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Thread: Sunny spring/Worn-out Winter Lessons & Practices, 3/8-3/14

  1. #1
    Salchows and Shimmies!!!
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    Sunny spring/Worn-out Winter Lessons & Practices, 3/8-3/14

    Well, I'll start us off, actually beginning with my Friday lesson and competition on Saturday.

    Old Man Winter: On Friday afternoon, I went for a final lesson before the comp. I was still sick, my asthma was in full bloom, I was cranky as all heck, and on top of everything, nobody cut the ice at the main rink I skate us PLUS the kid's synchro team was practicing!! I tried running through my program three times without music, and it was a disaster every time. I couldn't seem to get my feet under me, my breathing was awful and everytime I went to one end I'd almost run smack into the synchro kids. By the time my coach came over for my lesson, I was in tears and in no shape to even skate. Being the wise and wonderful owl she is, she managed to calm me down, the synchro team finished, and I was able to run the program through (the full thing as set, for the first time) to the music twice. It was far from great, but at least I felt better and felt I could probably skate the comp. I had been ready to withdraw just prior to the lesson.

    Spring had sprung: The next day I felt a little better. Mercer is a semi-outdoor rink in a state park and the temperature was already 55 degrees at 7:00 AM. We were, literally, skaters in the mist at practice!! I practiced OK, and felt a little better. My first experiences at judging were a lot of fun and a good learning experience. Skating wise, I had interpretive first, (against the book), and that was fun. The music was the same as for the kids, "I Just Can't Wait to Be King" from Lion King, so I played it strictly for comedy and pretended to be a terrified Beginner/Pre-Alpha skater skating her first program. Apparently, I was convincing, one of the ice monitors told me a couple of women watching me commented "Oh, look at that poor woman, she's terrified out there!!!!!" Then came the Artistic competition...

    Both my competitor buddy and I were just plain scared to go out there. Our programs were new and very raw, we're both perfectionists, we looked like a couple of lambs going to slaughter in the locker room. This time her coach was the wise owl and reminded both of us that this was our first comp. with the programs and we shouldn't expect to be perfect. I skated first. I was more than a bit shaky, but I pulled off the salchow and the waltz-waltz/combo, my flow was pretty good and my spirals looked good from what I was told. Not a great performance, but no major mistakes. Anna skated solid, and after watching her, I was pretty sure I was going to come in second again to her. I did, but I was doing the happy dance, too--she won by only one tenth of a point!!! Seriously, two judges tied us, and one gave her the edge. I have 16 years in age on her and she's very accomplished, and this was the closest I've ever placed with her in competition, so I was thrilled. Later we competed in Interpretive Spotlight which involved wigs, a scarf and "Man, I Feel Like a Woman" by Shania Twain. I played it for fun (lets just say my booty did the talkin'...) and in the end I scored my first victory in our competitive history together. It was just the two of us in Freestyle 2 Adult, so we insisted on getting our medals on the podium so we could be together and be silly and each have our turn on the top step.

    I'm very grateful to Anna. Earlier in the week we were together at Mercer's exhibition, which she skated and I didn't because of the respiratory infection. I was feeling so low and awful and we got on the subject of our competition with a couple of our coaches. She said something that really touched my heart. She reminded me that we compete WITH each other, not against each other, and she's right. We get nervous together, we cheer each other on, we're really supportive of each other's skating. With all my traveling lately, work stress, trying to get the program finished and then getting sick, I'd lost sight of the fact that I do this for fun. I'm very grateful that she helped me find the fun again (with a little help, too, from my coach and hers). In the end it was our best competition.

    We did, however, agree on one negative. NEVER AGAIN do we want to compete on outdoor ice when its that warm again!!! The mist cleared, but the ice was soft and tended to be wet and tacky. It was very difficult, literally, to get a grip on it with blades and at points we were "skating in a lake." How often does anyone come home from competition with muddy boots??????

    Anyway, I've gone on too long. Time for a sharpening and getting back to work on improving that program. How's YOUR week going?
    Last edited by Yazmeen; 03-08-2004 at 11:19 AM.

  2. #2
    Gliding Along dlkksk8fan's Avatar
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    n the end it was our best competition.
    Yazmeen-glad to hear this and thanks for sharing

  3. #3
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Yaz-- Congrats on a great job, especially after you were sick! It's so hard to go out there when you don't feel comfortable with your program; it's great that you could do that! I laughed when I read about your Lion King program, because I had briefly considered it for my next interpretive program, but I think that will be Don't Know Why by Nora Jones, unless my coach picks the other music I'd given him to choose from.

    I had a great practice yesterday. The ice was nice and it wasn't too crazy, so I did hundreds of crossovers in every direction and also the crossover stroking forward and backwards. I think I made progress, but we'll see what coach has to say tomorrow. My salchow yesterday was a cross between my old cheated one and the new and improved one that we had discovered on Sunday using the harness, but that's okay. I also did a bunch of circles with 1 CW forward xover, RFO3, 1 CW back crossover, LBO edge to step forward, repeat. I did it for so long I actually got a little dizzy! Ah well, it was all fun and I was exhausted when I got off the ice --it was an hour long session!

    Happy skating,
    Pat

  4. #4
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Old man winter: I was SO sick last week. Thought I was better for my lesson, but was still scatter-brained and tentative. Coach is immensely patient, bless him! Jumps were appalling BUT...

    SPRING has come!: I did my first camel spin attempt AND my first real camel spin (in spite of sickness coach remains ambitious)! About 3 times around in camel position, through to upright position, shaky but flowing exit! Wow! had no idea this was on the agenda for today. I am so proud of myself (and so happy with my coach for pushing me onward).

  5. #5
    Bless you, Fairy Godmother, I'm Having a BALL! Cinderella on Ice's Avatar
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    Yaz - I just loved your whole post. First of all, congratulations on your performances. But most of all, thanks for sharing your ups and downs. We all sure understand those! It sounds like you did exceptionally well, especially coming off of being sick and with your asthma flaring up. Wish we could have been there to cheer you on!

    Blizzardy - Brrrr, the rink sure was cold yesterday, after spending two weeks on the white sand beaches of Mexico! I wound up having to put my Polartec vest back on, even while I was jumping. Part of the problem was my general "laziness." I just couldn't seem to get my butt in gear, and I certainly didn't take advantage of the fact that there were only two of us on the ice the whole time.

    Sunnier - It was nice to see that my time off didn't hurt any of my elements. In fact, the spins and jumps I did were very "on" and felt good.

    Brrr - It's just that I didn't push myself to do things like flying camels or flying sits, and I let myself off without even doing one runthrough of my program. Now what am I thinking???!!! My first adult competition is in 2 weeks and I'm lollygagging around the ice.

    Let the Sunshine In - Thankfully, today was my lesson and I got there extra early. My coach had me run through everything I know how to do twice -- except for camel spins, which were going a bit wonky because my skate blade suddenly would no longer grip the ice. She worked me hard, and then she had me "sit still" for about 8 minutes before doing a program runthrough. She wanted me to stiffen up a bit to simulate competition circumstances.

    While it wasn't my best effort ever, I did hit several of the elements dead on and overall did not embarass myself, despite a couple of falls. That was part of the training too -- learning to get back up and carry on. She said if I had just straightened my back, I would've landed the 2toe because it was fully rotated. Dang!

    Drizzly - the only problem was that I forgot my program twice, and she said the look on my face was priceless. I sort of blathered along for one or two steps until my brain kicked back in.

    Sunny Honey - So overall I was pleased and have vowed that tomorrow I will do at least two complete runthroughs of the program to atone for my previous laziness.

    Gosh, it's good to be back on the ice!

  6. #6
    Salchows and Shimmies!!!
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    Thanks for the nice replies, everyone. I appreciate it. I'm feeling a bit better, and my breathing is getting back under control.

    Yesterday was mostly a sunny springy day. My coach told me she was pleased with my performance on Saturday and that it looked good, and crossovers, stroking and flow were pretty solid, which was my main goal. She was still cracking up and wondering what those women who saw me do "Lion King" and believed I really skated like that thought when they saw my artistic!!!

    Coach wanted again to work on crossovers and stroking to take them to yet the NEXT level (how many doggone levels are there for these blithering things??? Just teasing, I know they always need work). She gave me another good tip--make sure the crossing foot stays ahead--it seems on my LF cross I tended to have it behind the other foot before I push off and cross and that was what was throwing off my balance. Same with back crossovers--suddenly I had more room for the cutbacks and they were a lot smoother.

    If nothing else this year, I have become a much better skater stroking, speed and crossover wise, and that's a pretty darn good accomplishment--not the only one, but the major one.

    Pat: I'm right there with you on the salchow. In the comp. it came our about halfway between the "fat" (too rounded on the edges) sal I did before the harness and the sharp looking, well hooked one I did in it. But that's still progress!! Good for you, too.

    Cinder: Its always hard to get back to skating after a vacation. I think warm sun and sand takes a little "oomph" out of the old skatin' muscles. I hope you had a great time.

    Icer: ((((((((hug))))))) Feel better--HEAL!!! Doctor's orders.

  7. #7
    Hickie!
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    Cindy!! Welcome back!! I hope everything was super in Mexico! I sure could use a vacation there too! You'll be back in fighting form on the ice in no time!

    Yaz, good work at your competition! It sounds like it was a great experience for you, and you performed well. Keep up the good work.

    My skating last weekend was neither springy or wintery. Regionals finally arrived, and I went off to compete in the biggest competition I've done for just singles. I've been to Nationals with synchro, but this was much harder, since it was just me alone on the ice.

    My creative skills exercise would have been a lot better had I not just randomly fallen on my straight line step sequence. I missed part of my serpentine step sequence, which resulted in a deduction for incomplete elements. I was ranked last, only because I was the only one to have fallen, even though I had harder content than a lot of the others.

    My interpretive freeskate went much better. I was more confident, and skated very well, with a lot of power and emotion. I guess it wasn't what the judges were looking for, since once again I was placed last. I was thrilled with my skate, so placement didn't matter, but my mom was just a tad angry.

    My freeskate was ummm.....well......interesting to say the least. There was a giant hole in the ice that went all the way down to the concrete, and yet they did nothing about it, since it was the last event of the day. That made me angry. My warm up was good, and I felt pretty confident, but when I took to the ice, I couldn't seem to get anything right. The opening 2 sal was perfect, until the landing, when I just fell off the edge. The 2 loop that followed went up nicely, but then I started leaning, and fell incredibly hard on both knees, causing extreme pain. I popped the axel afterwards because of the pain, but yet I continued. My combination spin was great, and I wondered how I managed to spin so well after bailing on 3 jumps in a row. The next 2 sal had the same fate as the first, yet, I still continued. The footwork went well, and I had one last chance to squeak out a 2 loop, and miraculously, it happened...I landed the darn thing! And 3 minutes in to the program as well. The rest of the program went well, I got in an axel, when my coach didn't think I would. I fell over on my closing pose though. I end on one knee and I hit a hole and went flying. I didn't care though, it was over. I once again placed last.

    I've now retired from competing, and will be taking a break from skating as well. My knees hurt too much, and I think time off will be beneficial. I do have an exhibition skate in 2 weeks. My university's skating club is having the exhibition which coincides with College Royal ( a big agricultural show type thing) and I was asked to participate. I guess that's it for me.

    Happy Skating!:D

  8. #8
    Salchows and Shimmies!!!
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    Starshine: :( I"ll send another hug to you, especially your poor knees. I hope they're feeling better. Overall, you skated really well and should be very proud. Wow, double jumps, I can only imagine that!!! Good for you!!! Whoo hoo!!!! :D

  9. #9
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Yaz, congrats on your competitions! Sounds like you had a great time.

    Reading your post reminded me of my coach's suggestion last night. She told me that State Game will be in July and ISI Adult Champ will be in September. Let's get that change foot spin down quick. Oh boy, that's some pressure.

    Since I have to learn my back spin as fast as possible, I didn't even have time to think about my 1 foot spin. And miraculously, my 1 foot spin improved and my coach was surprised (and so was I). The mental block went away and my 1 foot spin blosomed.

    Next week is my last lesson before I leave for my trip to Europe (and World Championship). So I don't really have time to practice. I really doubt if I'll be able to get my backspin down in time for State Game. We'll see.

    Worn-out Winter: Oh boy. Where to start? I was trying to do a Tango stop near the board. The problem was, it didn't stop and my right knee hit the wall. Skin came off and I was bleeding. I guess that means I can't really bend my knee for a while. No more skating for me until my knee heals. Oh well.

  10. #10
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Sunny: Practice and lesson last night. Fairly empty session, decent ice. I diligently practiced all my crossovers, mohawks, 3-turns, and did a few jumps. Then when my coach arrived he was very happy with the improvement in all my crossovers. He had me working on the back xovers on holding that stretched under position and then pushing to the next step and holding that glide before the next crossover. I was able to make some progress on that! It's hard to hold those positions, but the crossovers are so much better when you do. Also worked on the perimeter crossover stroking, forward and backward. Forward he had no complaints about, backward we worked more on the right rhythm and making each push very distinct. Loop and flip were about where they were the last time we'd worked on them. One foot spin, ugh. Worked on the entrance from a back inside edge --that's hard! It's much easier for me to go from back outside to forward outside, or back inside to forward inside, but to go from a back inside edge to a forward outside edge is just scary! But working on all this was a lot of fun. I'd never learned to step forward directly out of back crossovers (except from a LBO edge to a RFO edge) and so we worked on that and it's coming along pretty well.

    Overall a fun session.

    Happy skating,
    Pat

  11. #11
    Salchows and Shimmies!!!
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    Pat: WOW--how's it coming with loop and flip? I haven't tried those yet.

    Springtime for Yazmeen: Coach and I spent a few minutes discussing goals for now until my next comp in May. She wants to continue work on speed and freestyle skills, specifically one foot spin and getting half jumps better, specifically half lutz. We decided we'll put together a footwork program and then we discussed possibly competing a figure since ISI still allow that. We worked on the basic inside and outside edge eights. I've only done this a bit, and I was majorly rusty, but it started to come along with work. The toughest part is having enough edge and push to get back to the center of the circle!!! As long as we will have some other competitors for figures, I'll be good to go. I want to do this to continue to improve my edging and also for the discipline it requires.

    We continued work on stroking and crossovers which are continually to show little improvements. Ahh, PROGRESS!!!! :D My favorite word in skating next to "clean."

    Up in the near future, too? BACKSPIN!!!! I think the loop jump ain't too far off!!!!

  12. #12
    Hickie!
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    Thanks for the compliments Yaz. You'll be doing doubles before you know it too! Just keep at it. My knees are better, they're healing nicely and have gone from being bright red to a lovely shade of purple and brown.

    Happy Skating everyone!:D

  13. #13
    Tripping on the Podium
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    Sunny I learned a spread eagle last night!!!:D Okay, so it's a baby spread eagle, and my feet are only around 140 degrees apart, but I can glide and get into position and not fall over!:D :D I was so shocked. Of course, my coach was very nonchalant about it all, although he was also psyched when I did it. He wants me to do one forward CW xover, the spread eagle with the left foot leading, then one backward CW xover, so I curve one way and then the other across the ice. I think he has this in mind for my new interpretive program, and the funny thing is that I'd been wishing I could do a spread eagle because I thought it would fit the music so well, but I never thought I could! This was all in the last 10 minutes of my lesson. The rest of the time, we did spirals (RFI, RFO, left forward on a flat, back left and right on flats) and that was fun, too. The RFI spiral was much easier for me now than the last time I tried, like last year!

    Yaz-- Don't be too impressed about my working on a loop and flip. I'm using the boards for some support; can't do them on my own yet. But I am getting the hang of jumping. The loop is easier for me than the flip, and I've done some half loops independent of the boards. Keep up your work on stroking and crossovers; I think your coach and mine are on the same wavelength.

    Happy skating everyone.

    Oh, did I mention I can do a spread eagle?:D Can you tell I'm happy about it?

    Pat

  14. #14
    Salchows and Shimmies!!!
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    Hey, Pat, I've been meaning to ask you, have you ever tried a spread eagle? :D Bravo!!!

    Starshine: Ahh, nothing like a bruise to reveal all the colors of scientific spectrum!!! Glad you're feeling better.

    Sunny Dee-lite: What a GREAT synchro lesson today!!!! Due to vacations and illness and otherwise, we only had four of us there again, so Coach worked on skating skills with us skating individually or in pairs, "unattached" (not holding onto each other).

    I know I've been getting stronger with my basic skating courtesy of my freestyle coach, but today it really showed. For stroking, I was right there, keeping up with my partner in speed and form, and she's less than half my age and skates a few levels above me. I was able to pick up what Coach described as "Russian Stroking" (forward perimeter stroking with an extra push--eg: left outside edge, right forward crossover, left inside edge, then repeat on opposite side). It only took me a few minutes to get it and my speed improved quickly. Even the crossover/mohawk/back crossover pattern came much more quickly than I would have expected. I really could see where I have improved. I came out of the rink absolutely pumped up and my mood is still "happy, happy, joy, joy."

    Quite a change from the girl who thought she had made a mistake taking up synchro a couple of months ago, eh? Geez, first I was gonna drop synchro, then I didn't want to skate my competition and ended up with one of my strongest performances yet to date. I get it now--if I don't want to do it, that means I SHOULD do it!! Remind me to apply that to all my skills, especially the upcoming backspin!!!! I think I'll restrict that philosophy to skating, however, so I don't get my little old butt into trouble!!!

    Have a good weekend, everyone.

    Hugs,

    Yaz

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