Smooth as Silk/Scratchy as Sandpaper, Lessons/Practices 10/27 - 11/2
Happy Monday everyone, let's skate.
Scritch, scritch, scritch: My skates today for synchro. Our rink is back under its old management (the owner took back over, thank goodness, after the group running it basically went belly up) and things are getting back to normal--unfortunately, no one cut the ice on either surface last night, and the ice was HIDEOUS this morning for synchro after major hockey games/practice. Add to that a bunch of moves with mohawks, and I was struggling more than a bit at first. Its difficult to mohawk when you are holding on to someone, especially in a move where you separate from your line, do two strokes and then a right mohawk as you join another line!! Plus, its back to ISI beta--I have to relearn to do crosscuts/crossovers lifting my free foot again instead of cutting back. I'm also the lowest level skater next to my husband and my power isn't that good (his is better just based on his size) so I lag a little right now
Silk effects: The mohawk moves got better as time went on. (Finally remembered to turn my head when I shifted feet!!!! ) and I have to admit I'm enjoying this quite a bit. We heard our music which is quite a complilation of multiple styles, its neat. Best of all, hubby decided to stick with it so he will likely be our sole male member, brave man that he is!!!
Ok, who's next--how is YOUR skating Monday???!!!!
Up at Lake Placid last week and had a chance to skate on the same ice as the Protopopovs.
Talk about pressure!! Try to practice salchows and waltz jumps on the same ice as two 70 year olds who can pop these things off with ease. Did get some pointers though which really did help!!
Scratch the itch: Just getting started this morning, and back outsides edges went off to Anchorage again (for those who are lost, a poster I used to know on another board was having trouble with some skills and went to visit a friend in Anchorage, Alaska, taking her skates along. Like magic, all her skills came back, so it became a standard saying that missing skills were off in Anchorage for a break!!!)
Silky smooth: Another BIG spin breakthrough--bringing the left arm around better to start the two foot spin, and suddenly, amazing more revs and better variation in speed. We applied it to the one foot, taking the arms "to the next level" and after some scritchy scratchy ones, it started to work. We also worked on the fast right mohawk step forward we're doing in synchro--found out I tend to lean forward when I get backwards with mohawks, so we worked on that. Its funny, when I told Paula I needed to work on something else she grinned and said "mohawks, maybe?" Seems the synchro coach had already told her!!!! Darn, won't be able to hide anything now!!!!
Yay! I finally skated last weekend after about a month off the ice. I was really antsy to skate, but at the same time, I am so busy with studies and fun and everything at the moment that it hasn't been on my mind all that much. Skating is still on my priority list, but I do want to make the most of my first semester of college, and sometimes skating opportunities here are hard to plan around.
But... last week the Riverfront Park Ice Palace opened, which is a nice walk or a short bus ride from campus. Super exciting! I skated on their second day of being open. It's an outdoor rink, but it's mostly enclosed, and I went on a Saturday early afternoon.
Smoooth, baby: The ice was much better than I expected - a little soft, I think, but I had gotten a lot of warnings about outdoor rinks. Plus, there's public skating from 11am-5pm every day. Which is soooo much better for me and my schedule than the hour and a half morning public sessions at the regular rink here. And-- the ice wasn't crowded on a Saturday afternoon! It was fabulous. They played decent music so I messed around a lot to that, just crossing over on the beat and stuff. Great fun.
Scratchy: Obviously my skills have deteriorated in a month w/o practice... my crossovers were in a state of disrepair, and my spin was completely gone. I think the soft-ish ice contributed to that though. I definitely need to start lessons up again. I will make it happen somehow! I miss regular skating :(
Silky: Competed this past weekend and got the silver. Before the competition, I believed that I would finish in 3rd or 4th out of 4, basically because I've seen everyone in the group skate before. I was very pleased - I skated clean and pain free. The Tuesday before I aggravated a ongoing minor back injury, but meds helped . I'm off them now, and the back seems to be doing ok.
Started doubles again in my lesson today. It felt good to be trying them. My coach told me to not go overboard (which I have a tendency to do) and over-train them.
Also, found new music for my new program. I actually heard it at the Detroit Symphony Orchestra concert a few weeks ago, and got the cd last weekend. Coach approves.
Scratchy: Trying to cut the music. I like all of it. Do you think the judges would mind if I skated for 7:15 instead of 2:40? (assuming I was still alive after 2:40 ).
Bless you, Fairy Godmother, I'm Having a BALL!
Yazmeen - Skating is hard enough, let alone having to do it on poor ice. Sorry you got off to a scratchy start this week, but wahoo on the mohawk and spin progress! And with hubby in tow, synchro is going to be a blast!
Figureskates - My goal is to pass my Adult Gold test so I'll have the opportunity to skate on that Lake Placid ice. I'm hoping to pick up major skating skills just through osmosis! :D
Rachelstarlet - Yippee on your return to the ice. You're smart to balance your new activities with the skating for now, so you won't have any regrets later. You'll regain any lost abilities very quickly, so no harm done. Only one caution, and that is skating on outdoor or semi-enclosed rinks may wear down your edges faster, so be sure to pay more attention to when you get your skates sharpened. What happens is that grit and grains of stuff naturally blows in and coats the ice. That also contributes to that "sluggish" feeling you might have out there. We're so glad you popped in to post. Don't hesitate to tell us how school (and new friends) is/are coming along.
sk8er1964 - if you can skate a program for over 7 minutes, then you are a GODDESS in my book! Yeesh! My piece was originally 14 mins+ and when we were cutting it, I kept saying to hubby, "Oooh no, I like that part, let's keep it and oooooh, I could do a great spin there." Then when I started skating to it (before it was even 2 mins 40 secs!), my attitude changed completely. "Cut that freakin section, cut out this whole thing, heck let's cut it down to 1 min, anything to get me done sooner!!!" SUPER CONGRATS on your Silver. And the pain-free skate. Woo hoo, woo hoo. You are my hero. Give me more details (if you don't want to post them here, pop me an email). Woo hoo!
Scritch Scratch, I Was Takin A(n Ice) Bath - I skated both Monday and Tuesday. Monday I started out kind of mopey and "mad" at myself that I didn't seem to be putting as much effort into my practice as usual. However, running through all the Gold elements, everything seemed to be in tune and nothing too terrible. EXCEPT - my back sit cruised off to Alaska (as Yazmeen would say)!!! Horrors! I've got to get at least 3 revs on that baby, plus 1-2 more on the back spin to get "out." So that was a little unnerving, one week before my test. Cap'n Steubing, Cap'n Steubing, if you can hear me, please turn that ship around and bring my back sit back to me! Also, fell a couple of times and seemed to be a human Zamboni. I take comfort in the fact that I've left the ice a better place for skaters to come.
She Was a Smooooth Operator - Finally turned it around near the end of Monday's practice and made it through my whole program with only the axel missing. It was still scritch/scratchy, but I believe it would have passed anyway, just not with the flying colors I'd prefer.
Scratchy - Tuesday morning started off with a disappointing "stiffness" everywhere in my body. I didn't feel the stiffness, but I sure skated it! Started my lesson and my coach was like, wow, it's like you've slept overnight in the petrified forest! Smart cookie that she is, she halted the lesson, too another student right in the middle of it, and then took up with me again afterwards, when at least I'd had ample time to warm up. Sure enough, ran me through all the jumps (which were all fine through the axel), ran me through the spins (back sit still in Alaska), and then ran through the program. YAY! Landed the axel IN the program, in fact completed everything. Then she made me skate at top speed for another run-through of the music. After 6-1/2 minutes of straight hard skating, she asked how my legs felt. Oh, you mean those tree stumps? Well, yes, please drag those stumps out there and do a camel/sit/back sit and also an axel. Amazingly, the spin was the best in a week and the axel was just great. Hmmm.
Smooth: Nothing is really that smooth. My energy level is kind of low this week. Don't know why. Just not really in the mood. Spent quite a bit of time to work on my 1-foot spin. It's still here, so I guess I shouldn't complain. I just need to practice it more.
Scratchy: MITF - forward edge pull (4), forward inside 3, back edge pull (4), back inside 3, then repeat on opposite foot, same pattern. This sequence is killing me. It's extremely hard for me to go into the 3s from the edge pull directly, either forward or backward.
Still working on that flip. I just don't want to jump this week. Don't know why.
But the loop is still here. Worked on adding more speed going into the loop. It's OK. Not really interested in jumping. Oh well.
Bless you, Fairy Godmother, I'm Having a BALL!
Silky Creamy Chocolately Smooooooth - In contrast to Tuesday's practice, yesterday was just amazing. Everything seemed so "on." The combo spin cruised back from Alaska, the legs were no longer 146 years old, things flowed and had style. What a difference!
Instead of fighting camel attacks and jittery jumps, it was smooth sailing the whole way. Ran through the program once, and only had a small bobble that will easily be taken care of. So I felt victorious over my head games as well.
I also made two important discoveries. The first is that I had been trying to take off for my lutz in too "square" a position. Since that right arm is back on the take-off, my shoulder should be back as well. Even more important, I should be looking over my left shoulder at the time, and I found that the take-off became smooth as silk because my body was already in the right positions for the rotation. Wow, what a difference, and instead of fighting the jump, it's now very flowy.
Second, I was reviewing the required elements for the Adult Gold and suddenly realized that things I thought were required are not -- meaning that I have TONS of extra elements in my program, so if by chance I should flub something, it won't even matter because instead of that particular single jump, there are 2-3 others to take its place. Wow, it was just a huge stress reliever to realize that not everything is going to have to be perfect. Plus I can reskate two elements if need be. It's like suddenly finding out that you're up on the high wire, but instead of the unforgiving concrete floor, they've now installed a lovely bouncy safety net. Phew. Good thing, because that test is exactly one week away.
Siky soft: Everything today. Two foot spins are heaven, did them out of back crossovers for the first time in a while and they got even better. One foots were tried out of crossovers, promising start. Worked on spirals, and back spirals are coming along nicely.
No skating for a few days--Off to Connecticut for a meeting, should be lovely with the leaves and all. See you on Monday!!!!
Hi all! Just wanted to stop in briefly and say that I competed my interpretive last night. I had a good skate, and was happy with it. My friend from school came to see me skate, and was so nervous for me my mom said she was shaking. I finished 3rd, and was so happy that I won a medal. I think my friend was happier than I was!
Bless you, Fairy Godmother, I'm Having a BALL!
Starshine - WOO HOO! Totally cool on your interp. With all the new things you've got going on in your life right now, I'm amazed that you were so focused on this program. Congrats on your medal!
I forgot to post about Friday's practice session. In brief, it was great. I had listened to my friends' advice to "save my legs" and not do a lot of outside activities (like my rowing and lower body strength) so that I could be fresh for the practice, since it's so close to my test. This was good advice. I was strong, I was confident, I landed many axels. It was awesome. I worked through my whole program and was pleased with the result. I ran through each half a number of times and tried to get everything a little more flow-y. I still would like to improve my back sit (I tend to either hunch up or raise up instead of holding the position.) I worked hard, sweated hard, and finished up with 8 minutes' endurance skating. All in all, a good day.
Oh, since it was Halloween, I showed up in all black, with my furry black cat ears and tail. It was a hoot! Even the younger kids were bummed that they hadn't worn their costumes to skate. I swear, it improved my axel, because when I'd start to rotate, I could see my tail, and it was simple to just "chase" it around for full revolution!