Sunny/Rainy Lesson and Practice,s, 9/29-10/5
I guess its up to me to get the thread started. Where is everyone???
Rainy: ME!!! Got my hubby's cold this past weekend, so while I felt better this morning, energy was way low.
Sunshine Day: Bye, bye, toe pushing, BUH-BYE!!!!! Today we finally eliminated all toe pushing from stroking and forward crossovers, and pretty much got it out of the back crossovers. While my energy level was crummy, it was a good lesson and skate and a big leap forward. While USFSA does allow some toe pushing for adults in moves tests, my coach wanted it "outta here" so that's what we worked on.
How's it going everyone? Your turn!!!!
Bless you, Fairy Godmother, I'm Having a BALL!
Dr. Yaz - sorry you're drained by the cold. That's totally a bummer. I've been fighting off some sniffly thing that everyone was trying to give me while we were together in Niagara Falls for the meeting. Lots of fluids and sleep is helping me keep it at bay. Total CONGRATS on eliminating that toe pushing. Wow, that's really an awesome accomplishment and one that will make you look better at everything you do!
For me, I had a SUNNY practice session yesterday, even though I felt like I took it a little too easy on myself (RAINY). I've been practicing the Tigger footwork and it's making my shins and ankles ache. It's really just a matter of building up endurance and those muscles. Since I wasn't quite my usual perky self, I decided to dedicate the whole practice to things which I stink at. I felt like I finally got the camel/sit/back sit to an acceptable level, though the back sit still requires quite a bit of work to ensure I make the 4 rotations required in the Gold test. I tried a bunch of attitude spins, with increasing success. But, gosh, they really are pathetic and I keep traveling like I'm on some cross-country trip across the ice! And I also am up on my toe too much.
Today's practice and lesson were much SUNNIER! My coach was pleased with my jump run through, with especially large waltz jumps and flips. She asked me to do a waltz/loop/axel, and I was able to do it the first time out! I also had a couple of nice lutzes, so we left all the jumps alone. Then we worked on arm movements to go with my footwork, and except for the fact that my coach had to say things like, "OK, when you come out of that turn, put your right hand on your hip ... NO, your OTHER right hand, NO your HIP, not your leg..." and I had to do everything a thousand times before I stopped looking severely [color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color][color=red]*[/color], it was o.k.
I felt like an actual SKATER out there and one of the girls' moms gave me such a nice compliment and said I was worth braving the cold (sitting on the stands inside the rink) to watch. That just perked me up for the rest of the day.
She made me do two run-throughs of my program to the music but without the spins in them, just to check out how I am covering the ice (pretty well, since I almost exited by mistake through the Zamboni door instead of continuing my jump sequence!). Next time I will be doing a run-through with just the spins. And then, because I was not tired enough, she made me skate full out during one more playing of my music (for a total of 7 minutes straight).
Phew! I was pooped!
We only have one more piece of my program to choreograph, and then after I get it down fairly well, we'll add more arm movements and presentation elements to pretty it up. I have 5 weeks before my Gold test, which seems like an impossibly short time to accomplish what I would like in order to test.
Hope everyone has a great skating week. Tell us what you're up to!
Yazmeen - that's great that you are working on getting rid of the toe pushes. That will be a life long quest, and good basics will help. (For instance, in my program I tended to get toe-scratchy when I am tired. Work on the basics really helped.)
Cinder - you will be fine on your test. Do you know any way to send a VHS clip through the Internet? I'd love your critique on my Plymouth comp.
OK, here's my input (and for those of you on skatingforums, I apologize. I'm lazy tonight :\ .)
Rainy: My back hurts. In the last weekend, I skated 4 1/2 hours (2 hours more than normal), golfed 18 holes, and canned lots of tomatoes (which involves a lot of heavy lifting). So that is probably the problem, however I wonder if it is not mental, due to the fact that I am scheduled to compete in 3 weeks. 3 weeks before my last "first" comp I hurt my hip flexor (of course, that injury turned out to be very real and very serious). I'm ok on all jumps except the axel, and all spins except the sit spin. I know I need to not do axels, but my competitive mind is screaming "you must practice them in the program!!! (Just like the footwork/flip-loop wasn't working until I did them nine zillion times - now it is fine.)
Sunny: Oh joy! Got rid of a part of my program that I always hated. This is the same program that I did for AN (no time between my moves test and now to do a new program) and I always hated this cutsie move. I am not cutsie. Before AN between my injury and the lack of time we never had the time to tweek the choreography. Now that awful move is gone! Yeah!
On the Ice
Need an umbrella!
...because there was a light shower the past few days in skating. but overall it was not too bad.
Rainy: I can't stand the choreography change my coach just added to my program on Monday during my lesson. I had this nice mohawk with arm movements to match the music to help me change direction, and now it has been replaced with a scratchy, ugly, slow toe hoppy thing with no arm choreography. Mind you, when my coach does it it looks great, but I've never been able to do this particular move, not in the 2+ years we have tried to work it in to my program(s), anyway. I don't think the mohawk move is all that bad, especially since I am coming out of a layback into a lutz combo, so it's not like I am doing 800 mohawks in a row to waste time or something. I did the 'new' move for my friend last night during our public skate and she also really disliked it, so I know it's not just me. Also rainy is the condition of the ice at our rink. It was so horrible last night during the public session we could barely do edges, and every time I tried to spin, my blade was wobbling.
Sunny: Despite the bad ice, I was able to pull off some halfway decent camel/sits, and some big lutzes and flip jumps. I'm also making some progress on the 8 step in the clockwise direction.
I don't skate now until Friday, but the sunny part will be BD coming home for the weekend from Calgary, in time to skate with me! That will be cool... Maybe I can con a couple freebie lessons out of her...
Reports to come later...
Bless you, Fairy Godmother, I'm Having a BALL!
Great progress this week, everyone!
Sk8r1964 - I will send you an email tonight on that VHS thingie. Hubby's a technogeek, and I'm sure he'll know. BTW, I'm not cutesy either, so I know exactly how you're feeling to eradicate the heinous thing from your program! I usually humor my coach and do whatever it is for awhile--and then it mysteriously changes into something else, and she either forgets or just chooses not to notice the change (and usually gives me something to improve it and then I love it).
Flutzilla (god I love that name!) - 2+ years is a long time with a coach, so if there's something you don't like (see above), it might be time to just say that it's not something you're comfortable doing. Or maybe you can work together to make it more palatable? I usually do something for awhile -- figuring that maybe I will be pushing the envelope and that would be good for me. But if it's too uncomfortable or dorky looking, at some point I will draw the line. My coach doesn't want me looking badly either, so she will make changes. But not until after I've given it a fair shake.
Luenatic - that darn back spin! I've got an on-again, off-again version that just drives me nuts. One will be perfectly centered, with circle over circle over circle, lots of speed and a smooth exit. Then the next just "bucks" me off the ice, and the blade pattern looks like giant pigs' tails. Sheesh! Good luck in taming the darn thing. And great news about those spread eagles. Could you send one my way? I haven't begun trying them yet, as I'm still working at regaining my open hip flexibility. Maybe in a couple of months.
SUNNY - Gosh I just love practice on Wednesdays. First of all, there were only 2 of us on the ice (at most) for the whole 2 hours. Second, the ice is smooth as silk and all of my spins seem to evolve effortlessly into many revolutions. My camel/sit/back sit showed definite signs of improvement, though I have to stop that "hunching" and rising up motion on the back sit. I concentrate so hard that my shoulders come up into my ears!
I worked long and hard on the first footwork sequence, which is really coming along and for which the arm movements are finally feeling more natural. One of the coaches told me (unasked) that it was looking very smooth, so I was grinning from ear to ear. The Tigger footwork is coming along as well, though I still look a little like a cloppy Clydesdale in the world's shortest parade!
I worked on ice coverage (puff puff), especially from a standstill, like coming out of a spin and then having to get 3/4 across the ice in 3-4 back crossovers. Also felt good about my jump sequence (split/falling leaf/toe loop) and into a spiral.
I worked myself into a huge sweat and felt good all the rest of the day. Thursday is a skating rest day, and then Friday I'm going to pound out all the elements and several run-throughs of the program. I'm thinking I might need to strap on an oxygen tank to keep the wheezing at bay!
On a chilly, chilly, day, all is pretty much sunny:
Spent the bulk of my lesson with my coach listening to music choice's for an artistic program. One choice is a Spanish number by a Cuban musician she found in Miami. Another, the orchestral version of "The Last Waltz" by The Band--she loved that. She also really liked "Marco Polo" by Loreena McKennitt, so she is going to play around with those last two and see what she thinks is the most workable.
Otherwise, we worked on outside edge spirals, learning to make the move into the spiral a smooth motion and keep the leg straight. A bit of progress was made.
Cinder: Bravo for your practice, especially the spins!!
Flutzilla: I agree--I think you should speak up, diplomatically of course. Just be honest about your discomfort.
Luen: Oh my, the backspin-Coach and I only just started that and it was a while ago. We'll have to get back to it soon.
1964: How's the back--any better?
Take care, everyone.
A bit, thanks. I am going for a massage after work today - don't know if it will help much, but it sure is a good exceuse to have a massage !
Originally posted by Yazmeen
.....1964: How's the back--any better?....
Good luck on your music choice!
Bless you, Fairy Godmother, I'm Having a BALL!
SENSATIONALLY SUNNY - Yesterday was a glorious 2-1/4 hours on the ice, going full tilt the whole time. There were only 4 skaters and 2 coaches at the "peak" time, and the ice was smooth as silk.
I worked on all the elements from my program and the two footwork sequences. All the single jumps were high and strong. Had some nice back spins and the camel/sit/back sit was much better (still a little hunching on the back sit, but hubby will come video next week and hopefully I can knock it out). Every day I'm getting in more control of the heinous 3 turn/bracket that pops up in my footwork when I'm going at top speed and threatens to slam me down to the ice. So I was pretty pleased over all.
Then came the axels. As I landed the third one, Olympic dance champion Susie Wynne (who was coaching someone at the time) turned to me and said, "Those are great, big, confident axels! They're wonderful, especially for an adult skater. Just wonderful."
OK, so getting a compliment from such an awesome skater just made my day the SUNSHINIEST, and it motivated me to work even harder during the next half of the practice!
I finished up with 8 straight minutes of endurance skating.
When I got off the ice, another coach said to me, "Wow, HUGE axels. I am so jealous. I want one of those." And then when one of the adults that I know from racquetball came in and we expressed surprise at seeing each other in a new sports venue, he asked me if I was a teacher or a skater. I said I was a skater wanna-be. And this young girl who had been getting the lesson from Susie said, "Anyone who has their axel is no wanna-be." It all just made me feel so great!
RAINY - Although I'm landing the axels fine as individual elements (I can even land 2-3 in a row), I still have some niggling fear in doing them in the program when I am zooming at top speed up the ice. I feel like I'd like to slam on the brakes before I take off, so I'm working hard to gain confidence and have begun practicing them sandwiched in between the elements that come before and after them in my program. It's a mind struggle and nothing else.
DRIZZLY - After all that practice, I found that I had totally kicked my own butt and had to take a nap for THREE HOURS! Actually, I've had a very long work week and lots of late nights and early skating mornings, so it was the culmination of sleep deprivation. But it's like I dropped into a coma and could not wake up. Hubby was beginning to worry that he needed to put the mirror under my nose to see if I was still breathing!
SUNNY - It was just an incredible skating day, one that makes you feel so good about yourself and your progress.
I hope everyone has a day like that this coming week!