When I was learning to skate somethings were easy, some were hard. I learned things out of sequence of the learn to skate curriculum. My skating guru, the Big Guy, told me that it was normal. He learned mohawks in an afternoon, and took a summer to learn FO3. He was the one who inculcated in my the spirit of "Learn to Skate is not a race."
But since the broken ankle I had to relearn everything: proper stroking, proper crossovers, three turns, mohawks. For some reason, I couldn't do FI3. I tried at the boards, I tried in the center with coach providing assistance. Many times if I hadn't had something to hold me up, I would have fallen and hit my head. I finally found a coach at Lake Placid who forced me to center my mass by keeping my legs together, head up, and arms spread to balance me. She also had this ankle action in the turn, I can't possibly describe. She got me doing FI3, but I didn't like being far from the boards. I still had a tendency to fall off the back edge but it was 1 in 4 rather that 1 in 1. It was progress.
But my problem wasn't physical, it was also in my head. I'd developed this mental blank spot with FI3.
Over the last couple of months, I worked every session I skated on the FI3. I gradually worked my way away from the boards. I used behavior modification to desensitize myself to the fear I felt from falling. Then in Saturday lesson, Dance Coach said, "Let's try forward inside 3."
I popped one out. It was a proper FI3, with arms, body and legs in the right position. Dance Coach was delighted, "I never thought you'd get it!" Me, I thought I'd go to my grave without it. But in that moment, I felt like I had invented fire. I had got over my skating block.
|I have Forward Inside Threes!|
1. I practiced what I could every session. Even though they scared me.
2. I watched videos and tried what suggestions were presented
3. I followed the coaching advice I was given
4. I got over bad habits (looking down, hunching, not being centered). In fact I forced myself to get over bad habits.
5. I desensitized myself to my fear by slowly increasing the distance to the boards when I practiced.
6. I KEPT ON TRYING.
And now I have FI3, something so easy that most people learn it in a lesson. Learning to Skate isn't a race, it's a journey.