Monday, April 30, 2012

Oh, come on!

A common complaint from coach's blogs is undue promotion in LTS.  This is mainly through the lower levels, such that when students arrive at the higher levels they completely lack the basics to be able to perform the skills.  Our program definetly suffers from this.  Freeskate 1 right now spends a lot of time working on skills from Basic 6-8...

I was unduly promoted through Freeskate 4 (I can't do a waltz-loop combo, though two coaches have called my loop a pass, but barely*).  I think officially though, our class is now called Freeskate 4/5- we work on some FS5 skills, but mainly because I think after a few years of it Carson was bored of only doing FS4.  This group isn't one that will likely EVER master those skills.

So after our first session of Freeskate 5, we got our report cards.  UM- Carson, I appreciate the vote of confidence, but the LTS program needs somework in upholdings standards.

Here are the required skills:
  • Back Outside 3-turn, mohawk into 3 back cross-overs (repeat 3 times)
  • Spiral sequence: Forward Outside spiral, FO 3-turn, one back cross-over, BI spiral (CW & CCW)
  • FO slide chasse swing roll sequence (3-6 times, alternating feet)
  • Camel spin (min 3 revs)
  • Forward upright spin to back scratch spin (3 revs per foot)
  • Jump combination: loop-loop
  • Flip jump
  • Jump sequence: waltz, falling leaf, toe loop

Here is what I don't have checked off yet:
  • Camel spin (min 3 revs)
  • Jump combination: loop-loop
  • Flip jump

  • Uh, what?  That means I have a pass on the footwork and on the spirals.  No WAY!  I can do the footwork at a snails pace- or maybe a little faster than that. I don't think that is what is intended.  As for the spirals?  Even on my good side I have never successfully done the three turn without two footing it, and my bad spiral isn't even knee level, much less hip level.

    I will say that my chasse sequence, my change foot spin, and the jump sequence are all passable.  So yay me!  But it is absolutely absurd to say that I have the other things at a passable level. 

    Also- why in the world is this jump sequence here?  I think it should be switched with the waltz-loop of the previous level.  How can you do waltz-loop in the same level you learn to do a loop?  Plus the landing for the falling leaf helps teach the landing for the waltz-loop.  Dumb USFSA.   

    And while I don't think I will ever pass FS4, I know I'll never pass FS5.  The spirals, and loop-loop will never happen.   I know I can get the footwork, eventually.

    *I think technically my backspin wouldn't pass either because I can't cross my leg anymore.  But I could do that YEARS ago when the element was checked off. Still, I have a fantastic backspin, other than that. It would be ridiculous to not consider it a pass for that level.

    Friday, April 27, 2012

    Vacation Skating

    When I was little we used to go to Northcross mall for public sessions.  Sometimes, I'd even borrow a gymnastics outfit from my sister so I could dress like a skater (in retrospect- I looked ridiculous).  As I got older, I sometimes got to stay at the mall by myself while my parents went to eat or see a movie, but mostly, my Dad skated with me, even holding my hands while I did backwards spirals.

    When I got my first figure skates (which lasted me almost 20 years... they weren't used that much until I started again as an adult- they must have been too big, or my feet haven't grown since middle school) my Dad got hockey skates. He told me he doesn't think they've been sharpened since he bought them- it might be about time!

    So this visit home we headed out to Northcross (which has changed SO much, and is no longer really a mall, and the rink is not in the food court, but in its own little area.) and joined a public skate.  We were the only public skaters there!  Everyone else was figure or hockey skaters, most in lesson. (The hockey lessons were taught by figure coaches-and looked HARD!)

      Here, Dad shows off the ice on his skate- to prove he was really out there!  He did really well, turning from forward to backwards (though that was a bit scary for me! I worried about him) and skating backwards well.  Probably not the skater he was in his youth, but it is fun for me to go out and skate with him still.

     This time, not only did Dad and I skate- Kevin got out there too!  He has skated with me a few times before, but really dislikes it, so this is rare.  He didn't fall at all this time, so I think he has a more positive experience than normal.

    You'll notice I'm in gloves, and he's in shorts.  He was a bit cold, and I was a bit warm, but I always wear gloves if I skate in my rings.  I worry about them cracking on the ice, and for some reason I think gloves will help.  I guess if anything, they'll catch a loose diamond.

    Wednesday, April 25, 2012

    How do you say ARGH! in Russian?

    (I ask only because skated related frustration sounds better when yelled in Russian...)

    So, I'm testing at the beginning of June.  How's that going?  Not great- my new program layout is hard, and I tend to be ahead of the music.  I actually haven't really ever done a good run through.  No big deal- I've got time.

    Or do I?

    This week, no club ice = no lesson.
    Next week- no ice AT ALL.  (They rented the rink to a dance studio...)
    The week after that- lesson- woo!

    And then, Carson goes to Atlanta to visit his family.  (He was apologetic and said his Mom sent him the ticket before he knew the dates.)  He gets back the day after the test.


    So when Carson showed me his schedule I asked if I could ask Taylor if she was available, and that was what he was going to propose.  Taylor can take me after her Wednesday student which works pretty well for me. She is a gorgeous skater so hopefully she'll be able to clean up my program, as well as add some choreography to fill the time now that I am not stopping before my backspin and the new layout lets me skate faster.  I guess it will be a good trial, as I'll need a new coach when Carson graduates (URGH! Coaches- stop leaving!) Although I don't know how much longer Taylor will be around either, even though she's an adult, not a student.

    In other news, LTS went pretty well.  The 2 weeks off ice (except skating with my Dad and Kevin) didn't seem to regress me.  I did try to kill myself on a loop though (I was too far back on my heel, and the blade stuck into the ice on the take off, I immediatly tucked myself over and grabbed my knees, as this was sure to be a head slammer! Scared the crap out of me and resulted in a loud "shit!"  oops...) Oh, and the cussing on ice count yesterday was actually 2.  I was doing a back inside spiral on the circle, and as I went to step forward I see two kids (working on a program, but I couldn't hear their music) barreling toward me, in spirals.  They were very close, and my blade was pretty much at their head a second earlier so that resulted in a much quieter "shit".  I need to work on that....   (I later apologized to their coach because really, they were fine- I just freak out easily, and he said he told them to make sure to watch for people in group lessons, as they were in "our space".)

    Thursday, April 19, 2012

    Does my coach read my blog?

    Someone left a comment, and while I could reply to them on skating forums, I thought I would write it here.

    I don't know if he does or not, but I know he knows about it.  I have it linked on facebook, so almost everyone at the rink COULD find it if they wanted, and it was confirmed a few of the coaches read it after one asked me to clarify who was the "yeller" "stomper" and "eye roller" one post I complained about the kids.

    For this reason, I try really hard to not complain about people at the rink, if I wouldn't say it straight to them.

    That said, except the one occasion, no one has ever broken the invisible barrier of the internet, and talked to me about my blog.

    Also- I just got back from a cruise, and man the land shakes a lot.  Thank goodness that test fell through. I'm not sure I can stand up on ice skates at this point!

    Sunday, April 8, 2012

    Skater Stupid...

    I never updated my lessons this week: not much happened. 

    So I have a problem I call "Skater Stupid".  This shows itself in various ways.  The main one is having no idea my left from right,  or which foot or hand should do certain things.  I often wear two different color gloves so Carson can say "the pink hand" (it doesn't help that very rarely he says the CCW way, not the CW one.) 

    The other:  I get told to do a flip or 1/2 flip, and it isn't until after I've put my toepick in I realize I'm doing a toe loop.  I came up with a solution. 
    I crystaled the bottom of my lace on my left boot.  This is the foot I 3-turn on for the toe loop, and thus hold up in front of me before I turn.  If I see crystals, I know it is for the good jump- if I'm trying to do a flip, I need to switch feet!

    Tuesday, April 3, 2012

    Saturday Skating

    Forgot to update, I'll try to make this entry short.

    1) Blades were better.  Must have just had bad technique last week, I wasn't slipping at all.  That's good- the point of thee blades is that they last longer between sharpenings.

    2) Great loops in the harness, without Carson helping.  I just skate faster and that means I jump better.  No idea how to transfer this out of the harness, as I immediately become a scaredy cat.

    3) Off ice is so freaking exhausting.

    4) Still nothing from the other club on the test session since Carson and I start alternating vacations soon, I don't think it will happen. There is no way I'll be able to get all the papers signed and turned in.  Oh well.  Summer was a more reasonable plan anyway.