Friday, February 24, 2017

Revelation...On the Ice

At group freestyle, Dance Coach got round to me to give me my drill assignment.  He leaned against the boards and said suspiciously, "Have you been skating some place else?"

So, he's probably mentioning this because my skills have become much better in a short period of time. But I can't help but feel like I'm being accused of cheating on my (non-existant) boyfriend.

I confessed. "I went to Rink2, to take Basic 6 again to work on my Forward Inside 3." 

I need this, because to date the number of successful FI3 with full glide out, lifetime 2.

This confession cheered up Dance Coach. "Okey, show me."

So, I do my crippled FI3. Nice entry, very nice turn. Grind to a halt.  Believe it or not, this is much better than the last time he saw me do FI3 a while back. 

He holds up his  arms and I rest my hands lightly on the back of his hands, and do a perfect FI3. "Very nice." He says.

"But you're holding me up." I point out.

He gives me the standard coach reply, "Practice." Then he skates off to another student.

Then as I stand there, mulling over my consistent failure to master the FI3, I HAD A REVELATION!

I can't do the  FI3 at Rink 2, even when the coach there is giving me support. Not only can I not do it, with the Rink 2 coach, it's actually scary. I can do it with Dance Coach, and Miss Bianca. What's the difference between The Rink 2 Coach and Dance Coach and Miss Bianca? 

Rink 2 Coach is taller by several inches, even taller than Dance Coach.

Soooo.......maybe when I do it at Rink 2 with the Coach there, I'm holding my arms too high, and....maybe that's pushing me on my flat or even so I lean outside the circle. fix it....I need to....

.......lower my arms through the turn?

I lower my arms. Push off onto the FI edge. Bring the free foot to the heel of the skating foot as I rise up...turn on the inside edge....keeping the arms lower than normal....

Life time total number of FI3?.....5! With 3 of those in a 2 minute period at the end of freestyle!

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Adventures in Rink #2: The Rink of Misery

The story so far. I signed up for Basic 6 in Rink 2, so I could get some mid-week ice time and work on my FI3.

So far, life time number of FI3 done successfully? 2.

So, yes, I can do a FI3 turn, but I can't glide out. A few weeks ago, I had my epiphany about how to do them, then no matter what I did, I could never get that moment back again. I spent 45 minutes on public one day trying to work through them, and they actually got worse!

However, the rest of Basic 6? I'm a star. I can even get my elderly leg up to true hip height with toe point on both sides with good style points. Back stroking. Yes, fine. I'm doing back edges already. T-stops. Yes, yes. Great T-stops. Alternating with  only two strokes in between. Tits up, short complete stops with good shoulder position. Two foot turns? The coach actually told me they were 'elegant'. On a curve, either direction, on the straight ditto. Two foot spin--passing. Bunny hop--passing.  FI3--no passing.

So, this week I was the only student. I turned to the coach, and said, "I'm not getting out of here am I?"

He kind of talked me down from whatever pinnacle of FI3 agony I was suffering through at having to do Basic 6 again.  He give me a pep talk. "You can't pass without forward inside threes.  You came here to work on these, you really need to master them."

So we spent the most of the lesson working on my FI3. I finally got back the feeling of the entry the turn. And he identified the the problem with my exit glide: I glide out on the flat, so I just grind to a stop.

Still not passing.

There are times like these I just treat whatever I'm doing like structural engineering: Bring the free foot to the heel, hold, rise up turn, ....then try to hit that back  edge somehow without forcing it for the exit glide.

"You're like so many adults," the coach said, "You make it so mechanical, I want you to feeeell it." He demonstrates.

Nope. Not feelin' it.

 So what do I do?



 Yes, I will take Basic 6 again!

The answer? Probably, B. I may be able to twist the next sessions coach's arm and just tell him/her to let me work on FI3. Thank goodness I have freestyle group at my home rink to keep me from going mad from boredom at Rink 2!

Monday, February 20, 2017

Magical Back Edges

My Coach, Miss Bianca, said "Show me your back outside edges."

So, I laid down a complete set of back edges right through a group of girls doing spins and half jumps, without even thinking about it.

Miss Bianca wanted to fiddle with my arm positions, and my power. We went across the ice, three or four times. Nice solid back edges, with the coach standing some distance away; no glove of shame, no supportive hand; just me and the ice.

I looked at Miss Bianca. We haven't done these in months. I haven't practiced these. These have not even crossed my mind. The ice has been way too crowded to practice anything going backwards.


Although, I'd like to feel like magic can happen, it's really unlikely.

So what happened? Well, I think my lap skating a mile before I started skating has significantly built up the strength in my legs, core and hips. (I've had other skills that improved too) Also, I finally got to the point where I can lace my boots to the top, which gives me extra support when I skate backwards.  Good ankle support, a tech pointed out to me some years ago, is essential to skating backwards.

Miss Bianca didn't anything about my miraculous improvement in back edges.

"You know, a month ago, I couldn't do these," I said.

"Oh, yes?" Maybe she has so many students she's forgotten I've had historical problems with these. "They were nice. Want to work on your inside ones?"

Now that's a coach for you! Minimal praise, always be moving forward!