Saturday, September 24, 2011

Wednesday, April 29th, 2009

Tuesday update
Had a really good skating day yesterday.
In group lesson we started with sit spins, and 15 minutes of sit spins and
my knees weren't hurting!
My arm had been killing me all day (and was still taped from PT) so I
couldn't lift it shoulder height, for the first few tries. But once I warmed
it up, it was relatively pain free (and hurts much less today)- and Andy
complimented me TWICE on my sit spins looking like actual sit spins :)

Then we did jumps, and I worked on half lutz. I think half lutz is my
favorite jump, likely because I can hang out on my right outside edge (my
favorite edge) for a long time, so then when it comes time to jump, I'm okay
with it, so this one actually leaves the ice. (but not much, don't get any
ideas...) We worked on picking behind me, instead out outside- and that's
HARD I feel like my skating foot is going to ram into my picking foot.

And- before going to skating I got an interview :) It's with the Girl
Scouts, a job I really would like. I'm concerned about the rate of pay -
it's about 40% less then what I make now, and it's in Cedar Rapids. I'm
also concerned how the "commute" would affect my skating time. I could just
skate in CR, but then I have to pay for it- which is an issue with the giant
pay cut. I'm looking forward to the interview tomorrow, but I'm also going
to have to discuss with them if the schedule is flexible, if I can work from
home on snow days, and kind of interview them as well.

When I got home I had a bit of a stress breakdown, which really ruined a
great day :(

Friday, April 24th, 2009

Motown Tango?
Anyone want to be my roommate for this?

I really want to go for the freestyle seminars (and kind of the ice dance
seminar, but mostly just Sat. and Sun. Adding the ice dance seminar would
make it too long of a trip, since it would be 5 days with driving) but I'm
not sure how I can justify this cost since I don't have a job soon
(cries). Especially since it's a two-day event now, with a jump seminar
one day and a spin one the next, it's a way better deal than last year when
it was just a half day spin seminar. But with the 8 hour drive I'd need 3
nights of hotels...


Rhythm 'N Blades
Here are some pictures from synchro this weekend. I keep meaning to post an actual entry...
Maybe later...

Entering the ice for 60s.

Deep breathe before 60s program. I didn't have nerves before the performance and this is where they really kicked in. I was trying not to hyperventilate.

Yes, I'm one of THOSE skaters- I make faces.

Thriller program, pinwheel

Program DONE!

4th/5th. Courtenay and I did a pretty darn good job on those dresses, didn't we. (Hint: don't look up close. But on ice- I love 'em)

Thriller- 1st/1

April 23, 2009

Long update
Hmmm... let's work backwards.

First off- the rink gossip, man is it good this week. But I won't be
sharing. Sorry. Club annual meeting is this Sunday, I'll find out if i'm
on the board or not. It's a 12/13 chance I am, but we'll see. Have a girl
scout training on Saturday so I won't skate then.

Wednesday Synchro-
Not much to this practice as the season is over. We tried some new
transitions and some footwork stuff. I'm glad synchro is over. My shoulder
needs the break. Still not sure if I'll be coming back to the team next
year. There are lots of "cons", but I do like the thrill of actually getting
to skate fast, and I love skating team programs. A lot is going to depend on
if I have a job.

Wednesday Freestyle-
The ice was divine! Really smoove, quiet uncrowded. Had a pretty good
practice. Since the ice was nice I started with power pulls, and I can tell
I'm really bending my knee on the right side. The way I could tell this- I
pulled it, and it HURT! Oops. The forward ones are better than the back
ones now, which is a switch. Still scraping the toepick and dancing my upper
body going backwards. Did 3-turn patterns and they are getting more solid.
I'm actually able to turn at the top of the lobe. Ran through my program
once with no music and decided I'm not even going to try to make the June
test session. I don't have the money to lose, and don't know if I'll be able
to go out on a weekday (please let me have a job!), and I can't even do all
the elements without music, I'm going to be lost with it. My biggest issue
is my salchow- as the entry is just incredibly fast, my footwork, which has
a "wrong way" mohawk in it..., and ice coverage, which really suffers once
the music is on and I have a time limit! Worked on jumps and I'm toe
waltzing again, but hey- I worked on jumps. That has to count for
something! Had a 10 minute lesson with Courtney and did loops (she gave me
the okay to test if I wanted to- this was the last element) and landed on my
toe MOST of the time. I still clomp down occasionally, but it's getting to
where this is a real jump, and toe loops- which aren't looking too hot.
Afterwards my knee wasn't bothering me too much and the ice was fantastic,
so I did sit spins. I need to tape these, but they were feeling really good.

Tuesday- learn to skate
Didn't get to teach, so I came just for the group lesson. We started with
3s on a line, and thank god I'm an adult. Man are those things impossible.
Inside is easier than outside (or the other way around?) Then we did
spirals on edges on the line, and my left side in general, and inside edge
especially are just horrible. I feel like a hippopotamus imitating an
airplane. Needless to say- this did not make me feel like a good skater.
Then we moved to spins and Andy had me do sit spins, which hurt my knee, but
I tried my best to really get down. He complimented 2 of them, which has
never happened, but told me I really need to sit.

Saturday- Synchro Nationals
Skated both programs really well. Was a bit nervous before Thriller, but not
too much once I was on the ice. Skated really well, but clapped early in the
barn door pass through. GRRR I never clap early, it's never occured to me to
clap anytime other than on the beat, but we had stressed it so much before
skating that I screwed up. Video evidence shows that other people were all
over the place, and it wasn't really a huge problem :) 60s program went
well. I have no recollection of the early part of the program. I remember
catching Sheri in the 3-spoke pinwheel (thank goodness!), but not of
spinning before that (pictures show that I did!), I remember leaving the
3-spoke in an odd place, but not getting to, or doing the line at all. I
remember being yanked on right before spiral/lunge pass through (really want
to see video of that! Sheri doesn't remember catching a rut or it happening
really, and Courtenay doesn't think it was her- and I know it wasn't me! I
want to know what happened.) but can't recall anything from then to when we
started our block. I think I skated well though! I know I made faces during
the entire block, and can remember thinking I'm glad the video camera is
behind us. There is one picture of me pulling a giant smile, but I think
sometimes my faces can rival Benji Schwimmer in the cheesyness (SYTYCD
reference for those who don't get it.) We got 4/5, which I think is the
best we could have done. The 1st place teams did loops off of a pinwheel,
the 2nd did Y-spirals. The 3rd place team wasn't as good this year as last
year (you could tell a few skaters were new to it all), but even with all
their bobbles it would have taken more than a few falls for us to catch up.
The 5th place team had music troubles which threw them off, but based on
their practice, I think the placements would have been the same no matter
what. I don't mind not winning, but it might as well be an exhibition. I
wish the placement had more to do on how we skated on that particular day,
then how we skate at all. Maybe 1-2 could switch, maybe 4-5, but probably
not. The placements would be the same no matter what happened, I think.

Friday- Synchro Nationals
We had practice ice and did only program run throughs, with a lap in
between. 6 full out run throughs in 30 minutes is tough. I am NOT an
athlete. The ice was nice, better than ours, but a bit bumpy. I'm good with
that because we practice on pretty awful ice so it's an improvement for us,
but sometimes perfect ice can be a bit scary. The bonus is that Tim hasn't
been doing triples leaving holes everywhere. That's the downside to our home
ice :) We left practice knowing we were ready to skate great.

Monday, April 13th, 2009

no weekend skating
I skipped skating this weekend. I pulled my hip flexor wednesday at synchro,
and between it and both my arms hurting, and me being really really tired, I
just did not think morning skating was a good idea (though I did wake up in

And then this weekend I pulled another muscle near my hip, in the other leg.
It's more on the outside of the leg/hip area though, so I don't know what it

I applied for a job at the ice rink. Probably pays minimum wage, but even if
I can just get a few hours at least it's something, and it's super close to
my house, and I could skate before/after.

Friday, April 10th, 2009

Did I update yet this week?
Let's see, I did post about my job. Sucks, but whatcha gonna do. If anyone
has any connections to company's looking for freelance math content writers
or editors, I'm looking :) (For a more permanent position, I'm using this
as an opportunity to attempt a career change I've wanted to do for a long
time. I'm applying to non-profits in positions similiar to volunteer
management or event coordination.)

Skating wise- attempted to skate Monday. I was way to distracted and it
didn't go well. I did some good back cross rolls though.

Tuesday- got to the rink with such a horrible headache that I begged someone
to take my classes for me, and skipped my own group lesson. Went home

Wednesday- excellent ice, excellent practice. I went through most of the
moves (no 8-step, because it's hard to find a spot on the ice during the
higher sessions, though I did practice the inside mohawks in my program and
that we do in syncrho), did a few jumps, did some good backspins (I've lost
the ability to do a great scratch spin though. i can't center anymore.) And
then Courtney and I did 15 minutes of loops. And I actually landed a few.
She said they were cheated a bit on the entry, but that she'll take that
over cheated on the landing. Unfortunately, I can't duplicate it, lol.

Synchro also went really well. I'm looking forward to the competition next
weekend, except the expense of 2 nights hotel. Between severance and
vacation, I techincally get paid until June, but for the long term I'm a
little worried. Surely something is going to come up, even if it's not my
dream job. Brianna had us slow down the footwork, and now I can do the
mohawks slow, but still not at speed. Can't even 2 foot turn well enough.
In the 60s program I'll do a two foot turn in the right direction and
(still) be behind the line, but the footwork is such that I can catch back
up. With Thriller, if I lose the line, I'm out, so i'll continue to turn
wrong there. I think the biggest problem is that with all the work Courtney
has done with me on mohawks, I really have to be on a true inside edge. The
synchro mohawks are so flat, that I just find it impossible. And honestly, I
think my two foot turns are worse than my mohawks, because at least I can
jump a little to help out the mohawk.

Went to my NP about my arm and now have to do 3x week PT. She thinks it's
ligament issues. Her poking at it made it much worse though, and it hurts
alot today.

Monday, April 6th, 2009

different sides of the coin
How the day started: Hey- Courtney. Davenport has a test session in June. I don't think I'll be ready to pass the test, but I think I could be ready to put the program out. What do you think? "Sounds like a good goal, let's aim for June"

How the day ended: Um, never mind Courtney- I won't be taking lessons anymore.

Jessi has no job.

Saturday, April 4th, 2009

I feel really guilty because I didn't go to freestyle this morning. I woke up with plenty of time, but my neck hurt and I was really dizzy (the reasons I came home early from work yesterday). I really need to practice my program, but I didn't.
Ice show went well, it was only like 30 minutes long. Both programs were fine, 60s was probably better than Thriller, both felt like we skated really slow. I hate not smiling in Thriller, since we don't have any sort of expression we are supposed to use I feel like I look bored. I'm not good at "blank".

Friday, April 3rd, 2009

I was looking at an announcement today for a competition near us and they
list the bronze program time at 1:40. I thought that had been increased to
1:50 in the rulebook this year.

They also have a test session in early June. I MIGHT be ready in early June,
but unfortunately the application has to be in by the end of April. That's
too early for me to tell if I'm ready or not. Mid/late-May would have been
so much better, as I think I'm going to have to skip this one.

Thursday, April 2nd, 2009

Lesson and Synchro
Hmmm, figuring out how to post from my email really seems to help me
remember to update :)

Last night we had an excellent synchro practice. I'm feeling much better
about the competition coming up. It should be a good battle for 3rd place,
seeing as how the top 2 teams are miles above the other 3 in the event
(assuming they are who I think they are. I know who the good two teams are.
They are USFS teams who use the ISI competition as an extra event, and
predominantly made up of lifelong skaters, not adult starts.) I really
don't care about the medal, but that drives me crazy. "Adult" is not a skill
level, it's an age group.

Dress rehearsal for the show was also last night. The synchro team chose not
to put our skates on to learn the finale. It's (pay careful attention, this
is complicated): skate to a line, bow. Follow Burton around the rink in a
circle, waving. Go back to the line, bow. Wooo. I'm not sure we'll be able
to handle that. (Do all skating shows end with waving? Coming from the
dance world, that's so weird.) The show is only 7 numbers (I thought 10,
but Brianna said 7.) and 2 of those are us. TINY. The rink had a benefit
show last weekend for one of the kids who is raising money to skate in the
Malaysian nationals (at a low level)- so I think everyone is show-ed out.
Still only 7 numbers is a bit crazy, that probably won't even be half an

My lesson was interesting and frustrating. We worked on very little parts of
the program. First the entry into the loop, then the entry into the salchow,
then the footwork. The entry into the loop is from back crossrolls, and I
really really have to bend. That went fine. The entry into the salchow is
just a backward one foot glide, but we spent a lot of time on the step
forward into the 3-turn from a glide that doesn't scrape. It's on my left
leg, which I'm not as comfortable on, and getting off the toe pick was much
harder than it should have been. We worked on the jump too, but mostly just
on that one foot glide. Silly, huh. Then I got annoyed at Courtney because
she was telling me I was doing my footwork starting with the wrong mohawk-
and I was NOT. She told me I got "confused" at the second mohawk, and that's
why I stumbled, but the second mohawk is the hard one, and I stumbled
because I can't do it! I stumble everytime I get to that part of the
program. I was NOT on the wrong foot. Then we did a whole heck of a lot of
mohawk-cross-mohawk things. On my bad side I need to concentrate on hitting
an edge and not a flat. That improved it a whole lot.

Wednesday, April 1st, 2009

12:54p Waltz jump-loop jump combo :)
Well, sort of...

Group lesson this week was all about the loop. Probably 15 minutes of loops,
10 minutes of waltz-loop, and then 5 minutes working on holding our landing

My loop, well, I don't know what to say. I jump off my heel and I land on my
heel. When I'm not in skates, I'm more likely to, but not alway, jump off
my toe, but I still land with my weight back on my heels. It's not a Jessi
skating problem, it's a Jessi problem. I did a few where I managed to keep
my leg crossed, but then I tap my toe down rather than moving to a landing
edge. Blah.

Then for the first time we did waltz jump-loop jump. This is what I figured
would keep me in Freeskate 4 for the rest of my life, but really- it's
nothing. The waltz jump just stays crossed (I kept thinking synchro
"hop-cross" since Courtenay doesn't like to be reminded she's doing a waltz
jump) and then you just ride the edge around. The other girl had a lot of
trouble with keeping the leg in front. That was no issue at all. The issue
for me was holding the edge and then some how jumping! I did some lovely
3-turns, LOL. But eventually I managed to jump quite a few of them. They
were loud clunky, not on the toe pick, jumps, but hey- they jumped.

I went home very proud of myself.

Saturday, March 28th, 2009

Finished my program
We spent an hour this morning finishing choreographing my program. I love it, and if I can actually do it all it fits the music perfectly. The problem is doing it.. I can't push hard enough on the footwork to cover the ice, and the entrance to my salchow is ridiculously fast. I might not be testing this this fall after all.

But I still love it!

Thursday, March 26th, 2009

Finally a lesson!
YAY- a good day of skating! And I had my first lesson this month :) My arm
is still hurting, but not nearly as much as it has been.

Let's recap Tuesday first- my back spin is spinning mostly on a flat, and
occasionally on the outside edge, but too far back on the blade, so I'm
scraping a lot of snow. I'm trying to be on a true outside edge and further
up on the blade, getting circular, not straight line tracings. If I don't
cross my leg, I'm more apt to do it right. Now I need to put the speed, the
cross, and the edge all together. Did a few good sit spins. Spread eagles
are not my thing!

Okay- Wednesday:

Started my Sound of Music program. Courtney originally had in it a
terrifyingly fast waltz-toe combo, but she thankfully took it out. So my
program starts with a loop jump, goes into some footwork, and then into a
sit spin. The combo will go after the sit spin now, just not sure where.
That's as far as we got- maybe 1/3 of the program and 2, almost 3- of 7
required elements (but also footwork, which is technically judged, though
you don't need a footwork pass, just connecting steps.) Doing it a few times
to the music, if I can actually do it, then it fits the music perfectly!

We played a small game of "hide the loop". I start with a 1-rotation pivot
and lead that into cross rolls, back outside 3 turn, push, then 3 turn into
loop. The loop is going about as slow as I can possibly go and still be
called skating. But we are hoping judges will see the entry footwork as
something interesting and ignore the speed into the loop. The footwork
begins perfectly with a music change, though that might not happen anymore
now that the combo is gone. (That would be a lot of crossovers...) But I
think even if it's earlier it still should fit, because my sit spin was
happening right at a music change, and it would fit nicely right before it
so that I end on the music change.

I think Courtney thought I was frustrated with it- because to music I was
very much marking things (except the footwork pass) to stay with the music,
and she was "don't worry- you have time, you'll get this" but I was actually
quite okay with it. Programs don't ever fit the music the first time. I'm
happy with it and think I will eventually be able to do it.

Then synchro. Our coach was not able to make the practice, so we self ran
it. And the most brilliant thing happened: the entire team showed up! It was
amazing to have everyone there. (Well except our coach, who is also skating
with us... but not surprisingly, she isn't so much the one that needs a ton
of work.) And our program run throughs were fantastic, and things went the
way they were supposed to. And we worked on pieces of the program and I
really think it helped. It was probably the best practice I can ever
remember for synchro, it wasn't frustrating, it didn't make me feel like a
hippopatamus on skates, we did our programs well, and we worked really hard-
an actual workout. It made me very happy, and much more secure that we won't
embarress ourselfs at the show next weekend.

Monday, March 23rd, 2009

Ice Show
Here are two pictures from the ice show. Under the Sea looked incredible on ice. The other is me ice dancing with Andy (my Tuesday LTS coach)- notice my lovely pink blades. My coach, Courtney, who was an ice dancer looked at that picture and busted out laughing. Andy was a pairs skater, not a dancer, and apparently our posture/positioning is totally off.

Under the Sea
Under the Sea

Dutch Waltz
Dutch Waltz


Club ice show comments:
The board posted their ice show wrap up, which included survey results post show (oops forgot to fill that one out.) This particular comment cracked me up, so I thought I would share.

The club spend $2,000 on an appearance fee for guest skaters (plus airfare and hotel) , Amanda Evora and Mark Ladwig, who skated 2 full solo numbers, and appeared in the finale (and did a 1 handed detroiter!) They also came to the cast party to hang out, and did some death spiral lessons with the resident pairs.

The comment (question was "What did you like about the show):

"transitions were good, well run, pace of show was good, sound was wonderful, too much money spent on guest skaters. Guest skater needs to be a draw to put people in seats or don't spend thousands. Kurt Browning or similar qualifies; will draw from other skate clubs in Iowa"

Yeah- if relative unknowns command that kind of money, did this person give any thought to what Kurt Browning might require?

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

Skating in Phoenix
Skating in Phoenix:

My cousin Meg got married this past weekend, and I was thrilled when I
realized that she was getting married in the same city that my email-skating
friend, M, lives in. M and I arranged to get together to skate. She picked
the rink, Polar Ice Peoria, which isn't her home rink, and was apparently
"as far away from her as I could be" LOL. OOPS- thanks for driving all the
way down there to see me.

The session was an adult session on Friday, so very uncrowded. The first 15
minutes there was just one other person on the ice, by the end of the
session there were 5 others, two of whom I think were coaches. Polar Ice
Peoria has a lovely ice surface, much like the ice I skate on in Cedar
Rapids- olympic sized and well cared for.

Skating with M was fantastic. We started the session stroking- I have speed,
she has stamina... we need to put the two of us together- and then she
showed me her bronze moves, and I showed her my silver moves. I gave her a
few "tips" on the bronze moves of what to ask a coach about, and realized I
had already forgotten how to do power 3s. :) Silver moves actually went
okay. At least I don't think I embarassed myself. I need to get through
bronze free first.

Then we worked on spins, and while I couldn't center a spin to save my life
on Friday I was still able to spin fast and with a good number of
revolutions that I think I represented my spinning ability well. I also did
a few good backspins (M does her from two edges. Not just the edge to the
line I do... I need to work on that. I can't believe I've been working on
the backspin for 18+ months) and a few sit spins that weren't horrible. It
was not a good camel day, but I don't "have" a camel so that was okay.

We ran through all our jumps, and I may have actually done a 2 footed flip.
I think Courtney and I need to start working on that. I had been telling M
in emails about working to fix my toe-waltz into a toe loop, and she said
she had never been corrected, but was probably doing one. Well the first one
she showed me, she has a true toe loop, and the second one was a bit more of
a toe waltz, but not as egregious of a mistake as me. I'm so jealous. Fixing
that into a real toe loop has been horrible. But I think I'm almost there. I
toe loop about 30% of the time now.

After skating we went out for lunch and ate outside in the beautiful AZ
sunshine. When I came back to IA it was also fairly warm, which is nice. No
LTS lessons this week due to spring break, and then Wednesday was not a good
day. But more about that in the next post.

Wednesday, March 11th, 2009

punch in the face
Quick update, then I need to get to bed.

I hurt my arm last week, and rehurt it yesterday when I jumped out of a backspin to prevent a fall. It pretty much throbs non stop, and I'm in a lot of pain.

But our competition is REALLY close, so I figured I'd at least try to walk through programs. Eventually Brianna had the idea to switch me and Krista (temporarily) so I wouldn't NEED the arm, she's on the outside of most the program. Now I'm hoping Krista will let me KEEP her spot- I LOVE being on the outside of pinwheels, and it's so much easier to have to hold ONE tall girl, and not two (I'm the shortest on the team, perpetually between the tallest. really)

So, while we were doing the pinwheel, Krista's arm is on my shoulder, and mine is on her tricep, where it always is when I'm next to someone tall. See, I can't reach their shoulder. Krista was "helping" me pull up to her shoulder, but shrug/pulling her arm until my arm got there. Well it did eventually reach her shoulder, right when she punched me in the face, in the pinwheel. It was absolutely hysterical. Krista had never really given thought to the fact that my hand CAN'T be on her shoulder. If it is, her arms are going to be past my nose, just solely on length. More than once I've told her and Carolyn that they need to hold me where they hold everyone, and I will hold lower down. Guess they never really thought WHY that is. Krista told me she was just helping me out because she thought I was losing her, though after she punched me and we talked about why my hand is there she realized that even though I'm low I'm not slipping!

Sorry for the CAPS, but really. It was funny.

Time to ice, advil, and icy hot.

Monday, March 2nd, 2009

The madness of February is done.
The ice show is OVER! I'm glad I stuck with it, it turned out to be really
quite fun.

I didn't get a DVD, so I can't really tell how I skated, but I think I did
alright. The first night I know that I was looking down too much in the
Dutch Waltz, because I remember that I was thinking about pointing my toes.
If you can see your boots- the eyes are in the wrong place :) The second
night, we went into the end pattern on a way deeper edge than I'm used to
and I skidded on the progressive to slow down going into the swing roll,
with Andy hissing "you're fine, you're fine" while we skated. I don't know
if we were going slow or they were going fast, but both nights the couple
behind us nearly ran us over. I think it was a combination of lobe width
(our deep lobes take longer to cover the ice than their shallow ones) and
speed- since the music wasn't a waltz, we might have been counting how long
to hold each thing differently from the other couple.

Under the sea went pretty well. I think I did okay, and so did everyone
else. The second night I got run into with an umbrella (jelly fish)- but it
wasn't my fault, so I'm okay with it :)

The rest of the show that I saw went well. There was some really good
skating, and some really entertaining numbers. It kind of makes me wonder if
I want to do the show next year, because well 1) drama and 2) I want to
watch it! I bet I'll end up doing it again, but maybe they will rethink the
combining low level skaters with high freestyle. (The high kids had
something like 8 numbers each for some of them!) It was also fun to get to
know the kids at the rink.

Not much else happened the rest of the week. On Tuesday we worked on spread
eagles. I could probably get an inside one to use as a quick transition move
(not a ice covering one), but outside is looking pretty much impossible.
Wednesday Courtney and I worked on the end pattern of the Dutch Waltz- and
she and I had to continually switch places because she couldn't figure out
how to "be the boy". Hmm, this is going to be a challenge when we get to
dances where that matters! Synchro went alright, though there are definetly
issues with Thriller. I didn't go to freestyle on Saturday because I was
tired from dress rehearsal on Friday.

Monday, February 23rd, 2009

Time Event
Of pain in the ankles...
You know what is not a good thing to do right before the week where you have to spend 15 hours in skates? Lose your ankle pads! You'll recall I lost a pad a few months back- and ordered new ones and they were too thick and really screwed up my achilles tendon, so I compensated by cutting my leftover pad in half. Well one of those halves has now disappeared. We had a 4 hour rehearsal yesterday, so I taped my ankle. It mostly survived, I wasn't bleeding, but my ankle looks like I tried to slit it, with it rubbed raw and scabbing on both sides. Tuesday and Wednesday I'll try using blisterpads and then maybe cut the foot off a sock and wear that. I ordered new pads last night, so cross your fingers they will be here by friday (yeah right)- for dress rehearsal.

Saturday I skipped freestyle in the morning, knowing I would be heading to cedar rapids for club ice. I really like the ice in cedar rapids, though I'm still not very comfortable jumping up there. I did do some loops though- real ones where I landed on my toe pick :) But spinning- mmm I love spinning there. Scratch spins are FAST and centered. Backspins, I'm still too much of a weeny to really pull in and spin fast, but those seem to go well up there too. Moves are kind of a draw- I haven't tried 8 step mohawk up there, because (especially with show rehearsal, I suppose) it's tough to stay in one place, but I can actually do power pulls up there. My crossrolls go better in coralville (I get deeper in my knees for some reason), and 3-turns are about the same in both rinks, but maybe better in Cedar Rapids. I haven't done spirals in CR because I'm embarassed by my left spiral, and would prefer to save that for the "lesser" skating crowd (which is oddly enough in a fishbowl- so maybe I'd ought to rather have good skaters see my bad spiral than normal mall walkers?) I think it's good for me, for tests especially, to practice up there though, since that's the ice I'll test on. It used to be very foreign, but now it's more familiar. With show rehearsal ending, I think I may try to go up there once a month still.

Show rehearsal went fine. This was our last one, and it doesn't look great, but it doesn't look bad. One of the skaters has decided not to participate any longer so Andy is skating in his place. And since I'm next to him for half the program, man do I look great! Haha. Actually, it's mostly fine. I just do my best to keep myself and my upper body where it belongs and do whatever footwork I can. They had changed the circle footwork on Thursday (which the little girls, and me don't go to) so I was following Andy's feet to match it, and was wobblying through a particularly awful spin when I realized why- I don't spin that way :)

Sunday was a LONG rehearsal. Man if these were more organized they could take half the time. But I got to know some of the other skaters, which is a good thing- because knowing (and liking ) the people out on the ice is always a benefit. You're more likely to yield, watch out for, etc, people you like then people you either don't or just don't know, I think. The closing isn't anything fancy. We of course get to wave at the audience (is it an ice show without waving?).

I know I didn't post about LTS on Tuesday, but I don't really remember it except we did toe loops and loops again. I was sick on Wednesday so I didn't have my lesson or go to synchro. I'm getting nervous about synchro. The competition is getting pretty soon, and we haven't practiced yet this year (since christmas) with the entire team there. I called on Wednesday and basically said "I'm miserable, but if everyone shows up, I'll come" because we need it. But two other people were gone too.

Tuesday, February 17th, 2009

Time Event
Hmmm, well last I told you Ianded a loop and did a real toe loop. And then came the drama again (same stuff too) and then life is calm again.

So here's last week.

Tuesday was a fantastic skating day. I was done with the drama of the week before (see Feb. 3 entry), had ice monitored at Iowa Games and talked to Tanya about the ice dance number so that I'd be doing the willow waltz instead and learned it on Tuesday. I was relatively confident that with continued practice I'd have it no problem, as long as I was able to partner (which I made clear at Iowa Games when I talked to her about it).

So Wednesday I have a lesson with Courtney, we continue working on the willow waltz, I feel relatively good about it. I have a great drop 3-turn, I mostly remember the steps (there is one progressive I always want to do a chasse) and I have a lesson planned with Tanya. I tell Tanya how I'm doing, that with a partner I'll be fine- she says "oh, but you'd have to do it solo, because all the partners are paired up and already practicing." I ask her if she just wants to run through it for kicks since I have the lesson scheduled but THANKFULLY Ryne wants to take the lesson so I'm not out almost $40. Then I go home and completly lose it. I'm FURIOUS. Twice now I've had this rug pulled out from under me. I want nothing to do with her at all. I am so unbelievably mad. Probably more so then I should be, but furious.

Then I go to synchro and it goes mostly well. We have a bit of new choreography, and some of the run through isn't perfect, but not horrible. Then I come home and as I'm trying to go to sleep I start crying again, and violently shaking and I can't make it stop. I was up until about 3:30 that night. I emailed Andy basically telling him I want out of the show completely because I'm so upset about all this nonsense that I want nothing to do with it (but sort of want his okay, because I'd be quitting his number too) It is just easier to wipe the entire thing away then just confront this one issue because I am so furious with Tanya I don't even want to talk to her to tell her how ridiculous this is. While I'm doing all this I see Andy's facebook page has a message from Tanya "I need to teach you the willow waltz- you're still game for it, right" Partner's paired up and practicing already? BULL SHIT! Either way, if Tanya has a partner she could easily be the one to do it solo, not me. As a coach you should be the one to be flexible, not the skater in your number.

Thursday Andy calls me with a "what the hell was that email about" sort of call. He probably stayed on the phone with me for 40 minutes during lunch and convinces me that while he thinks I'm justifably upset, Tanya probably has no idea what she's done. He also thinks I should stay in the numbers I'm enjoying- and talks to me about the "recasting" of his, which I understand was a time thing more than anything and I'm not mad at him, even though I was a bit and it did hurt me. So okay, I'll do the show, and decide on Sunday if I'm doing the adult number. I'm glad he called me.

Saturday I go to Coralville freestyle and Danilo and I do the willow waltz a few times together. I have some timing and tracking issues (both things Courtney didn't really cover with me yet) but it really wasn't THAT bad. It would have been a stretch for me to get it, but I still think I could have! He also does the Dutch with me, and that's not so bad partnered, but I don't want to do it solo! Otherwise practice didn't go great- my blades are VERY dull from working on all the stops this month. Then I go up to Cedar Rapids for club ice. First off- I love the ice up there. I can actually do power pulls. My spins are FAST and usually centered. Man is that ice awesome. (Although I think jumping is harder up there). Then Andy's group was about as frustrating as it always is. Ryne has no sense of blocking or space and routinely cuts me off in intersecting lines. It's one thing when Brooklyn (a 7 year old) does it, but Ryne is old enough to know better. Of course, one of the times I got in Mark's way, because he skates so much faster than me and I couldn't tell if he was just going to cut me off, but he was trying to wait for me to go... oops. I apologized for it though. The footwork at the end I've finally connected is almost the same as our footwork in synchro- (we call them "brackets" but they aren't really) except on a curve and going REALLY fast. I can't do it. I also can't do the choctaw. :( But it went well. I thanked Andy for calming me down.

Sunday was opening number rehearsal and I can point and gasp my mouth with the best of them. It's mostly just pantomime and skating from one place to another. No footwork. I've found that middle schoolers are just as catty as they were when I was there. (I'm a "fan" of the "celebrities" and there are 4 other girls who are "fans". They told me they were the "main fans"- and maybe I should be a "paparatzi" instead. Oh get over yourself. The high schoolers I skate with in the other group- and on freestyle ice- are much nicer) Then we did adult ice dance rehearsal. I decided if I'm going to do any of the show I need to do all of it. So I'm going to suck it up and do the dutch waltz. I found out another adult (a coach, actually) was also pretty pissed off with Tanya for reasons related to the willow waltz. So it's not just me who thinks she's being really selfish about this number. That coach was doing it solo, but Tim (a junior level skater) offered to learn the dance and do it with her, so she has a partner now. That was really nice of Tim. Anyhow- Andy told Tanya he would like to partner me for the Dutch Waltz (thanks Andy) so I'm much happier with the number. It's still just one lap around the rink, and kind of silly, but at least I feel like I'm doing something. The three adults (two ladies, one man) who are soloing are barely doing crossovers. Lisa was right that it was LOW level. Another adult who is working on her bronze dances is also doing the dutch, and Danilo is partnering her, but she is thinking she'd rather do it solo. Even if she does- I am NOT giving up my partner. Andy and I actually did it fairly well together (which is good, because that means I get out of having to pay for Dutch Waltz practice)- on the end pattern the swing roll that always gives me trouble continues to because his edge is SO deep I trip myself nearly every time. But regardless it will look good. It was kind of funny the first pattern we were on the third entry step when he asked me if I could call the steps because he didn't remember the dance. At the end of the pattern we kind of do an acting thing where he casts me aside for Tanya (and Danilo his partner for Lisa) and they go off and do the other dance. I'm just really glad Andy offered to do that. It makes doing this number much more fun. And then, just because while I'm much happier, and much calmer, I was quite happy that Tanya's rehearsal got a bit hijacked by Amy who was working on Lauren's solo and wants the adults to be background actors for it. So we spent a good amount of time practicing that while you could see Tanya get progressively more upset with Amy. Ha.

I'll just be glad when this ice show is over. Unless I'm a better skater next year, I don't see myself doing it again.

Tuesday, February 10th, 2009

no time...
I don't have time to post but I just wanted to say I'm out of my skating funk. I did REAL toe loops today. And REAL loops- from pushes, not just standing still and 3-turning.

And I learned the willow waltz and it's cake. (Well, sort of...)

Wednesday, February 4th, 2009

In which the bad mood continues...
I'm going back to trying to post each time I skate.
So Tuesday:
I had a really bad day (see previous post) and was not looking forward to skating. Snowplow class really got me in a better mood, despite having a new kid, who I don't think should have been in the class- who wouldn't stand up on her own (not get up, just stand) until half way through and this was class 6, no new registrations. Anyhow- it was fun and I felt better after it.

Took low freestyle with Tanya. We started with forward outside spirals on the circle. Man is my left spiral bad. Right one wasn't great- I can't turn out my hip, and get my leg behind me at the same time. :( Then we did backspins, and mine weren't great. I was disappointed because they had really been getting better and I wasn't able to show that. Then we did waltz jump-toe tap-waltz jump and she told me that I looked like I had more confidence this week, then we did some toe loops and we ran out of time so I didn't get any comments.

High freestyle we did about 5 minutes of stops, 15 minutes of toe loops and 10 minutes of sit spins.
My stops I think are getting good. Apparently, I was wrong. I'm not bending right, I'm being tenative-skating too slow, I don't even remember everything else that was wrong with them. I'm pretty sure I'll need a new right blade in half the time of the left blade...
I'll post good first. I did an actual toe loop. Andy told me it's the first toe loop he's ever seen me do. I just cannot pivot and pull my legs together. Because I was "on the cusp" he had me continue toe loops while the other girl moved onto loops (the third girl was doing double sal). All that resulted in was an extremely frustrated Jessi. To get the pivot I need to open my heel more, and I know that. I just can't figure out how to consistently do that. So I did a whole ton of not toe loops. Then when we moved onto sit spins I did what I were sit spins that I was really pleased with and that I think my coach would have been really pleased with, but Andy was not please. He told me it needs to be much lower. So I tried, and fell, and tried, and fell- and that's fine. But 10 minutes of sit spins are way too much for my knees, by the end of the lesson (and I wasn't going to stop, because I don't want to be percieved as a whiner- I'd been having a hard enough time with this lesson) I was doing so badly that I'd barely get a revolution before I'd fall, or I'd go onto the wrong edge. It was just awful.

And then I went home feeling as bad as when I got there. Here's to better skating tonight.

Tuesday, February 3rd, 2009

Time Event
Last week of January
I'm getting really bad about posting about skating. I used to remember to post after every session and now I barely remember to post every week.
So this is last week

Sue told me I could take low freestyle in addition to my regular class. Poor Tanya has her hands full, the girls in that class just do not pay attention at all. We worked on backward edges and waltz jumps-toe tap-waltz jump. You know what's funny. When I was in that level, I could do that from 3 crossovers no problem, now I have to do weeny little crossovers or I can't do it. Guess that says my crossovers are getting better. I generate too much power/speed from them and then can't jump.

Andy was gone so Lindsey/Ryne taught Freestyle. We did some jumps, then worked on spins, and spirals. I got complimented on my backspin. Spirals were okay- we did some weird combinations of edges/directions, and man on my bad side do I feel like an ungraceful airplane.

The good kids are back at freestyle- they had been gone for 3 weeks. I had to put contacts in because my perphial vision isn't good enough with the glasses, and with the low skaters I can look and tell where they are going and be fine, the 3-4 of the good skaters move so fast I can't always track their path and need to have that extra bit of vision! Lesson with Courtney was okay. We did backspins and sit spins. My sit spin can be really good, but not always. I don't know what I do to make it different. She wants me to hold my edge for less time on the backspin and really whip into it. I can always get into the spin, but not always get my leg crossed- urgh. Then we did an incredibly frustrating time with loops. I hate loops. I did one that Courtney said would "count" as a loop- but no way, I barely have a quarter of the rotation off the ice. We concentrated a lot on landing on my toe, crossing my leg in position.

Then I had to stay for club ice for group practice for the 30s number in the club show. This is where I found out that I would be in the LTS adult group who are doing the dutch waltz solo. Yawn. I'd be okay if it was -based- on the dutch waltz, with some flourish to fit the music or something, but nope, just the dutch waltz, one pattern around the rink. I should have never done the show. see next locked post.

Felt really sick and didn't go to synchro, went to bed at 8:30 instead.

Skated 8:00 freestyle, did some moves patterns, did some backspins and sitspins. Wasn't really a great practice. Had to go to club ice in Cedar Rapids- I kind of like skating up there, the ice is really fast and I can actually do power pulls! Group practice was fine, but incredibly frustrating, I cannot jump where he wants us too (an intersection where we cross every other person) it is just WAY too fast. Andy suggested I bunny hop instead. Holy crap no way is that happening, that's more terrifying than a waltz jump. We learned our end footwork, and it involves some weird toe hop backwards (while moving very fast) and a choctaw. No way, just more crap I can't do. Should have never done this show....

The week wasn't as bad as I'm recapping I'm just in a really bad mood right now. See locked post for more info.

Warning: pissed off Jessica ahead.
This morning we got an email about the "recast" of the 90's (Disney w/ Andy) group number. The result - a super pissed off Jessica.

I'm starting to regret skating in the club show. It's expensive to be in, and ice time for practice is even more expensive. I knew all that- but here's the thing, there is no place in it for a low level freestyle skater. I really feel that I'm getting completely shafted.

First off- the cost is $75. That's understandable, they have to buy a lot of ice, and that's expensive. Each number gets 1 hour of "private ice"- but the 30's number I'm in the coach chose not to use the private ice. I don't know if the club bought it and it sat empty, or if they just didn't buy it. But either way I paid for it, and I'm not skating on it.

The 30s number is also pissing me off because I was cast in a number that was filled out with a bunch of coaches. Okay, that's fine. Well then they invited the LTS adult class to be in it. Being a low level skater, I'm obviously not as good as the coaches and am now skating with the LTS group. Which is not at all what I signed up for. We're doing the Dutch Waltz, solo. YUCK. AND the LTS group isn't having to pay to skate in the show. If I'm skating the same thing as them- what the heck did I have to pay for? Each number consists of 3 songs- the LTS group is skating about 1/2 a song- the coaches are filling out the other 2.5 songs. That's crap. I should have thrown a fit like Ryne did when I was cast in this group (at that point it was the club adults- Ryne, Danilo, me, and a teenage girl- and Ryne didn't want to be in the "adult" number. If I had known it would be coaches and LTS I wouldn't have wanted to be in it either) and got put into another group. I really feel like I'm being screwed here.

Then there is Andy's group. Andy's group is really difficult for me, and it's very frustrating because the levels in it range from a little 4 year old who can't skate backward to novice level men. Andy told me yesterday that it was too tough for him to get everyone to skate at the same time, so he was going to recast the remaining two songs. Don't you think it would make sense that he would do one of the songs with the high level skaters, one song with the low level skaters- plus the featured pair? Nope. He dropped the low level skaters entirely. So 4 little girls, and me, just don't skate the rest of the number. WTF? Not only do we have to half ass our way through a first song that is way to hard for us, then we don't even get to skate any more? I am so upset about this. I'm probably unreasonably upset about this, but what an ass. Even if the 5 lower skaters can't do the complicated footwork he wants, he could still use them somewhere, but if you don't have an axel, you're out. They should have never put the 5 of us in that group if that's what he wanted. At least that's fewer sessions I have to pay for for rehearsals.

The opening and closing numbers are just acting and skating from place to place. But at least by skating them, I'm using some of the ice time my money paid for- because the group numbers sure aren't doing that. Needless to say, I won't be doing the club show next year.

Friday, January 23rd, 2009

As easy as a crossover
I read an article today about Alissa Czisny (and YAY! I am staying up tomorrow night just to watch her skate... and I hate staying up.) and her very difficult Charlotte spiral, and the writer said she makes it look "as easy as a crossover"

Which kind of made me laugh. Cross overs are HARD. And skaters forget to keep working on them to move to other things. So even elite skaters sometimes don't make them look too easy (but man when they do- there are some skaters I'd be willing to watch do crossovers for a full length of a program- my current group coach is one of them. Good crossovers are gorgeous). Is a crossover really an easy skill? Skaters with all kinds of triples are often lambasted for lacking basic skating skills.

So what is easy? What can finish that sentence. Maybe for Alissa, who has good basic skating skills easy as a crossover makes sense, but I doubt she'd say it was easy to obtain those gorgeous crossovers. I bet the Charlotte came quicker!

Thursday, January 22nd, 2009

I still exist!
Sorry I haven't updated in awhile, I've been really frustrated with skating and busy with work. Which combines to not getting much on the skating journal.
Since I last updated (January 8th) I have skated on the 13th, 14th, 17th, 20th, and 21st. Oops. I need to do some more writing.

The 10th was a scheduled rehearsal for the ice show and we were greated with a huge amount of snow and a canceled practice. I appreciate not driving all that way on awful roads, but am very concerned how we will ever get the choreography done, much less cleaned! We didn't have ice show practice this past weekend, or this upcoming weekend (my birthday!) because Andy is away at Nationals. (The novice pairs team from our club placed 4th!)

Rather than go over all the different practices here is what has been going on.
In individual lessons- my backspin rocks now, my jumps do not.
In group lessons- we are mostly doing show choreography and I do it well at a medium speed. At full speed, it ain't happening. Also, my jumps suck.
In synchro- I've been incredibly frustrated and not enjoying it. I need to be a stronger skater before I will ever be happy with it.

Which brings us to this week. First on Tuesday, learn to skate was crazy. We have 6 coaches (I think) that do learn to skate. Four of them were at nationals, plus one of the rink employees who is a regular sub also went. So 3 substitutes came in, plus the two of us who stayed. I had an hour of snowplow on my own. I couldn't talk at the end of it. Man is it tough to talk for a full hour. With the older kids you can just tell them to do something, with the younger ones it is constant chatter to keep their attention. I am so thankful that the two girls I do freestyle with came out on the ice with me, as they did all the potty runs ("take her off the ice, if she sees her parents, let her go with them, if not walk her to the bathroom, but don't go in with her. If she can't go by herself, go get Sue.") and shuttling kids back on the ice after them. And man this group seems to need to go to the bathroom more than any group I've ever had. They are all young enough that if they even mention it I put them off the ice. I've seen way too many accidents to ask a 3 year old to hold it.

My freestyle class was with the coach who usually subs it, and while she has a good perspective and good comments, I don't care for her classes. I think we spend too long on each skill, only covering maybe 3 things in the half hour. The younger girls often get bored with whatever jump and stop doing it, but when I also run out of attention span, we've been doing it too long (because I try really hard to do what the coach says. And I'm an adult whose mind doesn't wander much). But she did some good work with me on getting my toe waltz to be a toe loop. Unfortunately I can't feel the difference at all, and it's just a matter of if I get lucky. She also commented my backspin was getting very good- because the last time she coached I think was december, and it is definetly noticeably better now :)

I had a lesson this Saturday on moves (an extra lesson, since we've missed so many)- there are things that are getting better, and things I just feel stuck on. Courtney really wants to keep working moves because she thinks I'll burn out on just freestyle, but right now my goal is bronze free. I'll be away for ISI Synchro Nats at the clubs next test session, so hopefully they will have another this summer. That gives me plenty of time. Yesterdays lesson focused on the individual elements needed in the program and I got a big thumbs up. She might have to find a way to creatively stop and then do the loop from almost a standstill, but I'm pretty close to having it. My toe loops were discouraging, because I can't tell the difference between the good and the bad ones, and she changed the way I "think" about them, so now I'm two footing them a lot, but entering them correctly. My salchows were fine and she wants me to do them more on a straight line now. My waltz jump-toe loop is okay, but if I get a good amount of "oomph" on the waltz jump, I can't do the second jump, it's just too fast. Sit spin was okay- I'm taking my hand off my leg now so I don't lean forward. Backspins were awesome, IMO, and I'm actually getting to where I can sort of exit them. Apparently the problem before was that I wasn't spinning fast enough. I fell down on a few of them, because i'm now instructed to hold them until 3 revolutions past where I don't feel comfortable spinning anymore. HAHA. The last thing we worked on was the loop, and it's so close to almost there, I just can't get off the ice. So now I'm required to land in a backspin, so I stop kicking my foot out and keep it crossed. Good thing the backspin exists now :) I'm going to ask Andy if he has time to do a harness lesson, since Courtney isn't able to. I just need to get my butt off the ice, and know that I can do it.

Synchro last night was more enjoyable than it has been. We are still working on getting all the new pieces of the Thriller program in place.

Thursday, January 8th, 2009

I am SO tired today...

Gosh Wednesday is a long skating day. I spent over an hour and forty-five minutes on the ice. I know for many people that's not long, but I like to skate in 45 minute increments because of my knees, and two sessions in one day is a lot for me!

First up- drama. Tuesday at LTS the rink confirmed the hanging schedule was correct. There would be no freestyle/club ice on Wednesday, instead public session would go until 6:00. I left the rink Tuesday pouty that my lesson would be on crappy ice, but hey- at least I finally get a lesson, it's been almost a month. So yesterday, I check the online schedule, it says freestyle/club ice like normal, and call the rink. That is indeed the case. I'm annoyed because I didn't bring my skates to work, and will really have to rush to get to the rink by 4:30. Then I IM my coach, to let her know. She has a skater scheduled for the zamboni break/beginning of club ice (which she can't coach on)- because of how we were told the schedule will be. I offer to give up my 5:00 lesson for this little girl, because I really need to practice stops, and can practice fairly well on my own, and this girl probably needs to consistency a bit more than me. So no lesson :(

I did manage to get to the rink and have my skates (and my newly swarvoski-ed under armour tights!) on by 4:30, so I was there for the whole session. I spent the first 15 minutes working mostly on stops. The one foot hockey stop I think I'm getting pretty good at. Well, except I'm not moving fast, but I'm definitely stopping. The tango/in front T stop is just not happening. I did a few spins, and they are about 50/50 on good and NOT good. I'm also feeling a lot more comfortable with this freestyle session, though I have to admit Tim and Carson still really scare me, but the girls I'm not so intimidated by, even though they probably go just as fast (their jumps just aren't nearly as frightening to be near). Coach gets there at 4:45, so i take a 5 minute break and ask her if she can just do 10 minutes with me, so I did get a bit of a lesson anyway :)

We worked on backspins, change foot spins, and sit spins. My backspins were actually pretty decent. My change foot spins, she wants me to do a really wide entry, and really push into the spin, which means I don't have one anymore. My ISI FS3 change foot consisted of me setting my foot down pretty much where I was, and spinning from there, and I'm being told it's unacceptable. I've also been told if it's not a back scratch spin (foot crossed) I don't get to count it as a backspin. Apparently I'm past the "stork leg" point. Sit spins were okay, and I get a pretty good (for an adult with bad knees) position, but I don't get it right away. So Courtney was trying to get me to go immediately into the lowest position I can get into, and stay there, not bend further as I'm spinning.

Then I did another 20 minutes of practice. (I got off the ice 10 minutes before the session ended to try and save my knees for synchro).

I did some MITF, and that isn't really going well. The 3-turns seem to be regressing. Although I can do all of them, they seem slow, not always centered on the lobe, and not even close to being on pattern. The cross strokes were not very good, no ripping, little confidence in the edges. The spirals I'm embarrassed to do on this session (that left one at least) so I save them for Saturdays. 8-step I only did once or twice. That one is tough to practice because it doesn't move along the ice, and I'm always worried about staying in one area on these fast sessions. The only thing getting better seems to be power pulls, but probably only because they were SO bad to begin with.

To end the session I did some jumps. Impressive, huh. I jumped on my own without anyone telling me to! I really want to get this bronze free test! I did three each waltz jump, toe loop, and salchow. I'm really really toe waltzing, and cannot figure out how to fix that, and my salchow barely travels over the ice at all, plus I'm still kicking my foot behind me. Then I did about 10 "loops" in place. I'm still having a lot of trouble not landing on the flat of my blade. Maybe I need to work on a flip too? I need one more jump, and it doesn't seem like the loop is going to be coming anytime soon.

Went home and cut music for my bronze free test program. I did 5 cuts and will let coach pick, none are great, they all either start or end weird, but honestly, I don't want to pay to have someone do them. I used a medley from the sound of music soundtrack, so all the fading was already done and such. One of the weirdest cuts though is that the last song I use is "Favorite things", and you hear "I simply remember my favorite things, and then I don't feel, so.... fade into other song" and most people will sing along in their head and are expect the "BAD!" so it's an odd cut. One just fades out at the end, so it sounds like I did a bad cut, and another I let fade into the other song, so at least you see why that note is missing, but you don't hear much of that last song either, so it's weird. I might try one more cut tonight, that has more of the last song (something good) and less of the first song (sound of music)- but then both the beginning and the end are going to sound odd, so I was trying to preserve the song's beginning the best I could.

Synchro practice we redid all the formations for Thriller. I got home from practice at about 10:15, dawdled a bit, took a shower, tried to go to bed, and didn't get to sleep until midnight. That is not enough for me, and today I am so tired my eyes are tearing up while I'm trying to work. Is hockey over yet?

January 7th, 2009

Remedial class...
Yesterday during LTS we did "ice show for dummies" a remedial class, mostly for me, but to help Y. also. The other two skaters in the class who are not in the show learned the choreography and also worked on the steps we needed.

The first thing- the mohawks that cross up the ice. Andy has us doing a crossover pattern that snakes up the ice, changing direction at each side but with your front always facing the front of the "stage". You change directions with a mohawk, but I couldn't figure it out at all on Saturday, so I just made sure to do back crossovers, and then just kind of rode the edge on the side to change directions, with my body facing forward. Since I don't imagine too many people will watch me, as long as I'm in the right place facing the right way, my feet aren't THAT important (Andy actually agreed with this, and told me just to do the closest to what everyone else is doing that I can). But we worked on the mohawk and the problem is that it has to be VERY turned out, and I do the perpendicular to the instep sort of mohawk. But after a few tries I got it. The missing link for the direction change was that there is a step cross at the end. (So back crossover, step forward, mohawk to backward, step cross and ride the edge a bit and then you are going the other direction, but the mohawk doesn't change your direction, it's just there to be fancy.) It's all too fast for me to do it in the show just yet, but its possible I'll get it in at least one direction.

Then we worked on stops. We do one stop that I think is the tango stop synchro used the year before I joined, but with a kick so it's more one footed. Andy is letting us stop on either foot (thank goodness!) So I'm stopping on the right. Skating on the left foot, with most the weight on the left foot, you slide the right foot in front of it, on the outside edge (so the toe is pointing right). As you come to a stop, kick up your left foot and throw hands up. Andy told me if I just do the hands he's okay with it. At very slow speeds I can actually stop. At slow speeds, I mostly stop, but then kind of fall over. At medium or high speeds, I give it a try, don't stop and quickly snowplow. LOL. But still, I can at least do it slowly, last year I couldn't even come close!

The other stop we did is a one foot hockey stop, thankfully on the right foot. This one is on the inside (I think) edge, so the toe points left). I can do this one at slow speeds pretty well. I had never tried it before tonight, so I was pretty impressed. I remember seeing skaters stop on one foot when I was little and was so amazed by it, so I'm pretty excited to learn how to do it. At medium speeds, I don't quite stop, more skid, but right after the stop, which ends with the left foot slightly kicked up, and then we jump onto the left foot and dig the right toe pick in, so I can almost stop, and then just jump and stop during the jump/toepick jab.

Honestly both stops would be way better if I could just trust my edge and lean. I know I'm not leaning away from the blade (like I don't do in a t-stop either) and that's really how it needs to be done.

The last thing we learned is the "dance break" in the song. And you wouldn't believe what trouble it's giving me. I think this is the 'ackward adult on ice' syndrome. Elite skaters who are so comfortable on ice can do anything, and little kids who just don't have fear can do anything. I cannot. We have to shimmy, while walking alternating with the left heel of the blade in the ice in front of us (leg extended), and the right toe pick crossing behind the left leg. The concept of putting my heel into the ice just baffles me. I have a mean shimmy- I have no fear of looking stupid. I cannot for the life of me walk on my heel and my toe, and when I try to shimmy while trying to walk heel toe I look worse than Dan did marching on the amazing race (if you don't watch amazing race- it was pretty bad). I was very sad when i realized my shimmy had been compromised! I had that part down! Andy told me I just need to not worry about looking stupid- but that isn't my worry at all. I just can't make my legs do it. If I was worried about looking stupid, trust me I would NOT be skating to Disney music with elite skaters. Stupid is going to happen no matter what :)

Also- I gave up on the Billy Joel program, too hard to cut. I think I'm onto Sound of Music now, if I can cut the music alright. The soundtrack has a medley on it, but it's long, so I need to see if there are logical places to cut it down. Then I don't have to worry about lyrics at all.

Saturday, January 3rd, 2009

1:10p Happy New Year!
Howdy everyone! Happy New Year, I am SO out of practice skating wise. I skipped the last few sessions before my vacation, and started back up today. EEK.

My knees are killing me this year. I had a rough time with them over my vacation, even without skating, so I'm really worried about how this year will go.

First- the cute skating story.
I took my 2-year old (3 in March) nephew ice skating in Dallas. We had SO much fun. He could barely stand on the mats before we started, so I was a bit worried, but he LOVED it. Unlike some little kids he understood that he had to keep his feet flat to let me push him, so me and his Dad took turns pushing him around. It killed my back (could barely move the next day) but was totally worth it. When I would push him really fast, and do curves with him (he could hold his feet well enough we could go back and forth) he said "Too fast, Aunt Jessi!" It was so cute. After about 30 minutes we tried "stand like a statue" and he was able to stand all by himself on the ice. I tried to get him to stomp/march, but he'd just pick up both feet and make me or his Dad hold him! After wards he went with Lovely (grandma) and decided he liked to ice skate out on the mats better- the ice was "too slippery". Listening to him say slippery (which he came up with on his own) was SO cute. Later he told everyone he liked it, but it was very slippery.

Now my skating.
I skated club ice in Cedar Rapids today ($7- I hate paying for ice) after having skipped morning freestyle so I could save my knees. I have completely forgotten how to skate. I couldn't even do 3s in the field! The ice up there is so weird- really smooth and very hard. It is very fast, but hard for me to skate on. It was difficult to practice, because a group was rehearsing and coaches were spotted along the boards with their kids, so I didn't know where it would be safe to spin or jump. I did one scratch spin, and it was nicely centered :) No backspins though- I need to stand in place for those, and that didn't seem safe. The one good news- power pulls were WAY easier up there.

Then we did rehearsal for the club show. It's going to be a disaster. It starts with some chassess into two repeats of the 8 step mohawk. If I was in the other line I might have a chance, but my line does my bad mohawk- I can barely do it slow, now imagine it to the beat of "under the sea". I don't want to ask to be put in the other line though, because the group is large, and as is I don't know how it's going to be possible to have this done by late February. We got about 1/4 through the first of three songs! The good (not really- I hate that the only thing that is good for me is someone else who is clearly not happy) news is I'm definetly not the worst skater- as I can just turn the wrong way and keep my feet going at roughly the same time as the people doing the move correctly. There is a little girl who I doubt is out of basic 3 (she can't skate backwards, I don't think. At least not more than wiggles), who, poor thing, just cannot keep up. She actually broke out crying, and Andy tried to console her and encourage her throughout the thing. After Andy went to work with the other group I said "L. want to know a secret? I'm a big girl and I can't do it either" That made her laugh, and at least for then I think she felt better, but I was so frustrated the entire time I can't imagine what she must have felt like. I'm behind her in the passthrough section and the last 4 people have to slow down so much because of it that I don't know how we'll ever make our next mark in time, but she still does the marching/toe pushes, that I don't think she can safely go any faster. I'm wondering if Andy will go home and retool her part, having her highlighted as some cute fish or something instead of with the group (which includes multiple national level skaters). I just can't imagine she's having too much fun, but it's only the first rehearsal. I was so stressed the whole time, but it was mostly fun, and this way I get to meet some of the club skaters.

Still no schedule for the second number at all. That's also stressing me out. We did get a change today, though, and now instead of 4 adults, it is 3 adults (one who says he isn't doing it) and LTS skaters. So I'll be a competent skater in that group, but I hope Danilo and I are somehow highlighted and not part of the LTS group- that's not what I signed up for.

Knees are dying, but I'm going to have to live at the rink for the next two months if I even want a chance of doing well in this show...
Lessons start again wednesday.