Wednesday is lesson day. Carson is out of town for a month, and coincidentally, my test is in a month! So I am now taking lessons with Taylor. (When Carson told me he'd be gone, I immediately asked "would you be okay if I asked Taylor for lessons" and he replied "Oh good, that is exactly what I was going to suggest." so that works out nicely.)
Anyhow, Taylor has a student during my normal lesson time, so now I have the 6:15 slot. (She takes lessons herself during the freestyle ice, so I can't go earlier.)
To be honest, this isn't ideal. With the 5:45 lesson, I would usually get on the ice around 4:45 and skate for half an hour or forty-five minutes, then take the zamboni break to rest, and then be good to go for my lesson. Sometimes I would skate the full half hour after my lesson, other times I would be too tired and go.
So yesterday I got to skating around 4:30, put my skates on slowly and got on the ice. I then had the laziest practice ice ever. I did do all my jumps and spin, and program pieces, but while I got hot doing it (just fall! The ice will cool you down...) I didn't really ever break a sweat. Then after the zamboni break, I did another 30 minutes like that and had my lesson. Now, I think lazy practice time is better than no practice, but I'm not really that happy with the set up. After work I'm already exhausted, so it makes for a long evening.
So the lesson: I'm really pleased. Taylor seems to be a good match for me, and it is good continuity that she is doing LTS for us right now. I started with my program (where I totally botched my loop) and then we went into loop practice.
I know that Taylor has struggled with her loop (well, double loop), so she has had a lot of time to think about what works and what doesn't work. It results in her being a really good coach, honestly a freaking loop doctor. We started just with backspin drills. Enter like your doing a loop, and do a backspin. I enter my jump and my spin the same way, so doing the spin wasn't an issue. What we focused on is how with the spin I can get away with bending my upper body and 'sweeping', where with the jump, I need to focus on being upright and over the outside edge. Taylor suggests thinking about it like you are wrapping your body around a pole on the left side, and honestly the imagery works well. I was able to cross my foot and hold it in the spin.
Next, we moved onto doing the loop, jumping, but landing in a backspin. Again, it was all about wrapping around the pole. At first I thought it was ridiculous to think I'd be able to land in the spin, but I ended up being able to do it most of the time, and again, crossing in the backspin.
Finally, we moved onto jumping, and as soon as I start thinking about checking out, I leave my body position too open, not wrapped around a pole. So for now, Taylor wants me to land crossed (as if I was going to spin) and THEN to check out.
So after loop drills, we moved to backspin. Having been able to cross my leg on the loop, Taylor isn't letting me get away with not crossing it in the spin. To be fair, I spin a lot faster than I loop, so it really isn't the same thing. However, if I spin really slowly, I can get crossed for 3 or 4 revolutions (then I freak out and uncross, then I realize I shouldn't be uncrossed and kick my leg back to crossed, then uncross, so I probably look pretty darn funny as I try to fight my leg.) However, I am crossing like a number 4, not in the closed hip position Carson wants me to have (Taylor seems to think that getting it crossed is most important, and we can close it for speed later.) The good news is my backspin is now strong enough that I can fiddle with it without losing it, so even if I don't cross in my program, I can have a strong multi-revolution spin there, and work on this outside of the program.
Then we did the rest of the jumps and spin, and another round of program. This time I didn't botch anything, just traveled really bad on my final scratch spin. She had me "reskate" that while I was tired, and I hit a really good one :) It's just ending the program I'm exhausted, and the entry is from a lot of speed. Still, I can always get it spinning, so I don't think it should be the problem.
I am really happy with my loop progress. The test is in about a month. I'm confident I'll skate well, and we'll just see what the judges say.
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