was asked to reskate the half of the crossovers I didn't do- and I kind of thought that might be a good sign, why would they have me reskate if I'd already fail anyway. (Oh- I did the reskate great. By that point, I figured it was already shot and was back to my normal skating)- but he told me he wouldn't consider it a reskate, just a completion of the test. I had to try really hard not to cry, and even when I got the paper that said I passed, what good is it passing if I was horrible? Am I just usually way above the standard? Did I get a pity pass because the judge assumed I normally skate better?

These are the comments
Forward Perimeter Stroking: Nice position, nice flow. CCW nice, CW nice slightly stiff.

Basic Consectuive edges: Nice Bilateral Skating
FO: steady edges, very neat (Steady? I was shaking like crazy!)
FI: Smooth edges
BO: A little stiff- neat (I set my foot down on the first one- the rest weren't too bad)
BI: pushes a little 2 footed (I don't think I knew they weren't supposed to be...)

Forward Crossovers: 3,5,4 (I counted 4,4,4 weird?) RESKATE- nice neat strokes! Better Power! (see back to normal)
Backwards Crossovers: 7,8,8,8 neat strokes

Waltz Eight: Good Symmetry, BO edge a bit short

Forward 3-turn pattern: little bit tight, but consistent flow. R-L a little shallow, L-R stronger (YEP! R-L is my bad side, that's why I do it first!)

I guess I'm disappointed in myself. But ready to kick butt on the freeskate test in just over a month!

(I have videos, but I don't know if I'll put them on youtube- I don't think I can handle the U Suxx comments)

ETA: Okay, I did put the videos on youtube- the links are in the next post.
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Videos of PB Test
Moves 1 and 2:

Moves 3, 4, and 5 plus reskate
(gosh, I can't believe how tenative I was on those crossovers!)

August 15, 2007

So the stirrup tights I bought yesterday (freaking $18) are velcro stirrups, not elastic ones. So I can't wear them IN my skate. (You'd think the package would say SOMEWHERE that they have velcro on them?)

So I can't wear them for the test. Burton still says absolutely not for the footless tights over the top 2 hooks because he says I'm too short. So instead I have to wear OTB tights that I really don't like. I also need to sew the seam at the bottom because it doesn't "hug" the boot and it looks like it has wings. Hmm? gonna have to figure out how to do that!

August 14, 2007

Lesson tonight was alright. I'm kind of worried about the test now because there is no way I can make it all the way around the hockey circle in 8 steps for backwards crossovers (4 crosses!) I need 12 steps (6 crosses)- will they fail me for that? Otherwise everything is fine except my inside 3-turn on the last move which is just okay.

Tested Freestyle 3- and need to improve my backspin- but otherwise got it. It doesn't matter as my group is just "high" freestyle.

My private lesson was all just working on my moves. Which I already told about. The ice was HORRIBLE. If I can do the edges on that ice, I should be good anywhere. Except those crossovers, I'm not worried.

Starting in 2 weeks I'll help with LTS and have my lesson Tuesday, synchro (yay!) Wednesday, and then Saturday I'll do Power Group Class, High Freestyle Group class and then help with LTS. It's gonna be a lot of skating, but if I don't break down these boots, I'll never get new ones :)

The dress I got for the test looks nice on the ice- the sleeves are a bit too long. I had to buy stirrup tights because Burton said no footless tights unless they are tucked into the boots, and mine are too short to do that without rising up- I like to keep them over the second hook to keep my laces in but he said no. OTB or in the boot. The OTB tights (I wore tonight) made my feet look funny AND I managed to cut a small hole in them, so they won't work. I'll practice in the stirrups tomorrow to make sure they don't bother my feet. I want my footless tights :(

Login, I have a friends locked entry from tonight too.

August 10, 2007

crap- now I'm scared
Just got the schedule for next Sunday's test session. I test at 2:03 and there is another test scheduled at the same time- so I assume we are doing the half of the ice thing. This really worries me because it's a man, and I'm worried my power is going to look like it sucks in comparision (especially for things like stroking where you have to go around the rink), when really I think i'm okay for a pre-bronze skater.

And even more so after hearing about a MITF test a coach at our rink took where she almost lapped the other skater on the ice (who did not end up passing).

So I'm now scared because having a time makes it real. And cause someone else will be doing the same thing at the same time, which makes it easy to compare to another skater rather than an abstract standard.

OMG- why am I doing this?

August 7, 2007

YAY for stronger drugs
After 4 days of pain killers doing nothing, I called the doctor and begged for a muscle relaxant. Today felt like a normal day after a bad fall skating. (meaning it still hurt- but not unbearably)

I was going to tough it out and take my lesson- since I test in 2 weeks- but the new drug (cyclobenzaprine) makes me really dizzy, so it would be unsafe to try to skate. I feel so badly because this week is LTS test week and I have a student I need to test, so the skate director will have to take my place, which is an inconvience for her. That also means the large snowplow class won't have a helper- but drugs or not, I can't pick kids up right now, it would hurt too much.

My coach was okay with me canceling and even asked me if I wanted to postpone the test (which would probably be sensible?) but I said I'm definetly still doing it. It's 12 days away, and I'm bound to be feeling fine by then. I am so bored of PB moves that I don't want to have to wait for another test session to do them! There is only one I'm worried about, and the rest I should pass without a problem. So as long as I get one or two practices before the test, I should be okay.

Back to resting!

August 5, 2007

This is why I don't like to fall
The pain in the front half of my body is mostly gone. Occasionally I'll feel a bit of a sharp pain in my rib. However, now that it is gone, the pain in my back is unbearable. I am going to stop taking the naproxen the doctor gave me and send kevin out for some muscle relaxants. As the naproxen helped slightly for the ribcage, but not at all for my back.

I also have bruises all down the front right side of my body- it's funny looking!

August 2, 2007

Went to my NP today because the pain was getting worse, not better. She said it doesn't appear to be my appendix, which is good news- but that I may have cracked my lowest rib and definetly have deep soft tissue bruising.

The lower right side of my abdomen hurts so badly I can barely walk, and hurts just to sit and worse to lie down. She prescribed some Naproxin, but honestly it hasn't really made the pain go away, just go down slightly. It is still extremely painful.

Glad it's not my appendix, as that would have put me off the ice long enough to screw up my test. I probably won't skate this weekend, but even if it hurts, I'll skate Tuesday- MITF aren't to vigorous.

August 1, 2007

I'm cheating today...
This is what I posted at skatingforums:

Triple (Half) Axel Group class was great today. The "high freestyle" (which is 3/4) coach wasn't there so I was in with "low freestyle" instead. We did waltz jumps, waltz jump-side toe tap-waltz jump, toe loops, toe-loop-toe-loops, and various combos of that. All my jumps felt really good. The coach told me I wasn't toe waltzing- and she showed me how to one foot glide then 3-turn rather than just start from a stand still 3-turn. It was excellent and skating into a toe loop isn't scary at all! (So now I have two jumps I can skate into! Waltz, and toe loop! And half flip, but that's a stupid jump). I got lots of compliments and it was great!

Half Baked Took a beautiful belly flop while trying to transition from a spiral to a catch foot. I don't know how I happened because there wasn't that moment of ice crunching where you know you hit your toepick. I was just gliding, and then I was on the ice. I smacked really hard into my ribs, and cut up both of my arms.

So I slept pretty badly last night- and this morning I am so so so sore. My shoulders, ribs, and thighs (from spirals and sitspins) are killing me. Falling sucks.

July 28, 2007

Only skated for about 20 minute today, as I was feeling sick. (The joys of an ice rink 2 minutes from the house and free ice time. Even a short skate isn't wasted money or time. I just wish I got there more often.)

Had the ice completely to myself. I ran through my entire test and it wasn't bad. The ice was horrible so my backward inside edges were a little iffy- but probably still passable. My right inside (I think- the one where you start at the bottom of the 3 for the forward edge and end up at the top of the 3 for the backward edge) still 3-turn stinks on that pattern, and I feel like I need more power. But I'm confident I'll pass if I don't freak out.

Worked on waltz jumps and toe-loops. My legs were really shaky. I'm working out 3 days a week now, so I think I'm not used to that yet. But I really worked on bending before the jump and it went well.

Then I tried backspins the way Jessie showed me at the Tuesday lesson. They worked great on Tuesday, but no dice today. Not a single good one. I did a few forward spins really taking her advice, and my position was bad but the spin centered okay, and that's good.

Did a few backward 3 turns for fun, then came home.

I forgot to practice sit spins.

July 25, 2007

New Skating Dress Came today!
I ordered a new skating dress to do my tests in off of ebay. I was a little worried- cause it's always so hard to tell. Anyhow I wanted a dark color (cause i'm not skinny!) and long sleeves (cause rinks are cold, and it's a test), and I found this dress:
and of course it's "out of stock"- which turns out to mean "discontinued by manufactoror". The dress retailed for about $60 (which is cheap for a skate dress).

I found it in green (actually the seller had tons of colors. I had to resist buying fushia- as it's not a slimming color, even if it is my favorite) and WITH shipping it was only $30. Thirty bucks for a skating dress is an awesome deal. Especially since it's new with tags and scrunchie!

It came today and the medium was the right size choice. The small probably would have worked, but this looks nice. The skirt is a great length in the back, it goes further than just barely covering my bum! I look a bit chubby in it, but I'm not sure that's the dress's fault!

YAY new skating dress!

July 18, 2007

Update from the girl who can finally do a real t-stop!
July 17th skating.

First off- my skating would be way better if I could get to the rink more than once a week. I always mean to go on Sunday, but I'm always so exhausted by then that I don't make it. I need to try to start skating Saturdays. Of course with the Harry Potter release- the chance of me putting it down to make the session this week is very small.

Had all kind of test session drama today. I lost my test form that Burton had signed, and he leaves for 2 weeks so I needed it signed last week. Found it, got it mailed out- and THEN found out the test session had been postponed! So now it isn't until september, and the date is not yet completely set. I am so bored of PB MITF- so I am going to drive to des moines and do their august test session just to get it done. I'll do freeskate in cedar rapids. So I had burton sign the DMFSC form- and I was going to mail it out today- and now I can't find it!!!! URGH.

Okay lesson run down:
First off, I managed to pull both of my hamstrings this weekend, so I could barely walk. Thankfully it didn't seem to affect my skating as all was fine. I was exhausted after work and took a nap instead of eating dinner. Big mistake. LTS was fine, but afterwards I was so shakey I had to take a break before I was able to skate anymore.

Adult LTS class:
My adult is doing well. I introduced curves and half swizzles on a circle. She did very well with the half swizzles, had some difficulty with the curves. She still isn't getting the snow plow stop. I've asked some other instructors for tips on how to explain it, but the problem is, is she can scrape snow well at the wall, and okay not holding the wall- but when she is moving, she can't get any scrape at all. Most of the kids once they can scrape, can transfer it to moving. She has a basic one foot glide- what I'd expect of a snowplow sam kid , but unfortunately an adult has to glide their own height! So while we pass snowplow kids who can hold their foot up for 3 seconds, I can't pass 1.5 feet from an adult. Still, 4 classes ago she had never been on skates before. I think she's doing very well.

My Freestyle LTS class:
This class was just me and one other adult. I'm so glad I'm getting to take this. Semi-private lessons (with my coach) for free! What a deal! Anyhow we worked on layback spins, sit spins, and camel spins. ALL way above our level. (Neither of us has a good scratch spin, both have okay one foot spins). Anyhow the layback is interesting. My leg is probably in the ugliest position ever, but tilting my head and body back don't make me dizzy or throw me off. So that's a good sign, it's just a matter of getting that leg right- oh, and spinning better. The sit spin is something I need to start working on. Especially if I want to test bronze. I've been told for a beginning sit it's not horrible. But it's definetly an adult sit spin. OOPS I don't want to "skate well for an adult" I want to skate well. We worked a bit on shoot the ducks to help the position. Um, yeah- those didn't go so well. Camel spins- this is just laughable. I'm in no position to be doing a camel yet. But it was interesting to work on. I think if I was brave enough to really sink my toepick and lift my back leg it would look more recognizable, but for now it just looks bad. I want a good upright spin before I try to get a camel.

Independent practice.
Spins- backspin is getting better everytime, jumps, entire MITF test (very pleased with it!) and then worked on stops. They aren't part of the MITF test, but you have to stop after each move. I've read on skating forum that judges have seen tests pass that use everything from a beautiful T-stop, to a ugly two footed snowplow, to the refined 'running into the wall' stop. So it's not that important, I guess, but Burton wants a T-stop. Problem- I can't do T-stops. BUT WAIT! I CAN DO T-STOPS. Yesterday I did beautiful T-stops, on both feet. The right is much better than the left, though. But I did them multiple times. Some from going very fast, not just stopping a crawl. YAY! The T-stop is a huge accomplishment for me. I've been trying them for about 6 months.

I am so happy I've finally done them, and done them well. Now, I do know I was aided by dull, dull blades (it's been 4 months?) and next week when they get back from being sharpened it will probably be gone, but point is- I stopped!!!

Lesson started with spins. Burton explained to me why I wasn't centering my one foot spin- the pressure on my foot is not constant. So I worked on that and the insane traveling loops did get smaller. Then I worked on getting my foot crossed into a scratch spin positon- still not there, but it seems that toe turn out is the answer. Backspin- well it's getting better, I'm spinning, but my position is ugly. He asked me to concentrate on my arms. Then we did combination spins, 3 revolutions forward spin, 3 revolutions backward spin. I'm still cheating, I do a two foot spin inbetween them, LOL.

After spins we started working a bit on brackets. I can do a single bracket on either foot. I can almost do a double bracket on my right foot, I'm a quarter of a turn short. I need to remember when my free leg is out and when it is in!!!

Then we did backward 3-turns. My backward outside 3 turn is my absolute favorite thing to do skating. I still do them very slow (I do everything very slow)- but I remember being in Kettering, OH- and tracing that forward three turn on the marker line over and over and always putting my foot down, and being amazed I was able to pull it off for the test- and here I am now doing it backwards!!! It just feels so good to do a good one and to check it well. I did a few backwards inside 3-turns on my right foot, no successful attempts on my left foot :(

Today, my feet and calves are killing me. I kept my skates on for 2 hours at a time, and about 4 hours total. Usually I do about 45 minutes at a time. Slowly they are stretching. Another coach told me not to worry- they sometimes take awhile to break in. I laughed and told her these were a year old! She looked astonished I had handled it that long.

Sandy had offered me some free boots that her daughter couldn't wear. Unfortunately, they were too long and too narrow. Size 4 (mine are 3's) and going up a size in length didn't do anything to address the width. Bummer- free boots would have been great!

July 11, 2007

Tuesday Night Skating
Skating last night kicked my butt.

First off, my adult "class" went well. She asked me if I ever felt like I had hit a plateau! EEK! You don't plateau at your third lesson- she's still making great progress. But it's got to be tough for adults who are stuck learning swizzles (which are getting pretty good). She's got 2 foot turns in place down, and we started half swizzles on the circle, but her one foot glides are non-existant. 5 more classes to go. I think she'll be ready to move up.

Then I helped with Basic 1. There are 9 kids- and 6 of them took the snowplow sam series. They shouldn't be in Basic 1 at all. They should have gone straight to Basic 2. They would be less bored, and the poor beginners would not be so frustrated. We have 2 who can barely skate forward, and one who can but gets stuck on swizzles and they have to keep up with kids in the class who have had 24 weeks of lessons already. It must be horrible to always be the one who is 3/4 of the rink behind everyone else :(

Then my Freestyle 2 lesson. We started with backwards (outside? the easier one) 3-turns and then turned them into double 3s. I fell on one, I don't even know how it worked, but I was suddenly on the ice on my shins. I guess I almost fell on my knees but adjusted myself. Good fall Jessi :) It didn't hurt at all, but when I stood up I was so shaky- it took awhile to regain myself. But these are my good 3-turns so I did okay, and was able to do forward-backward-forward, although I was barely moving by the third one. Once again my pet peeve with group lessons- we did the right foot the entire time. I switched back and forth between right and left, because it was essentially independent and I just went off the circle, but we moved in the same direction around the circle the entire time. The two other woman didn't appear to do any on the other side. Why do group instructors let classes get so one sided?

After backward 3s we moved to half lutzes. I did these as a counter-clockwise skater would which worked out fine, because it's my natural rotational direction. Since half jumps are technically footwork, I think it's fine to learn them all both ways. I did fine on everything but the actual jump. I rarely leave the ice on these half jumps. I just can't get any spring. While Burton was working with one of the girls, I reversed the set up and worked as a clockwise skater would. After we did the traditional lutz setup we tried it from a choctaw. Lots of half-flutzes there, but mostly because I cannot do a choctaw to save my life and I kept doing a mohawk instead.

Then we moved onto the loop- and I did a few fairly good beginner ones. The best ones I've done at least. Burton told me I did good and this is where the girl that drives me crazy announced to Burton that I was doing it wrong because I was backwards. This girl has been correcting me since I got to Coral Ridge for Delta (she was FS 1)- and now I'm in her level and she's still correcting me. But she doesn't know what she's talking about, so she's mostly driving me crazy. I feel petty being annoyed by a (middle?) schooler- but OMG. Okay, done with that. So loops went well. I still mostly do a "half a loop" because I don't get a deep enough curve on the 3-turn, but they are getting to be actual jumps. I still don't have a good foot position- which is part of the problem with my backspin.

Then I took my skates off for 20 minutes before practicing again. I took the insole out and determined exactly how bad the narrowness of my boots were. The sole fits from my heel with almost perfect length, maybe 1/4" past my toe. Perfect. But my big toe is not on the sole at all! So if I cut it off, the boots would be perfect. My next boots will most definetly be split widths! (As the heel fits perfectly on this sole- so I can't get wider there). But talking to another LTS instructor she said she had a pair of boots at home that she thinks might be my size and if they fit I can have them!!! They don't have a blade and I'm worried they will be too stiff for me (her daughter is a junior? level skater, but I outweigh her by probably 60 pounds) but if they work- hey free/really cheap boots. Burton has told me any boot problems fall on deaf ears for him because there is a simple solution. How the heck is buying custom boots a simple solution? That costs almost my mortgage plus a trip to Chicago.

Okay, boots back on to practice. Pre Bronze MITF- stroking went well, edges went well, crossovers- need to hold the back ones longer as I'm taking too many to get around, waltz-8 definetly better, 3-turns look good that first one is the only problem. I need to join USFSA today so I can send my test form in. Another adult from my rink is testing the same day as me for her PB MITF, and her back edges are really good- I'm a bit nervous about that. I was chatting with her coach and said that and she laughed and said that skater was nervous for having me there because my 3-turns are so good! LOL. Guess we just both need to skate our own test :) We talk with each other though and have both said we're happy to know someone there on the day of the test!

During my practice I also worked a lot on backspins. I can bend my knee on the entrance now so I don't have to drop my right foot to get that last push anymore. That's a huge improvement. No backspin position yet, just that granny leg- which I'm working on getting as a lifted knee in the front instead of a kicked back knee, but these center better than my forward spins and I'm getting onto my sweet spot more often and getting more (4?) rotations more often. Overall, definite improvement. But it's easy to improve when you have nothing! Forward spins are a little better. My fan position stinks. My left leg is so weak. I wish I was a CW skater, b/c my right leg can hold a fan. Still not crossing the leg, but am able to get into the spin better.

Lessson today I asked if we could work on spins. We did backspins and forward spins, pretty much same notes as above. Then we worked on squat spins from a glide entrance, and then he worked on turning that into a sitspin. I need a picture of this- I must look SO ridiculous. At the very end of the lesson he had me start a camel. Which is ridiculous on it's own. I can't even do a scratch spin. Needless to say- it did not go well. Apparently I don't sweep my right arm enough, and while that's a problem- I can't imagine it's the main one. I'm not sure this looks as stupid as the sit spin, but it problably looks insane that I'm attempting it.

Lesson ran long so I didn't skate afterward. I need to get my blades sharpened. I'm trying to figure out when to get them done so they are perfect for the test. I can't be falling off edges!
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woo hoo
Shelled out a ton of money and joined USFSA. I decided to go as an individual member because it was $10 cheaper than our club. At this point, the perks of the club don't equal the fee (since they don't have test sessions).

So now I can send my test form to EIFSC :)

June 27, 2007

Show video link at the end.
Lesson today was good. The LTS school is SO small this session- but I finally got my own clipboard! That's because I have my own class. I am teaching a beginner adult. (Notice I say A- there is only one in the class!) She had never skated before. Adults who can barely stand up are SO hard because you don't want to bore or discourage her. But we did tiny marches, and she turned that into a small glide. Then we did some swizzles and of course her one side was stronger than the other and that made it difficult. Then we tried wiggles. The best part though- although she is scared (and tensing up/flailing when she thinks she's going to fall- we need to work on that) she left the wall! And got to the center ice. After LTS she practiced for an hour- so next week we might be able to move on. Thank goodness she's practicing.

So anyhow- because the numbers are low the director told me I could just go ahead and take the freestyle class. Which my coach teaches- so yay! Free lessons. We did mostly crossovers, getting them to an advanced level- and I remember why I don't take groups anymore- about 80% CCW and 20% CW. UM~ if it's going to be unbalanced, I'd rather do it on the BAD side! No wonder they are uneven. But any extra lessons are a good thing.

Now my lesson was good. Focused on the waltz-8 and the 3-turn pattern. My waltz-8 isn't awful anymore. In fact, it's almost good. My 3-turn pattern is alright, but VERY lopsided. The very first 3-turn (right inside? I never know how they are named)- the one on my right foot that starts with the lobe going to the right of me. Is horrible and i can't do it to speed. But my pushes after the 3-turns generate a lot of power, so I have to sacrifice them so I can do the 3-turn! But the whole point of the move is power.

And well, maybe it's a moot point, but after seeing this - I think I should just quit. I'm terrible.

June 11, 2007

New Videos
Yesterday I had Kevin take some videos of me skating:

Here's a one foot spin: Unfortunately, these are getting worse now that I am trying to go from crossovers.

A salchow:

A waltz jump combination:

And both sides of the pre-bronze 3 turn pattern (just 2 repitions each. He couldn't film on the long axis)

My videos still have my old 1 foot spin up, but I took down the old video of the waltz jump because youtube commentors are mean! But I'm most amazed at the jumps- I'm actually leaving the ground! Still, they have a long way to go. I thought the 3 turn pattern looked pretty good, but my waltz 8 (not uploaded because it was a horrible example, the worst I've done) was just terrible.

May 21, 2007

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Pictures from the Skate Magic Show
Sorry I don't normally cross post between my journals, but I thought some non-skaters might like to see them.

About to hop on toe-picks to a "dunt!" in the music. Notice the chin up and smiling- but oh my goodness, I think I had my eyes on the ice the whole time.

Skate Magic Show Entrance- Notice I'm looking up here. It's because I'm trying to make people think I know what I'm doing. This isn't actually my entrance onto the ice- but the beginning of my program. The music "Stuff Like that there" starts with a "ladies and gentlemen...&..." intro.

A somewhat respectable spiral- and going forward, which is suprising because usually my fwd spirals are lower. I almost tripped going into it, so maybe making it pretty was my way to make up for almost toe-picking. I do need to turn out that back leg though.- my arm did a sweep from my bottom leg to around my head- so that's why it's a bit low in the front. I haven't seen the tape yet- hopefully it did what it was supposed to. Looking to the side with the other arm at the leg was new for the day- I was trying to avoid looking like an airplane.

This was to a real soft spot of the music and I was supposed to be looking down and demure. I don't do demure well- I tend to just smile.
is the ice still there?

April 30, 2007

Magic On Ice
The capital ice academy show "Magic On Ice" was Saturday. I performed a 2 minute routine to "stuff like that there" It had 2 one-foot spins, a salchow, a half flip, a waltz jump-side toe hop-waltz jump-ballet jump combination, and a half-flip to toe-loop-toe-loop combination, in it. Relatively easy stuff with a forward spiral, backwards spiral, and lunge and some really basic footwork thrown in. Nothing to write home about, but my first routine.

I'm glad I did a show before a competition- pretty much no nerves. I knew no one there, no one was judging me, no one was hoping I'd fall so they would have the pressure off them, just a chance to skate with the ice to myself. And I met a lot of great girls who are in my club.

It was lots of fun, I miss dancing- and this was a good chance to perform. Afterwards I had quite a few compliments about how great my smile is when I skate. I guess I have that over the kids- I've learned to keep smiling regardless! (Although when I almost fell, I probably stopped for a second). I don't know if I looked down as much as I do in practice (never did that in dance, but the floor wasn't as slippery :) ) but the video will tell.

My skating, well nothing to write home about, but nothing to be embarrassed about either. The way I told my mom "Do you remember my first dance recital at Barbara Lynns (the studio I went to when I was 7)- it was about like that" To which she replied "Oh, gosh, that bad?" But no, not really that bad- it's my very first time skating in front of people, I have a very basic routine, and a very basic mastery of the things in it. I mostly remembered everything I was supposed to do, I mostly did it all. I know my spins weren't good and my jumps weren't high. I almost fell on my forward spiral, and stumbled a bit instead. I got ahead of my music at two places, but dealt with it. But I don't think I embarrased myself- I've only been skating for a year.

Of course, when the video comes, I might change my mind :)
But I'll be sure to post it for you all, if you promise not to laugh.

April 26, 2007

Tuesday lesson
This week I had two lessons- as I did not have one when my coach was at adult nationals.

Tuesday lesson was mostly on the harness. AND it broke my early lesson curse. I took the first lesson of the session, which usually I hate because I haven't had time to warm up, but it went okay. I got five minutes to warm up, so I did a few laps, and then some crossovers. I also fell during my forward crossovers- and I'm really not sure how that happened at all. One minute i have a nice edge, the next I'm sliding across the ice like a curling rock.

I asked if we could do jumps in the harness, because the show is this weekend- and the muscle memory of the harness usually gives me about a week before I go back to wimpy jumps. We started just by doing "wind up, bend and jump". I didn't try and double rotation, but was able to do a tight position full single rotation and land it most of the time. I had quite an audience- as lots of people were lined up to go to the movie theatre, but I tried to ignore it. It might look stupid, but I'm sure most of them couldn't do it! I did lots of waltz jumps, really getting good height and distance, but almost always fell on my landing because I was leaning too far. Still- it was good to jump for height. Then we worked on salchows. I have a bad habit of jumping too early. If I jump at the end of the 3-turn I only get a half rotation in the air, and it's a full rotation jump, but apparently that's really when you are supposed to jump, so I worked on those. The biggest problem was a scratchy 3-turn. Also did some toe loops and half flips. After the half flips we started working on turning it into a split jump, just jokingly- but on the harness they really weren't too bad. Kind of fun. Then I did a few backspins, including one before my coach was holding the harness rope, so he pointed out I did that one on my own! Then I got out of the harness, thankful that we didn't do any loop jumps!

Off harness, I was able to translate the practice into some really good waltz jumps and some okay salchows. I ran my program once and it was okay, with the exception of the 3-turn, side toe hop, 3-turn, side toe hop, 3-turn sequence. I took it out and replaced it with 3-turn, half flip, 3-turn, toe-loop, toe-loop; which seems like it should be harder, but for some reason I can actually do it. The ability to do it to the music makes it easier than the sequence I messed up each time. Ran the program again, and while it isn't as good as I'd like- it's a reasonable program for a no-test skater. I think Burton wants me to change my big swizzle at the end to a backward pivot, because he found out I do those well. I like the swizzle though- because it's funny to swizzle in a program that also has lots of jumps and because it goes perfectly with the music (wooooOOOoopp).

Afterwards we did a few backspins and then I was off to practice. During his next lesson Burton called me over to show me how another student was doing on backspins (really really well, I was impressed) and had that student demonstrate the exercise he did to work on them (using the axis as a point to try to hit at. Starting at the hockey line, gliding on the edge, hooking the curve and centering the spin back on the hockey line) I practiced that and suprised myself by actually being able to do a few rotations! I always end up shocking myself when I did it right.

I also managed to fall about 600 times while attempting shoot the ducks- I can finally dip low enough to do them (a major benefit of teaching snowplow sam) but I completely lack the strength to lift my leg. Still, i think the ability to fall while trying is a major improvement, because when I took Delta I was so far from the ice I couldn't even sit down on it when I couldn't do the shoot the duck!

(Wednesday lesson will be friends locked)

March 14, 2007

Program has been learned
Last night was a complete disaster. I need to write the following on my skates "DO NOT TAKE AN EARLY LESSON"
I need at least an hour to be warmed up for a lesson, as such- the second time I've done the first lesson on the session was just as a disaster as the first.

Since the show is quickly approaching we began choreographing my program. The music I picked, 'Gotta Get A Gimmick" from Gypsy somehow turned into "Stuff Like that There". I really love this song, but for the most part- MAN is it fast. Eek.

So I get shown the program, and overall its fine. The music allows for me to be cutesy- which is one of the things I do best. But there are a lot of mohawks, which is not one of the things I do best. I learned the entire routine in 30 minutes, and except for about a ten second section that has some sort of footwork to go into a waltz jump combination, I remember what goes where and when. The problem will be doing it.

The routine has only a few "tricks" a one-footed spin (probably two), a salchow, a half flip, and a waltz jump-side toe hop- waltz jump-ballet jump combo. Actually there are quite a few ballet jumps. They are much more natural than when I first learned them, thankfully. I also have a lunge, which I really need work with, and a forward spiral. I think there is enough time that I will also add a backward spiral. My spirals aren't horrible.

Anyhow, I'm very concerned because while I understand I can skate at half time to the fast music its a) boring and b) on simple things like alternating backwards crossovers I pick up a ton of speed. Meaning going into the half flip scares the heck out of me. I don't like to leave the ice at anything more than just above a standstill, unless it is a waltz jump.

I did have a bit of a nervous breakdown during the lesson. I actually cried on the ice- which was just ridiculous. I'm an adult, it should not have happened. (No one else on the ice noticed, except my coach telling me that I needed to trust that he designed a program I could do. And it wasn't excessive, its not like I was bawling, but it should not have happened.) I'll perform because its a show, and I don't know a single person in Des Moines, so even if I'm terrible the world will not end, but I really don't feel like I have enough time to make this routine good.

I also don't have any sort of costume that matches the music, but won't be buying one right now. So a nice black skating dress it is. Maybe I'll throw on some fishnets. The music really calls for some fringe though :)

March 21, 2007

A year in review
Skating went really well yesterday. I forgot my gel sleeves, so my feet were more comfortable in the boots, but my ankles less than comfortable. I think the sleeves push my feet just far enough forward to make them too small. Do they sell boots in 1/8 of a size? I don't need an entire half size. At the beginning of the lesson I ran through my program and was given a big thumbs up. I could perform now without making a fool of myself. BUT there is lots to work on, and I need to get timing down with the music so I can skate to it, rather than just with it on in the background. After program we ran through skills- I did ALL my back 3-turns- YAY. Also started working on brackets. I can do one- fwd to bwd, then I get stuck.

Anyhow- March 17th was my "1 year anniversary" of the day I first took a lesson. Because of all the downtime between skating (waiting for lessons to start in Kettering, waiting for them to start in Troy, moving to Iowa) I haven't really been skating for a year- but still I say I've made darn good progress for a year.

In this year I have done the following
-Completed USFSA Basic 3 and 4 (I skipped 1 and 2)
-Completed USFSA Adult 1 and 2
-Completed ISI Delta
-Completed USFSA Basic 7 and 8
-Completed USFSA Freestyle 1and 2

I have gone from struggling with FO 3 turns to being able to do all 8 turns fairly well. I have learned mohawks and choctaws and started learning brackets. My mohawks are getting better, my choctaws struggling.

My jumps are tiny and sad but I can do a waltz jump, toe loop, salchow, half flip, and half lutz. I've learned a loop, and cannot even pretend I can do one.

I have gone from not being able to do a full revolution of a 2 foot spin to being able to do more than 5 revolutions of a 1 foot spin, and have started working on a backspin. I can spin around a few times, but it isn't anything one would call a spin.

I have started preparing for my first test. I have learned the patterns for perimeter stroking, forward and backward edges and the waltz 8. I perform these more competently some days than others. Even these first few pieces of the prebronze moves in the field test are not yet ready.

I have moved from group lessons to private lessons. This change was based mostly on my need for "personal space" which I felt I did not get with a group of 8 girls who either do not understand the concept, or clearly need much less than I do. I also felt lots of time was wasted when an instructor was having to repeat themselves to be heard. I feel my progress has justified the expense of the lessons so far.

I have started to teach group lessons. In my first session I taught 2 snowplow sam 1 classes and an Adult 1 class. This session I teach snowplow sam 1 and snowplow sam 2/3. There are no beginning adults.

I have learned my first program, and will be performing in a month. I think that's a pretty successful year.

March 25, 2007

I was all set to go skating today, having a great day, rereading Harry Potter, and then suddenly I got extremely ill. Hot/cold/sick to my stomach/sweating like mad. I ended up having to go downstairs because upstairs was so hot I couldn't even sit up. It was horrible.

Needless to say, skating did not happen- should have gone the second the rink had opened, I wasn't sick earlier in the day. Needless to say, no work done on the program this weekend. Urgh. I need to work out the last 30 seconds.

March 6, 2007

Last week
Oh my goodness! How did I forget to write about last week's lesson. Oh I remember, I got tied up in the most unbearable eye pain (I had a corneal ulcer).

Well never fear, a lesson recap is here.

We decided on my spotlight/interp music. I'll be using Gotta get a gimmick from Gypsy. Of course, this means i have to pay to have the music cut (bummer) because the other option (Mrs. Otis Regrets...) was already cut, but just WAY too fast. Anyhow, skating to Gimmick was tons of fun and I fell flat on my butt while doing high kicks. No high kicks on ice. But I forget when I skate to music that I suck, I just want to dance. My lesson tonight was canceled so we will start the program next week. Performance is April 28th. That is not enough time for my liking.

But the rest of the lesson- I asked to review the loop. My loop sucks. All my jumps suck. So we practiced them and then Burton decided that I needed to do jumps in the harness. So he got the harness ready as all the little girls (most below my level, the girls who are good don't get excited about the harness coming down) asked if I was practicing my axel. Nope, my waltz jump!!!!

So we started in the harness just winding up, jumping straight up and rotating. Burton tells me to "go for a triple". I hope I showed him that I have no jumping ability at all, and it's not just skating jumps. I think the best I got was 1.5 rotations. Just from winding up, bending and jumping. I am not a human spring at all.

Then we moved onto waltz jumps. Now, without the harness, I would have maybe landed one of these- but they were huge waltz jumps. I jumped at least a few inches, and covered a good amount of ice. Normally I jump about half an inch and barely move from my starting position. After we got down from the harness this translated into a small amount of improvement without the harness- yay.

Then, rather than doing loops on their own, we did waltz jump- loop. Once again, these probably would not have been landed, but I was able to wrap my foot in a backspin position on the loop, and come down on my toe pick rather than on the flat of the blade. At one point I noticed my toe pick divot was over an inch in the ice- I need to lose some weight! But it was facing the right way, rather than somewhat sideways, and Burton said that's exactly how a landing should look. We did these for quite awhile. I still hate the loop, taking off and landing on the left side is just too scary, it's my weak leg! Stupid spin direction.

Then we worked on toe loops which went well in the harness. We also did salchows which I had more success on then I ever have. I'm doing these from a 3-turn, step, 3-turn entrance and the extra speed really helps (I still do all my jumps from essentially a standstill, except waltz which comes from crossovers).

My eye was bugging me at the end of the lesson. Needless to say- that turned into a nightmare by the middle of the night. Now I can't wear contacts for quite awhile. Has anyone skated in glasses? I'm nervous about them flying off in spins, or me falling and breaking them. But skating blind seems even scarier.

And today- taught snowplow 1 and snowplow 2/3. No adults came, so I went home. I need to find my old glasses, and hope the prescription is good enough I can skate in them!