Saturday, September 7, 2019

Learning to Step Through Jumps

So I signed up to LTS for Freeskate 2 at the rink that follows the LTS USA 'rules'. Let's face it the LTS rink has been really nice to me, and doesn't seem to  care if I jump or not to pass Freeskate. But,  I'm ready to move up,

I told my coach of my plan. A light goes off in her eye. "You need to learn a half flip and a waltz jump to pass Freeskate 1." She knows this is totally unnecessary, but for some reason she wants me to do it, "Against the boards," she says. She apparently isn't looking for miracles.

I don't jump. I'm notorious for not jumping. I have a bad hip on one side and a bad toe on the other. Jumping is off the table.
I'm the cat--jumping is the cup

But my coach looks so happy and cheerful and delighted at the prospect of teaching me some half jumps -- even at the step through level I say "Okay."

Just to make her happy
Sometimes the skater has to make the sacrifice.

So, I stepped through the Waltz Jump and the Half Flip and after I got them mixed up a couple of times, I finally was able to step through them. And they were decent too. I just had to keep one finger on the boards for emotional security.

Then my coach pulled her LTS card set from her pocket, delight in my success wreathing her face. "Let's see what's in Freeskate 2. I don't remember." Then she flipped between two cards. "Oh, I'd forgotten, half flip is in 2. Mazuraka is in 1. I suppose we'll have to work on that."


Monday, September 2, 2019

Checking (EDITED)

I took a lesson checking---because my checking is non-existant. I'm not sure if I have good checking now, but let's just say, if I don't---I've suffered enough for it.

Let's look at a photo of the great Irving Brokaw whose dynamic pose demonstrates the technique I learned.
 There's more going on here than can you see

 The skating leg is leading So here it is the left leg is leading. The shoulders should be back (no hunching) and rolled down...way down. Don't let the shoulders pop up.

The red arrow indicates the carriage of the leading arm. My coach told me to carry it so the hand was over the belly button. It's seems a little close to the body in this picture, but it can be carried from belly button level to shoulder level and away from the body. It just needs to cross the midline of the body.

The shoulders need to be  rotated in opposition. If as in this picture, the left arm is leading, the right shoulder need to counter rotate. The hard part here, is in not letting either shoulder roll forward, up, or forward.

I know when I'm in the right position

OMG the Pain!!

And when I get a little bit out of alignment the coach gently presses my scapula to get me in the right position

 So, I've been doing it wrong for years. It's not easy.

Note: The next day my 'core' hurt so much I could barely do a sit up. I mentioned this to the coach and she nodded sagely."When I was young enough to wear a bikini, I had a six-pack. The guys couldn't keep their eyes off me."

 Another reason to do compulsory figures!!!

Monday, August 26, 2019

Lake Pacid Skate Camp: Day Five Alternating Spins

I'm skating 4 hours a day, plus a lot of walking around Lake Placid before I start my spin lesson.

Coach and I stroke around while she looks at my edging and posture then we touch on mohawks, 3  turns and crossovers.

In the last half of the lesson we start on spins.

I'm tired, but I'm loose.

I do an entry from the left direct into a one foot spin. Dramatic exit, one foot entry into a right spin. Dramatic exit.

Then I do this over and over for the second half of the less, arms held in, arms in the air,  fast, slow,  talking all the time, yakkety yakkety. Snapping into spins, no hesitation. Moe than three rotations consistently

My home coach once told me that there would come a day when spins would be as natural to me as any skill I'd ever had. That when that day came, it would be like a lock opened in my head and I would be doing spins effortlessly from now on.

That Day Has Come!

But for the rest of the week I couldn't get a decent spin if you paid me.


I guess I now know how much warmup it takes for me to get fancy-shmancy spins. Several hours.